I've read more books than I remember. From the classy literature books (the classics) to the crummy excuses of children's novels thrown into the public libraries to con young readers into believing that they possess quality my reading has been deep and varied. Yet there are some novels I read as a child that impacted me enough to cause me to read them over again. The Thief Lord
is one of those books.
What is The Thief Lord
? It is a fantasy tale and an adventure story combined and set in modern Venice. The story follows two brothers who have run away to Venice and end up in the company of a group of juvenile thieves living in an abandoned cinema. At least they appear to be thieves to begin with. As one reads on one realises that perhaps these thieves are not quite the rogues they would have you believe. Which all leads into the job they are asked to do with their leader, the masked Thief Lord, at their head. They are asked to recover a magical artefact for a particular rich individual with no proper knowledge of what this artefact could do. The assignment and the squabbles within the group, added to the hidden secret of the Thief Lord lead to a fascinating conclusion.
This book, as I reflect, is essentially about the idea of empowerment as linked to age. The children within this book feel entrapped by the very fact that they are minors within society. In order to gain power the two brothers run away and the group of thieves hide out in the abandoned cinema away from the confines of the law. Hence the book proposes that children are far more capable than society seems to realise and that at times laws designed to protect appear to entangle.
This is one of those children's novels I would recommend for future generations as a fun and interesting fairytale type of novel. Would I go back and re-read it? Probably not at this stage as I would not want to ruin the childhood magic of this novel.