The Thief Lord tells the story of a group of kids on the streets of Venice, supported by a boy named Scipio, who calls himself “The Thief Lord”. Scipio provides all they need by stealing from the wealthy houses of Venice. As the story begins two young boys, Prosper and Bo join the group after running away from their aunt and uncle. A detective, Victor Getz, has been hired by their aunt and uncle to find the boys so they can adopt Bo.
In the meantime, The Thief Lord is offered a job he cannot refuse. In trying to carry out this job, Viktor starts to catch up to Prosper and Bo and Scipio is eventually revealed as a pampered rich boy, who steals only from his father, and is trying to escape his own life. The children decide to carry on with the job without Scipio and find out that what they are trying to steal is a piece of a magic carousel. This carousel can make the old young and the young old with only a ride on it. Scipio, determined not to be left out, ends up taking a ride on the carousel and growing into a man. Viktor finds Prosper and Bo and tries to turn them back to their aunt, who after a day with Bo, decides she does not want them anymore. They end up living with a friend, Ida Spavento, along with the other children, Hornet, Riccio, and Mosca. Scipio becomes an apprentice to Viktor and as his fame as a detective grows, he starts being known as “The Thief Lord”, not because he steals from rich families, but because it is said that he is respected and feared by all thieves, and can slip through houses in search of clues without leaving a trace.
This report prepared by Rosella Maggie
When Prosper and Bo's parents died, they were sent to live with their aunt and uncle. There was only one problem - they only wanted Bo, they didn't want Prosper. Well, Prosper wasn't about to be bundled off to boarding school, leaving his beloved younger brother to the tender mercies of his Aunt Esther, so he and Bo ran away to Venice, Italy, the enchanting city his mother had told them so many tales of. Unfortunately, Venice was not quite the wonderland that Prosper and Bo were expecting and with winter coming soon, they were not prepared and had no real plans at to how to survive. Then they were adopted by the Thief Lord...
The Thief Lord was clever and charming, to be sure, but no one knew who he really was and all of the children were a little afraid of him. Prosper worried that Bo idolized the Thief Lord too much and would turn to a life of crime, but where else could they go? Besides, Aunt Esther had now hired a private investigator to track them down in Venice and they relied on their friends to help them escape his notice. But when the Thief Lord accepts a job from a mysterious duke, Prosper finds himself thrust into a magical adventure full of surprises and discovers more about the Thief Lord than he truly wanted to know...
The Thief Lord was a solidly written fantasy/adventure tale for children, but it was nothing spectacular. Perhaps I judged it too harshly due to all of the buzz surrounding the book, but I just found it lacking somehow. The characters were not quite three dimensional for me and I did not really identify or connect with any of them, but they are likeable enough. There is also nothing particularly original in the book and the plot moves along a little slower than I like. Still, the book has enough humor and fun for children to enjoy it while they wait for the next Harry Potter book to come out. I look forward to seeing more from this author as I feel that she has a great deal of potential. My recommendation would be to check this book out from your local library or find a cheap used copy.
This report prepared by Debbie