My introduction to Cornelia Funke was Inkheart which I enjoyed. I looked forward to the sequel, Inkspell, but wasn’t so quick to pick up and read the already published Thief Lord. For a fantasy lover like me, the book looked “too ordinary” with not enough promises of enchanted adventures. However, when I finally bought my copy of the book, it hooked me from the very first chapter.
The Thief Lord is often compared to the Harry Potter series but I’d advise potential readers to be wary of this comparison. While there are certainly similarities (like the main characters being children), The Thief Lord is also a very different book. Those who expect to read about wizards, magical creatures and enchanted objects will be disappointed. Apart from the magic roundabout that does not appear until towards the end, “The Thief Lord” deals with more earthly themes that children in the real world deal with such as family conflicts, loyalty and friendship, and wanting to grow up too soon.
That said, those who appreciate a fast-paced story with daring escapades will find much to enjoy in this book. The Thief Lord is every bit as exciting as the Harry Potter books. Children will enjoy reading about adults being outwitted by kids and adults will be drawn into the Venetian setting with its dark alleyways and alluring rivers that all seem to lead to adventures.
Any regrets about this book? I regret ever hesitating to read it and I regret the fact that Funke seems to have no plans to write a sequel despite the fact that the ending cries out for one. So grab your copy and prepare for an enjoyable ride.