Reviews for Magic Thief

Booklist Reviews 2008 May #2
*Starred Review* Young Conn opens the first volume of this new trilogy, noting "A thief is a lot like a wizard."  Conn is a thief but, through desire and inevitability, becomes a wizard by book's end. This evolution begins when Conn picks the pocket of the wizard Nevery, who is startled that the nicked magical stone didn't kill the boy. Nevery takes on Conn as a servant, but the boy's inquisitiveness and talents move him to apprentice status. Nevery has recently returned to Willmet to save the city-state, which is faltering as its magic seeps away. As Conn becomes more enmeshed in his new life, he navigates through the intricate dealings of both the wizarding world and the political machinations of the Underlord. The events are not as lively as in some middle-grade fantasies--though Conn's turn as a cat is delightful, and his search for his own stone is very well played. What works wonderfully well here is the boy's irresistible voice, which is supplemented by the writings of Nevery in his journal, its creased and stained pages appearing as apart of the design. Readers will particularly enjoy the way Conn often knows just a little more than his master, and they'll look forward to seeing how much more he learns as the series progresses. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Precocious pickpocket Conn becomes an apprentice to Nevery Flinglas, a wizard trying to stem the loss of magic from the city. Readers will find the familiar character types and straightforward plotting of this amiable tale (akin to that of another well-known boy wizard) easy to grasp, while the evolving conflicts and distinctive setting will draw them on. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #5
Precocious Conn becomes a wizard's apprentice when he pickpockets a locus magicalicus stone off of "bent, bearded, cloak-wearing old croakety croak" Nevery Flinglas and, to the wizard's astonishment, isn't killed. Despite Conn's mysterious affinity for magic, one thing stands in the way of his new status -- he doesn't possess a locus magicalicus of his own. Searching through the neighborhoods of Sunrise (affluent) and Twilight (a slum), Conn picks up information useful to his new master, who's trying to stem the catastrophic loss of magic from the city of Wellmet. An amiable tale akin to that of another well-known boy wizard, The Magic Thief sports a large font and generous leading; young readers will also find the familiar character types and straightforward plotting easy to grasp, while the evolving conflicts and distinctive setting draw them on. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 May #1
An uncommonly engaging young narrator kicks this debut fantasy ahead of the general run. Street-rat Connwaer's skill at picking locks and pockets comes back to bite him when he tries to steal the "locus magicalicus" talisman of gruff sorcerer Nevery Flinglas. Suddenly, Conn finds himself apprenticed to the magician, searching for a locus magicalicus of his own (all magicians have to have one), and deeply involved in discovering why all magic is rapidly draining out of the town of Wellmet. Canny, a quick study and endowed with a heroic appetite for biscuits, Conn works his way into the hearts of both his master and the mystery, meeting several memorable characters--notably Benet, a surly hired thug who can cook and knit as well as he can break heads--along the way to a literally explosive climax. All in all a sturdy start, illustrated with Caparo's realistic portraits at the chapter heads and reminiscent of Angie Sage's Septimus Heap tales (Queste, 2008, etc.) in style and setting. (map; glossary, runes and biscuit recipe not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 June #3

Readers clamoring for magical tales will enjoy Prineas's fast-paced first novel, the opener of a promising trilogy. Conn-waer, a preteen pickpocket, steals the locus magicalicus from the most revered and powerful wizard in the city of Wellmet. Recently returned from banishment, Nevery Flinglas is not angered by the boy's thievery, just surprised the stone's power didn't kill the orphan. Accordingly, Nevery takes him on as a potential apprentice and offers him refuge in his crumbling home. Soon, Conn must enroll in wizard school, find his own magical stone and help his master determine the cause of Wellmet's diminishing magic while avoiding some unsavory characters. Prineas depicts Conn, the narrator, as refreshingly candid and a quick study while revealing Nevery as insightful and unexpectedly caring. Interspersed throughout and printed to look like facsimiles, Nevery's journal entries and correspondence offer intriguing counterpoint to Conn's perspective; sketches of characters and places, incorporated on the first page of each chapter, also lighten the lengthy text. The magical fireworks do not explode until the end, leaving readers confident that Prineas will turn up the heat in the next installment. Ages 10-up. (June)

[Page 48]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Gr 3-6-- Conn, a pickpocket on the streets of Twilight, one day picks the pocket of a powerful wizard and steals his locus magicalicus, the center of his power. It should kill Conn, but it doesn't. Nevery, the wizard, has just returned after a 22-year exile, to try to save the town from the leaching of its magic, upon which so much, including its economy, depends. Curious about the boy, Nevery takes him on as an assistant and then an apprentice. Although it is the wizard's job to stem the tide of the disappearing magic, he seems unable to do so. Conn believes he knows the answer, but his enemies are closing in. Prineas has created an appealing cast of characters, which she carefully reveals through their actions. The story is told primarily by Conn, and is interspersed with cryptic journal entries by Nevery, which offer a tantalizing counterpoint to the protagonist's viewpoint. Their voices are consistent and well handled. Exciting without being frantic, the narrative wastes no time getting to the heart of the story. This novel would work well as a read-aloud, as it has a conversational rhythm that moves the plot along. The book is long, but the large print and appealing drawings will encourage younger readers. Fantasy and adventure lovers alike will groan when they get to the tantalizingly mischievous ending, and are likely to hound you until the sequel arrives.--Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City

[Page 148]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2008 August
One fateful evening, Conn attempts to pick the pocket of an old man wandering the streets of Wellmet. Conn discovers that he has removed a locus magicalicus, the magical stone of a wizard. Such stones and wizards are common enough in Wellmet; however, this wizard is not ordinary: Nevery has been banished from Wellmet and is most likely not welcome in returning. He is shocked to see that Conn can hold the stone with no ill effect. No one else is supposed to be able to handle another wizard's magical stone without dire consequences. Conn ends up in the employ of Nevery. Together they set out to investigate what is happening to the magic in Wellmet. It is a mystery accompanied by danger, intrigue, and betrayal. This first book in a projected series will appeal to readers who appreciate Jonathan Stroud and J. K. Rowling. Short chapters are interspersed with pages from Nevery's journal, allowing readers a glimpse at two different points of view. An eccentric cast of characters, sure to figure more prominently in other series books yet to come, are introduced and explained sufficiently here. The giant bodyguard, Benet, who also likes to cook and knit, illustrates the blend of the comic and darker elements of this novel. A bit of Dickensian play with character names might elude less able readers, but the device is also indicative of the more subtle layer of story underneath the main plot line. One drawback is the cover and interior art that suggest a younger intended audience.-Teri S. Lesesne PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-137588-0. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.