Bulldog Library

Thief Lord

on September 8, 2013

YA F Funke    •    Fantasy


Prosper and Bo are orphans who have run away to Venice to escape their horrible Aunt Esther.  In Venice, the two brothers meet a group of street urchins lead by the notorious Thief Lord.  The Thief Lord takes the two orphans under his wing.  He gives them food and shelter, and the Thief Lord’s gang of orphans and run-aways quickly becomes a family for Prosper and Bo.

Not long after Prosper and Bo join the gang, the Thief Lord receives a very intriguing offer.  It seems that a wealthy Venetian Conte is looking for a thief to retrieve a very valuable object for him and he is willing to pay a princely sum to the thief who can get it for him.  Unable to refuse the captivating caper, the Thief Lord eagerly accepts the challenge.  But why is the Conte willing to pay so richly for an old wooden carving?  The answer to this question will change the Thief Lord’s life forever!

The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke author of Inkheart and Dragon Rideris a book with adventure, magic, and mystery.  It has many characters and a fairly intricate plot.  There are essentially two stories that are seamlessly intertwined, the story of Prosper and Bo seeking to escape separation at the hands of their Aunt Esther, and the story of the Thief Lord’s unexpected journey to find his place in the world apart from his overbearing father.  It is a lovely story and very entertaining.

This is a book that is rather hard to describe.  While it is an adventure, it is not a mile-a-minute, heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat action-adventure book.  If that is the kind of book you are looking for, you might do better reading The 39 Clues or Stormbreaker.  Though it has plenty of mystery and a very fine detective, it is not exactly a mystery story or a detective novel.  If that is the kind of book you are looking for, please see The Sisters Grimm or Half-moon Investigations.  The Thief Lord incorporates elements of mystery, adventure, and fantasy to create a well-rounded, thoughtful novel.  The reader will enjoy the characters, and the story (especially Scipio’s story) is one that the reader will not soon forget!  While this book it difficult to adequately describe, it is whole-heartedly recommended.

(Readers should also note that there is also an excellent movie adaptation of this book.)

Interest Level: grades 4-8  •  Lexile: 640L  •  AR: 4.8

2003 ALA Notable Children’s Book

Funke, C. (2002). The Thief Lord. (Oliver Latsch, Translator). New York, NY: Scholastic.


What did you think of this book?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: