Summary and book reviews of The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord

by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2003, 376 pages

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Book Summary

Two orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet the "Thief Lord"; but he has secrets of his own, and soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion. Reading age 9+.

Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.

Excerpt
The Thief Lord

The three boys moved hesitantly down the wide center aisle, their steps ringing out on the flagstone floor. The golden domes that arched above their heads kept their splendor hidden in the gloom, and in between the tall marble pillars that supported them the boys felt as small as insects. Instinctively, they moved closer together.

"Where are the confessionals?" Mosca whispered, looking uneasily around him. "I haven't been in here very often. I don't like churches. They're creepy."

"I know they are," Scipio replied. He pushed the mask back onto his face and led the way as purposefully as one of the Basilica's tourist guides. The confessionals were tucked away in one of the side aisles. The first one on the left looked no different from the others. It was a tall box made from black wood, draped with dark red curtains and with a door in the middle, which the priest used for slipping into the tiny space behind. Inside, he would sit down on a narrow bench, put...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I liked the Thief Lord because it was a fun mystery - so far I haven't read a better mystery than this. I enjoyed the fact that it was set in a real place. (Reviewed by Thomas, aged 8, for BookBrowse).  

Media Reviews

Newsweek - Alice Stroup

What is shocking in the case of The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, one of Germany's most popular kiddie-lit writers, is that the book lives up to the audacious claim. It's got the magic, the adventure, the awkward boy heroes and the plucky chick sidekick. It's even been edited by Barry Cunningham, the man who discovered Rowling and published the Harry Potter series in England. But Thief Lord is also just a darn good yarn - the charming tale of a band of urchin-thieves, a magical carousel and two orphaned brothers. Written in German, set in Italy and now translated into English, the postmodern fairy tale was just released in Britain, where it sold out in 10 days. In September, it'll arrive in the States with the British vernacular largely intact. You don't have to Americanize everything for children to understand it, Cunningham says. I find that quite condescending. Besides, the whole European vibe sure worked for Harry.

Publishers Weekly

Wacky characters bring energy to this translation of an entertaining German novel about thieving children, a disguise-obsessed detective and a magical merry-go-round. The Venetian setting is ripe for mystery and the city's alleys and canals ratchet up the suspense in the chase scenes. Ages 9-12.

Kirkus Reviews

A bestselling author in Germany, who has reached the US for the first time, Funke delights readers in the feelings of childhood, what it feels like to be innocent, afraid, curious, and safe; need friends and love; and want independence yet also to be cared for. Although the core of this tale is heartwarming, the merry-go-round, like Ray Bradbury's carousel in Something Wicked This Way Comes, hints at darkness, leaving its riders and the novel's readers changed forever. Fiction. 10-14

Reader Reviews

Tyler

The Thief Lord
The Thief Lord is a book that kids and many teens will enjoy. I read it first as a sixth grader and have read it over and over again for the past four years. Its a fantasy novel with a twist. The twist is that the fantasy is not in the form of ...   Read More

Tenzin Norzin

The Thief Lord is indeed, a masterpiece.
This book is fantastic! I love this book as it is a mystery as well as a fantasy, novel, and adventure. I just finished reading this book by Cornelia Funke (the best selling author of INKHEART and INKSPELL)and I want even more! I am sure that anyone ...   Read More

mark

Outstanding
This book was thrilling ,amazing, nothing bad except there was a magic merry-go-round but other than that random thing this book was amazing Nothing boring except for the 1st 7 pages! AMAZING

Abby

Great book!!
I thought that this was a wonderful book and I hope that there will be another one!! I just hope that more people read this book. Even if you aren't into books you can certainly get into this one fast! I hope anyone else who reads this book enjoys it...   Read More

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