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The Thief Lord

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Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets.... After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets.... After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny... forever.


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Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets.... After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets.... After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny... forever.

30 review for The Thief Lord

  1. 5 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    THIS IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS! I love the characters, the world, the story. Scipio was like one of my first book crushes lmao. Seriously, this book is so exciting and fun and has such a great cast of characters who all have such genuine, important friendships and it's magical and beautiful could not recommend it highly enough. It's like Six of Crows except they live in a movie theatre and they are all like 12 KINDA wanna reread it again now its just the BEST

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Twelve-year-old Prosper and his little brother, Bo (short for Boniface), live with their friends in an abandoned movie theater deep in Venice. The brothers are fleeing from an uncaring aunt who would keep Bo at her side like a lapdog and send Prosper to a faraway boarding school. Their roommates—Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio,—are homeless kids with nowhere else to go. They survive by stealing food and picking pockets. The leader of their little group is named Scipio. His living quarters are unknown. Twelve-year-old Prosper and his little brother, Bo (short for Boniface), live with their friends in an abandoned movie theater deep in Venice. The brothers are fleeing from an uncaring aunt who would keep Bo at her side like a lapdog and send Prosper to a faraway boarding school. Their roommates—Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio,—are homeless kids with nowhere else to go. They survive by stealing food and picking pockets. The leader of their little group is named Scipio. His living quarters are unknown. He provides the others with blankets and other necessities, and delights them with the treasures that he steals. For Scipio is a thief—the self-proclaimed “Thief Lord” who has developed a fearsome reputation for himself in the city’s underworld. Everyone also assumes that the Thief Lord is an adult, not the scrawny twelve-year-old mincing about the rooftops in a plague doctor mask. One fateful day, a mysterious Comte offers Scipio a job that would make him a legend, with ramifications that neither he nor any of his crew have any idea of. When the heist collides with Aunt Esther’s quest for Bo and the crisis Scipio is running away from, some of these children will be faced with choices that will determine the rest of their lives. Content Advisory Violence: Characteristic of Funke, there’s some startling violent images here—i.e. the kids threatening to shoot Victor with his own gun, or Morosina pondering having her dogs tear the boys to pieces. No actual gore. (view spoiler)[Scipio’s father is emotionally abusive, but does not appear to be physically abusive. His apparent cruelty still takes a terrible toll on his son (hide spoiler)] . Sex: Absolutely nothing. Language: Squeaky clean. This is a book where supposedly gritty adult characters say “darn” and “heck” with no children present. (I wonder if this was license on the translator’s part. This translation is by Oliver Latsch, not Anthea Bell, who translated the Inkheart series, where the word “damn” was used as punctuation). Substance Abuse: Ida smokes. Everyone thinks it’s gross, including the characters living in an abandoned building which cannot have been particularly clean. Nightmare Fuel: (view spoiler)[The legendary magical item on the Isola Segreta turns out to be an enchanted carousel—ride the Lion of St. Mark and you’ll become younger, perch on the merman’s tail (or was it one of the other magical critters?) and you’ll age as many years as rotations you made round the carousel. The Comte and his sister, who appear emotionally frozen at about age nine, ride the winged lion until their bodies match their childish minds. Scipio takes the age-up creature and jumps off when he’s old enough to shave—considering he’s Italian he can probably shave already, but that’s beside the point. Barbarossa wants to be a young adult again, but loses the machine and emerges a sniveling five-year-old. Scipio’s psyche hasn’t caught up with his body, while Barbarossa’s adult mind and memories are caught inside a child’s body. (hide spoiler)] Politics and Religion: Riccio offers to disguise Prosper by “painting [him] black like Mosca” (this does not happen and I don’t think any larger statement was meant, but still, as an American it’s a bit cringey). Conclusions The Thief Lord features a strong atmosphere, a fascinating supernatural element, and an intriguing title character. Unfortunately, the atmosphere doesn’t always match the plot, the supernatural element isn’t even hinted at until halfway through the book, and the title character plays second fiddle to a rather bland protagonist and a colorful supporting cast member who doesn’t fit the mood of the piece. A Venetian setting will always make a book interesting. There’s something about winged lions and mermaids and masques and gondolas and canals full of deep, dark water that draws me in every time. In The Thief Lord, the setting is a character, and this definitely works in its favor. The movie theater where the kids live is like Venice itself in miniature: ancient, grimy, secretive, and somehow still starry and magical. Scipio fits into this environment seamlessly for most of the story. He’s like a cat, charismatic and glamorous and self-sufficient and disappearing for long periods of time. Yet like all characters who wear a mask, we know that he struggles with self-loathing, and the part of his life hidden from his friends is probably highly disagreeable. All this turns out to be true about him; Funke never examines his dysfunctional home life in any great depth, but that’s forgivable in a middle-grade book, especially one like this with one foot in reality and the other in the land of magic. (view spoiler)[What bothered me about Scipio was that all his problems seemed to evaporate once he took a spin on the carousel and emerged as a young man. These wishes, in myths and fairytales, tend to backfire spectacularly on the wisher. Scipio’s wish was completely understandable, but again, there’s usually a punishment for willfully disrupting the cycle of things like that. It was annoying that, to paraphrase Florence and the Machine, his gift didn’t come with a price (hide spoiler)] . This whole theme of youth and age is pretty deep. I found it intriguing that the Comte and his sister apparently never got over watching their employers’ children playing while they had to work—they find the key to regaining their youth and the first thing they do is take over the old manor. They play with the rich-kid toys they used to envy, and even that doesn’t make them happy. There’s Barbarossa, who seems to have been stuck in the intense selfishness of a five-year-old. His punishment is pure nightmare fuel, but fitting. Then there’s Aunt Esther, who wants Bo to stop aging at six, and has no use for Prosper because he needs guidance more than hugs and is no longer cute. I just wish that the first half of the book had featured these themes, and the element of magic. As is, the first half was mostly Victor donning bad disguises, walking into obvious set-ups, and fussing over his tortoises. I found Victor adorable, by himself and with his perfect match, Ida. But starting the book off like that makes it seem goofier and lower-stakes than I think Funke intended. The magical element also sprang up out of nowhere, without even a hint. All we needed was a brief flicker of it—one of the St. Mark’s Lions around the city could come to life for a few seconds, or one of the kids could glimpse a mermaid or merman in a canal. Maybe there’s a location in the city where time freezes or accelerates or goes backwards, foreshadowing the pivotal event of the novel. The way it was executed, it was jarring—like if the Baudelaire kids in A Series of Unfortunate Events had learned that that Sugar Bowl everyone was fighting over could make its owner invisible. I don’t mind surprises, but it’s nice when the genre of a book is clear and consistent throughout. Finally, I found the lack of empathy displayed by the children (and some of the adults) in the book downright alarming—understandable, but still not the traits you’d want in a hero. The kids, Bo and Mosca largely excepted, are all rotten to Victor when they first meet him—much more rotten than their situation actually requires. And while I can’t blame them for this, everyone seems delighted with what happened to Barbarossa. He’s horrid, but it’s still bad form to jeer at him in his reduced state. I had this problem with Inkheart, too—even the usually good kids have many moments of being startlingly bratty. This book is harmless fun. This is the first time I’ve read it, but I know that the eleven-year-old me would have been beguiled by the Venetian setting and fallen in love with Scipio, the pre-teen Byronic hero. It flew by and kept me up late turning pages. I think many of you will like it too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Connor

    My Video Review: https://youtu.be/7ftK1cYyTwo

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    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 Ve 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tamlynn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. SPOILER ALERT I hate hate hate it when a book introduces magic 3/4ths of the way through! I like fantasy, thats not the problem. But the ordinary people are supposed to discover the magic at the beginning of the book. You know, the children run through a mysterious old house in the country, hide in a wardrobe, and bam! they're in Narnia. Perfect. Don't try and tell me a realistic story and then suddenly change/solve everything with magic that the characters just accept and move on. I was adoring SPOILER ALERT I hate hate hate it when a book introduces magic 3/4ths of the way through! I like fantasy, thats not the problem. But the ordinary people are supposed to discover the magic at the beginning of the book. You know, the children run through a mysterious old house in the country, hide in a wardrobe, and bam! they're in Narnia. Perfect. Don't try and tell me a realistic story and then suddenly change/solve everything with magic that the characters just accept and move on. I was adoring this book until that point.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Herr der Diebe = The Thief Lord, Cornelia Funke The Thief Lord is a children's novel written by Cornelia Funke. It was published in Germany in 2000 and translated into English by Oliver Latsch in 2002 for The Chicken House, a division of Scholastic publishing company. It was also adapted into a film in 2006. The Thief Lord follows the story of brothers, Prosper and Boniface (Bo), who run away to Venice, Italy. They are taken in by a group of street children who live in an abandoned movie theater - Herr der Diebe = The Thief Lord, Cornelia Funke The Thief Lord is a children's novel written by Cornelia Funke. It was published in Germany in 2000 and translated into English by Oliver Latsch in 2002 for The Chicken House, a division of Scholastic publishing company. It was also adapted into a film in 2006. The Thief Lord follows the story of brothers, Prosper and Boniface (Bo), who run away to Venice, Italy. They are taken in by a group of street children who live in an abandoned movie theater - the Stella, and are led by a proud orphan named Scipio. He appears to steal valuables and the orphan group sells them to a sly shopkeeper, Ernesto Barbarossa. A customer of Barbarossa, calling himself the Conte, asks the "Thief Lord" to steal a wooden lion's wing for him. The runaway boys' aunt and uncle figure out where they are and set a detective, Victor Getz, on their trail. Victor recognizes the boys on the street and manages to initiate a conversation with innocent little Bo. Bo accidentally lets slip that he lives in an old movie theater. When the rest of the children see Victor, they cause a distraction and run away, taking his wallet with them. In his search for the theater, Victor visits the home of Dottor Massimo, the owner of the Stella, where he sees Scipio, who is actually the son of the rich Dottore. ... عنوانها: ارباب دزدها؛ شاه دزد؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا فونکه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: شاه دزد؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا فونکه؛ مترجم: مهرداد مهدویان؛ تهران، افق، 1383، در 467 ص؛ مصور؛ چاپ دوم 1385؛ چاپ سوم 1387؛ شابک: 9789643691455؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آلمانی - قرن 21 م عنوان: ارباب دزدها؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا فونکه؛ مترجم: داوود لطف الله؛ تهران، پیدایش، 1388، در دو جلد؛ شابک جلد 1: 9789643497026؛ شابک جلد 2: 9789643497033؛ دو برادر چهارده و هشت ساله‌ ی آلمانی، پدر و مادرشان‌ را از دست‌ داده‌ اند. آن‌ها از دست‌ خاله‌ و شوهر خاله‌ ی خود که‌ میخواهند دو برادر را از هم‌ جدا كنند، به‌ شهر «ونيز» ايتاليا میگریزند. بستگان‌ آن‌ها کارآگاهی را مأمور میکنند تا بچه‌ ها را پیدا كند. اما پسرها عضو باندی شده‌ اند که‌ دزدی کار اصلی آن‌هاست‌... و یک پایان استثنایی در انتظار آنها ... ا. شربیانی

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Set in contemporary Venice (around the time of both answering machines and cell phones), this is not exactly what I expected, which was a historical fantasy with lighthearted, adventurous thieving in it. What I got was a more realistic tale of runaways and orphans trying to make it in a contemporary city. Still, bonus points for Venice! There was a little bit of thieving, but it was more desperate, the group of kids scraping by while living in an abandoned movie theater. It was sad, but heartwarm Set in contemporary Venice (around the time of both answering machines and cell phones), this is not exactly what I expected, which was a historical fantasy with lighthearted, adventurous thieving in it. What I got was a more realistic tale of runaways and orphans trying to make it in a contemporary city. Still, bonus points for Venice! There was a little bit of thieving, but it was more desperate, the group of kids scraping by while living in an abandoned movie theater. It was sad, but heartwarming as well because of the friendships that they found. It honestly took me a while to warm up to it, until the second half when the focus shifted away from their sparse lives and into more of an adventure - what I'd been expecting in the first place. There's a little bit of magic to it towards the end, enough to shake things up. There's payback that doesn't end up being malicious, and wishes coming true that end up not being quite what was hoped for. That made a bittersweet ending for some of the characters, and an arguably happy one for others, whether they deserved it or not. I like how it wasn't all black and white. One drawback for me is that it was told in a very juvenile tone - it's definitely for middle grade readers. That, and some of the word choices in the translation didn't fit and were distracting (for example, "darn it" was used a lot). I'd probably give it 2 stars, given how much I don't usually enjoy contemporary, realistic stories. But it was good for its target age group, and I probably would have loved it when I was younger, so I'm bumping it up a star.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    It's a great fantasy: Let's run away to Venice, and hide out in an old movie theater. We can dye our hair blonde, so no one will ever find us! In a way, this is a European version of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, with siblings running away to a place stuffed with antiquities, and getting mixed up in an art mystery. I guess Victor the detective must have the Mrs. Frankweiler role. I didn't expect the touch of fantasy at the end. I'd love to read a sequel to find out what ha It's a great fantasy: Let's run away to Venice, and hide out in an old movie theater. We can dye our hair blonde, so no one will ever find us! In a way, this is a European version of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, with siblings running away to a place stuffed with antiquities, and getting mixed up in an art mystery. I guess Victor the detective must have the Mrs. Frankweiler role. I didn't expect the touch of fantasy at the end. I'd love to read a sequel to find out what happened to the Thief Lord.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Book of the Year Awards... Really? Is it unsympathetic of me to think that this book is... childish? How reductive should authors of children's lit be? I've been working with a young student this summer, and The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke, is a big favorite on the sixth grade circuit. This particular boy had chosen it for summer reading, and so I picked up a copy for myself. Enh. Billed as a "fantastical journey" through "the magical underworld of Venice, Italy", The Thief Lord follows a pair of Book of the Year Awards... Really? Is it unsympathetic of me to think that this book is... childish? How reductive should authors of children's lit be? I've been working with a young student this summer, and The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke, is a big favorite on the sixth grade circuit. This particular boy had chosen it for summer reading, and so I picked up a copy for myself. Enh. Billed as a "fantastical journey" through "the magical underworld of Venice, Italy", The Thief Lord follows a pair of orphaned boys on the run from their condescending aunt. They survive with the help of a small gang of children run by one boy, Scipio, who takes on the titular moniker. Trouble comes their way, though, as the boys' aunt hires a detective to track them down and as the gang discovers a secret that their leader has been hiding. Ok: Venice, gangs of child thieves, possessive relatives on the prowl... Prime fixin's for a romantic vision; sounds like the makings of a Dickensian tale. But as the story reveals itself--strict, impatient fathers; detectives with fake moustaches; grumpy shopkeepers--the more cliche and the less compelling it becomes. The Thief Lord doesn't run too deep. It's a fun tale that takes the reader through modern day Venice, and it seems to begin and end there: a fun tale. Well, a fun tale for kids. Everyone acts like children in this novel. Even the grumpy grown-ups. Especially the grumpy grown-ups. Even as a cultural piece (Venice!), the novel falls short. Aside from a few choice phrases in Italian, Funke doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to educate her readers (young and old) the way she could. The novel bounces from piazza to ponte, but everything--settings, characters, etc..--feels vague and undefined. Do I recommend this? Not really. Would I teach this? Nope. Lasting impression: The world of The Thief Lord didn't glow with it's own hidden knowledge the way Pullman or Rowling's worlds do. Characters move impulsively. "Brilliant" ideas don't seem so brilliant. Plot twists rely too much on coincidence and contrivances. Enh.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    ★ 2 / 5 ★ It breaks my heart to say this, but this is my first skimmed/dnf book of 2018. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have any this year … oh well. I have to stick to my philosophy that “life is too short to push yourself to read books you’re not into.” I think most people can agree with that. So many books, so little time, you know? Really, I don’t have much to say. The Thief Lord started off promising (I really enjoyed Chapter One with Victor and his internal bluntness)—however, the other ch ★ 2 / 5 ★ It breaks my heart to say this, but this is my first skimmed/dnf book of 2018. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have any this year … oh well. I have to stick to my philosophy that “life is too short to push yourself to read books you’re not into.” I think most people can agree with that. So many books, so little time, you know? Really, I don’t have much to say. The Thief Lord started off promising (I really enjoyed Chapter One with Victor and his internal bluntness)—however, the other characters, I wasn’t too fond of. And once I realized that nearly every chapter focused on Prosper and Bo, I wasn’t into it. There’s nothing wrong with this book. There really isn’t. The writing is fine and the story seems like it should be interesting; only I didn’t think it was. Therefore, I’m going to chalk this up as a “me” thing, because I can see many people enjoying this. I know this is a short review, but I don’t have anything else to say. It's not a bad book—it just isn't for me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Decent children's literature, set in Venice, mixing adventure, social issues and fantasy. The overarching theme is the question of childhood versus adulthood, and the inherent difficulties of both!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Corinna

    I remember reading this in my teens and enjoying it quite a bit. I just realized, today, the author wrote Inkheart as well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kwesi 章英狮

    This book did not work well to me, Cornelia Funke gave me another headache after reading her Inkheart series which I thought will be one of my favorites since the movie was great. I did like the movie very much and I dug a hole 6 feet under for the whole series not be seen by my eyes again. Well, I think I broke one of the important rules of reading and watching book-tie-in stuff. I did watch the movie before the book so that made things worst but I was hoping not. The last time I remember readin This book did not work well to me, Cornelia Funke gave me another headache after reading her Inkheart series which I thought will be one of my favorites since the movie was great. I did like the movie very much and I dug a hole 6 feet under for the whole series not be seen by my eyes again. Well, I think I broke one of the important rules of reading and watching book-tie-in stuff. I did watch the movie before the book so that made things worst but I was hoping not. The last time I remember reading Cornelia Funke was when my mom go shopping in the nearby mall for 4 hours and I wait like a lap dog. Seriously, I'm very disappointed to Funke but I'm not yet done with her and I might try her other YA or children's books which will be nice raw (by reading reviews out of control). When Prosper and Bo escaped from their cruel rich aunt they met this group of kids who helped and cared by the Thief Lord, which fed them and act like a grown man. Well, he was hoping to be a grown man unfortunately something horrible scene happened in the end. They met Barbarossa, the antique dealer, and they are asked to met with the Conte who only wish is to find a missing piece of one of his antique toys (quite big for a toy though) and so on. Talking about the characters which one of them have their own different personalities and very interesting that Funke made 6 characters very well and very hard to familiarize each in the beginning of the story. Prosper and Bo, orphaned and living with their cruel aunt, and they escaped and found home in an old theater. Musca, the black boy who have love to water. Hornet, the reader and the only female in the band. She's quite a mother. Riccio, sometimes called the weasle because of his, eeew, his ugly teeth! Lastly, Scipio, the Thief Lord and the one who acts as an adult in the pack (Alpha Dog). If I have the chance to become one of them, I might chose Prosper. He is a nice brother, caring but to possessive but I think he only protect his brother from their cruel relatives and of course safety. But I think my hopes will die along because they already made a movie! I did expect a lot to this book since most of my friends really liked this book and the Inkheart series which I should not done before I started reading this book. This story is very unique, quite magical although there are not much of magical stuff inside and no popular book characters appeared. At least Cornelia Funke emphasize the city of Venice, how ancient, dark and historical the place is. So far this is my 3rd book about Venice and I want more, hoping to go there soon, later in life. Jeez, don't think that I have to be 60 before I start traveling outside Philippines. The dark and childish aroma of this book is very fascinating for a young child, but not for me. Although I read a lot of children's books, this one is different, this one is more on adventure and deception. Kind of. I recommend this book to those who love to read children's books and child at heart. Don't forget, this book was one of Cornelia Funke's best book and guys you have to read this. But until now, I'm still been sued by many conspiracy behind this book. This is not as good as any book I read but not bad enough to be like and enjoyed in a series of minutes. Enjoy reading and see you to Venice in no time! The cast of the movie and Cornelia Funke. I don't have any idea where they took this photo but I can still remember the pigeon that mentioned in the story. The one that flew up high. Review posted on Old-Fashioned Reader . Rating: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, 3 Sweets Challenges: Book #203 for 2011 Book #119 for Off the Shelf!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    This was a cute read. Kind of a mix between Peter Pan/Robin Hood/Oliver Twist. I thought the magical aspect would run heavier in the story than it did. I enjoyed running around on the streets of Venice with these kids, seeing it through their eyes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    By the time I hit chapter 45 out of 52, my interest in the plot started fizzling out. The characters are well-drawn, but there’s not much development or growth shown over the course of the story. The plot takes place within a modern setting, but a fantastical element is thrown in kind of randomly. It feels out of place and there’s a lot of exposition surrounding it. The setting is great, with some nice details thrown into the action and descriptions. But generally the writing isn’t particularly s By the time I hit chapter 45 out of 52, my interest in the plot started fizzling out. The characters are well-drawn, but there’s not much development or growth shown over the course of the story. The plot takes place within a modern setting, but a fantastical element is thrown in kind of randomly. It feels out of place and there’s a lot of exposition surrounding it. The setting is great, with some nice details thrown into the action and descriptions. But generally the writing isn’t particularly special or captivating. This book is a decent children’s story that entertains, but it's not a classic. I think I had started this one years ago, back when I was younger, and never finished. It was very familiar, but I had no memory of the ending. I plan to revisit the Inkheart series in audiobook format soon. Read Sarah’s good in-depth review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Venice would be one of the places I'd visit before I die. The story of The Thief Lord weaved wonderfully with the gorgeous city of Venice. If this story had been in a different location it might not have been as appealing. I love it when a book takes me to places I have never been before. I rarely travel so that factor is very important to me. This book did just that. It took me straight to Venice. Not only did it take me to Venice, I felt like I was right in the midst of the story. Like I was one of th Venice would be one of the places I'd visit before I die. The story of The Thief Lord weaved wonderfully with the gorgeous city of Venice. If this story had been in a different location it might not have been as appealing. I love it when a book takes me to places I have never been before. I rarely travel so that factor is very important to me. This book did just that. It took me straight to Venice. Not only did it take me to Venice, I felt like I was right in the midst of the story. Like I was one of the kids who lived in the old cinema. The story began with the Hartliebs seeking Victor Getz's services in locating Prosper and Bo, the sons of Mrs. Harlieb's deceased sister. Prosper and Bo ran away because their aunt wanted to adopt Bo but not Prosper. Prosper not wanting to leave his brother with their aunt decided to run away with Bo to Venice which was a city their mother loved dearly. While in Venice, the brothers met Hornet who took sanctuary in an abandoned movie theater along with other children who were either orphans or abandoned. The kids from the theater were cared for and helped by the Thief Lord. He steals from the rich people of Venice and gives it to them so they would have food to eat. The plot thickens when the Thief Lord was asked to find a missing piece from an antique collection. It was a very interesting read for me. I got my copy as a gift for Christmas. (Thanks jzhunagev! :D) I didn’t know what to expect when I opened this book. I thought it was something like Harry Potter but it wasn’t. I have read another book of Cornelia Funke which was Inkheart. I liked Inkheart so I was expecting to like The Thief Lord too. So I was not at all that surprised when I found myself liking this book. It was not really that original for me because I watched Neverland (a TV movie) which was somehow similar to this. Neverland was like a different version of Peter Pan. Peter there was an orphan who grew up with a bunch other kids who were care for by a thief. Things got messed up when they got a hold of a magic ball which turned out to be a portal to Neverland. And in this case they were looking for a broken wooden wing for the merry-go-around. They were different but the same at the same time. The characters for me were very distinct from each other. Each of them had their own distinguishing characteristic. Prosper would have to be my favorite character. I could relate to his character because I have younger siblings too that I need to protect. I also liked the detective Victor. At first I thought he was an evil man but turns out he was the opposite of that. I liked his two pet tortoises. It was a really cute touch. I liked the setting, the characters but I had a bit of a problem with the magical stuff that happens near the end of the book. Why did she have to put it near the end of the book? Why now? Why not earlier? It was a good twist but then again, it doesn’t jive with the rest of the book. It was like a different puzzle piece that was forced to fit the puzzle that was missing a piece. Anyways, I thought this book was still good. The setting and the characters made this book a success. This book was not bad but then again its not one of my favorites. I still prefer Inkheart over this one. I did enjoy it. This is the first book I’ve read about Venice and it didn’t disappoint me. I look forward to reading more of Cornelia Funke's work in the future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah O'Carroll

    Peter Pan meets Six of Crows (a younger version) meets The Boxcar Children in modern-day Venice with a slight twist of fantasy near the end, in this gripping adventure tale of two brothers and their unexpected friends... especially a mysterious boy named Scipio. I adored how Prosper looked after Bo--it made me happy. (Also, pet tortoises! Poor Victor. XD) Solid 4 stars throughout, might have made it to 5 stars if it had ended how I wanted... As it is, it's being kept from a disappointed-2-stars c Peter Pan meets Six of Crows (a younger version) meets The Boxcar Children in modern-day Venice with a slight twist of fantasy near the end, in this gripping adventure tale of two brothers and their unexpected friends... especially a mysterious boy named Scipio. I adored how Prosper looked after Bo--it made me happy. (Also, pet tortoises! Poor Victor. XD) Solid 4 stars throughout, might have made it to 5 stars if it had ended how I wanted... As it is, it's being kept from a disappointed-2-stars currently by remembering that I liked it most of the time and by pretending there's a missing chapter afterward. :P (In which... [alternate ending of my own imagination... don't read]: (view spoiler)[Scipio tracks down the merry-go-round and fixes it just long enough to turn his proper age again. Victor keeps the shop and marries Ida and they adopt all five kids (since Mosca and Riccio in this make-believe-missing-chapter also change their minds and come back to the others). Scipio in his proper young age is happy and confident and takes over the detective business like a non-thief version of his theatrical Thief Lord self. And they all live happily ever after. (hide spoiler)] That's what happens in the chapter that doesn't exist, after the end, which I maintain should/could happen. *coughcough* ...It all COULD still happen! I insist. Ahem. *folds arms stubbornly*) Basically other than a couple discontentments about the ending ((view spoiler)[specifically, Scipio being semi-grown-up... that's the main one... and wanting Ida and Victor to officially be a thing since they're perfect, and wanting the whole group to still be together (hide spoiler)] ), it was a great read. I just... am evidently enormously picky about my endings. >.> *cough* Obviously a flaw of mine... Somewhat disappointed, but I can pretend a missing chapter continuing the ending, so. XD

  18. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    In 2019, I vowed to reread more of my childhood books. I find it interesting to look back and reflect on the stories that impacted my life 10, heck even 15, years ago. Many of these reads turn out to be very nostalgic as I remember more and more as the story moves along. Sometimes I even discover a bookmark or a note of others sorts in the book and am reminded of how different of a reader I used to be. Unfortunately, my reread of Herr der Diebe (The Thief Lord) by my favourite childhood author C In 2019, I vowed to reread more of my childhood books. I find it interesting to look back and reflect on the stories that impacted my life 10, heck even 15, years ago. Many of these reads turn out to be very nostalgic as I remember more and more as the story moves along. Sometimes I even discover a bookmark or a note of others sorts in the book and am reminded of how different of a reader I used to be. Unfortunately, my reread of Herr der Diebe (The Thief Lord) by my favourite childhood author Cornelia Funke didn't prove to be as magical. I remember really enjoying this book as a young girl and even taking inspiration from it by pretending to be an orphan girl roaming the streets of Venice with my gang (...oh, a child's imagination). But when I reread this, I was shocked to see how little I actually knew of the story; I couldn't even recall the magical element at the end. Overall, the story just didn't impress me, nor did it move me. It wasn't a nostalgic experience. It was just fine. Herr der Diebe is probably still a book I would recommend for young readers, but it's not a book I need on my shelves, and therefore I will be unhauling it shortly. Farewell! The story focuses on Prosper and Bo, two brothers who ran away from their home after their mother has passed away. They are forced to live with their aunt and both don't want that. Therefore, they make their way to Venice (...talk about realistic, lmao) and soon join a gang of other orphaned children. Their leader calls himself the Thief Lord and provides them with food and shelter. The boys and one girl rely on thieving and stealing and making weird deals with a local seller. One day, they are offered to take on a bigger job – the theft of a wing made out of wood. Children are caterpillars and adults are butterflies. No butterfly ever remembers what it felt like being a caterpillar. They soon discover that the wing belongs to an old carousel that enables its riders to either become older or younger. So, kids who step on the carousel will step off as adults, and the other way around. It is very clear that Cornelia Funke wanted to deal with the subject matter of children wanting to grow up fast, and adults longing for their carefree childhood days. Her message was very on the nose but for a children's book that's probably fine. Overall, I found her writing to be a little less engaging than in her other books (...but that may well be because I am way more attached to her iconic children's series like the Ink Trilogy or Die Wilden Hühner. Unfortunately, I didn't really care for any of the characters and was therefore not really invested in the story. As an adult, I found Victor's story line more engaging than the one of the kids. Victor is the private investigator who is hired by Prosper's aunt to find the two boys. Victor finds himself soon in a morally dilemma as he finds out that the aunt wants to separate the boys (she wants to raise the younger and send Prosper to boarding school) and she is overall a very annoying person. I liked his personality and dry sense of humour the best. The ending of this book was absolutely ridiculous and so over the top cheesy (and unrealistic) that I couldn't even feel happy. Forced happy endings aren't for me, especially when they make no sense. I know that Cornelia didn't care about any laws for this tale (the whole adoption process is just wild) but as an adult, it was a little too wild for me. Call me petty. It's just a fact.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I kept fluctuating between 3 and four stars. Ultimately I'd probably opt for 3 and 1/2, but since that's not an option, I'll go with four because I think it's more of a personal taste thing over the quality of the book. I'm a huge fan of "Inkheart" so had high hopes for this novel. I quickly realized the two have very different styles, and rightfully so, as this book is (at least I assume) geared for a younger audience. The cast of characters is delightful, each with their own stories and personal I kept fluctuating between 3 and four stars. Ultimately I'd probably opt for 3 and 1/2, but since that's not an option, I'll go with four because I think it's more of a personal taste thing over the quality of the book. I'm a huge fan of "Inkheart" so had high hopes for this novel. I quickly realized the two have very different styles, and rightfully so, as this book is (at least I assume) geared for a younger audience. The cast of characters is delightful, each with their own stories and personalities, and you can't help but hoping the "good guys" win. The plot was interesting, but I did feel that there were two stories/plots going on, and that the first half of the book wasn't quite the same as the second half. Also, I'm not entirely sure what I think of the ending, the "messages" etc. Nothing bad, just I'm not sure what I think of it. I finished the book and still had questions as to the why, and what would happen - but, perhaps that was Funke's intent, that she didn't want everything neatly wrapped up. (again, back to the personal taste thing) I did enjoy the book, and was curious to learn how it would end. It wasn't predictable on certain plots, so kept me guessing. I also enjoyed the style of writing, the settings were vivid and it was fun to read a book set by the canals and winged lions of Venice. *** Decided to go ahead and give this a try. So far it's a very different style from Inkheart, but I'm intrigued.:)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Iida

    I read The Thief Lord two years back when I was in Venice for skiing holiday. The book is excellent, and combined with the right surroundings I was smitten. Venice in the winter is misty and dreamy, and when we walked around the city, I could almost see the Thief Lord running around with his friends, cunningly planning their theft, getting more and more mixed up in the plots of grown-ups around them. Funke's storytelling is wonderful, her characters believable, and, for a children's book, The Th I read The Thief Lord two years back when I was in Venice for skiing holiday. The book is excellent, and combined with the right surroundings I was smitten. Venice in the winter is misty and dreamy, and when we walked around the city, I could almost see the Thief Lord running around with his friends, cunningly planning their theft, getting more and more mixed up in the plots of grown-ups around them. Funke's storytelling is wonderful, her characters believable, and, for a children's book, The Thief Lord is stunningly good.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I really wanted to love this book. I have been to Venice multiple times and I loved the "boxcar children" feel to the story. However, the ending really killed it for me. The thief lord was not a thief at all, but a bored rich kid who just brought crap from his house. To make matters worse, the bored lonely rich kid wanted to be an adult, so he jumped on a magical carousel and became a man. Like what the heck? This could have been a favorite of mine but the ending sucked. Do not bother reading it I really wanted to love this book. I have been to Venice multiple times and I loved the "boxcar children" feel to the story. However, the ending really killed it for me. The thief lord was not a thief at all, but a bored rich kid who just brought crap from his house. To make matters worse, the bored lonely rich kid wanted to be an adult, so he jumped on a magical carousel and became a man. Like what the heck? This could have been a favorite of mine but the ending sucked. Do not bother reading it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    demetriaa h.

    This book is so good, what a wonderful mix of reality and fantasy! I enjoyed it a lot, even though adventure is not my favourite genre. My favourite character is Scipio, let's applaud him for how much he has changed :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    still such a brilliant book reading as an adult. I love the imagination and beauty of this book AH SO GOOD. I hope Cornelia continues writing beautiful stories like this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa Amabel

    What a wonderful story! My favorite character, aside from the kids, is Venice herself. Cornelia Funke has weaved her story so brilliantly in a gorgeous setting, describing the city as if it had its own personality. I think the story wouldn't be as awesome if it were set somewhere else. The mystery that is Venice, the beauty that is Venice... it took my breath away more than once. I also adore the simple illustrations that began each chapter, allowing us a glimpse of the wonderful world these kids What a wonderful story! My favorite character, aside from the kids, is Venice herself. Cornelia Funke has weaved her story so brilliantly in a gorgeous setting, describing the city as if it had its own personality. I think the story wouldn't be as awesome if it were set somewhere else. The mystery that is Venice, the beauty that is Venice... it took my breath away more than once. I also adore the simple illustrations that began each chapter, allowing us a glimpse of the wonderful world these kids live in. Ah, the kids. My favorite out of the children has to be Prosper. I imagine him to be this sort-of emo kid who doesn't talk much but has very sharp wits and cares for his brother with his life. Um, maybe the emo part is not very cool, but I love him anyway. And what kind of name is Prosper? It sounds just splendid on your lips, doesn't it? I bet my Chinese grandparents would love that name. The story itself is spellbinding, for me. I love to imagine how it would be, living in an abandoned movie theater with a bunch of friends. I imagined it a bit like August Rush and his hideout. Cornelia Funke has also created some action scenes that made my heart rush and my eyes read several lines at once, just because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Truly, though, the gold nugget lies with the story's characters. Victor the detective with his kindness and two pet tortoises, Ida the quirky bachelorette, and of course the Thief Lord himself, Scipio. Beautiful characters, with fun personalities. The only problem that I sort of have with the book is the near ending, where the plot twist happens. The fantasy part was a bit out of tune with the rest of the book. I also didn't really like how Barbarossa got whatever he wanted--I'm a bit old fashioned, I think villains should be punished :p But that said, the book managed to keep me up until 5.30 in the morning, and hopefully I'll dream of Venice tonight. How I long to run my fingers across the stone walls that hold so many stories! How I long to gaze at the proud winged lions that keep the city safe! How... strange that I am writing like this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I was told to start with this book, but began with Inkheart instead. Inkheart is entirely of a different variety, totally magical, but this one is destined to be the classic. Set in the streets of Venice, this book has it all: Italian culture, street savvy kids, the Robin Hood-like notion of stealing from the rich to give to the poor, all the while echoing a sort of Les Miserables-like Griviche type thing. Everybody loves a gang of orphans! These orphans live in a run down movie theater and rule I was told to start with this book, but began with Inkheart instead. Inkheart is entirely of a different variety, totally magical, but this one is destined to be the classic. Set in the streets of Venice, this book has it all: Italian culture, street savvy kids, the Robin Hood-like notion of stealing from the rich to give to the poor, all the while echoing a sort of Les Miserables-like Griviche type thing. Everybody loves a gang of orphans! These orphans live in a run down movie theater and rule the streets of Venice, while their leader steals from rich families around the area to support them. Two new boys are taken in by the gang, which also means a private detective (sort of a Lou Grant a la Mary Tyler Moore character, gruff on outside but totally soft on the edges), trails them from afar, one espresso at a time. There are specialty shops all around the place, fountains, marble and antiques, mansions and canals, and of course, that romantic run down movie house as a back drop. In a world of wanna-be clever kids books that try to hard (Searching for Vermeer...blark--teach kids about art and Chicago, but make the story better than this...)this book is a classic reminder not to over look the basic archetypes and plot structures which have satisfied and guided reader and writers alike for centuries. Everybody likes a hero--and sometimes it's easier to take a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down: I bet tons of kids read this or had it read to them, and through unknowing osmosis, could now tell you a thing or two about Venician culture, artifact and landscape. Kiss that tired geosafari goodbye and remember how you learned what a moore was, and found that Yorkshire was a real place--you heard about it in a book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    This book helped me to escape from myself. 2016 and 2017 were tough years for me. I was always generally healthy, which didn't serve me well when my body and mind seemed to break apart gradually but ever so steadily. I didn't know how to take care of myself. And when I finally managed to learn, I became obsessed. It became a different kind of unhealthy. I needed to let my mind run far elsewhere, but fear kept drawing me back.. until I picked up The Thief Lord (and Harry Potter again <3) This bo This book helped me to escape from myself. 2016 and 2017 were tough years for me. I was always generally healthy, which didn't serve me well when my body and mind seemed to break apart gradually but ever so steadily. I didn't know how to take care of myself. And when I finally managed to learn, I became obsessed. It became a different kind of unhealthy. I needed to let my mind run far elsewhere, but fear kept drawing me back.. until I picked up The Thief Lord (and Harry Potter again <3) This book follows two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, who ran away to Venice, the enchanted land that their mother spoke about in her night time stories, in order to stay together. Here, they join a gang of runaway children - the mysterious Thief Lord as their leader. I enjoyed every single character of this story so So SO much. Even the antagonists were unique and I loved how Cornelia Funke carried them through until the end. And because it's quite a short book, I couldn't get deep back stories from all of them, but they each made a strong impression to fuel my imagination. One expectation that did not get met was my assumption of a lot more magical elements. You do definitely get some magic for sure though, just got to be patient ;) I highly recommend this book if you're a youngster who would like to grow up faster or an adult who would like to return to your childhood. It will take you on such a trip. Venice can do that!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shaikha

    I loved this book as a kid. ❤

  28. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Natkin

    The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke, is a fantasy novel about a two orphaned kids. After being told Prosper, a boy around twelve years of age, and his younger brother, Bo, were going to be separated through adoption, they run away to Venice, Italy. Nearing winter, Prosper believed he would have to turn themselves in to save his little brother, who was ill. Luckily, the boys were saved by a young girl, with the nickname Hornet. She brought them to her hideout, which held two more boys. Their leade The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke, is a fantasy novel about a two orphaned kids. After being told Prosper, a boy around twelve years of age, and his younger brother, Bo, were going to be separated through adoption, they run away to Venice, Italy. Nearing winter, Prosper believed he would have to turn themselves in to save his little brother, who was ill. Luckily, the boys were saved by a young girl, with the nickname Hornet. She brought them to her hideout, which held two more boys. Their leader Scipio, the Thief Lord, does what he says he's best at, and keeps the children safe by stealing and selling. Little did the children know that their lives would change forever after being offered five million lire for stealing something sentimental for an elderly man. With this, the adventure began. The children learn the dark truth of the Thief Lord, and how he came to be, and they find something powerful that will change their lives forever. The plot of the novel was well thought out. You have this group of kids, and at first you don't know where the story is going. Then this one little thing happens that changes the whole book, from the children having a pretty simple and quiet life, to much running and excitement. As the novel moves forward, you begin to understand that the characters are stuck making a very important decision: will you do everything in your power to keep yourself safe and out of trouble, or are you willing to give up your childhood for the ones you love, and to keep THEM safe. "Do you sometimes wish you were grown- up?" was the question Prosper often asked. Would he be willing to give everything up to stay with his brother? This novel teaches you that there's more to life than wanting good for yourself, and if you only want for yourself, there won't be much good at all. It's about others, because they're the ones that keep life going. There is always another reason to keep going. The author, Cornelia Funke, did an amazing job writing this novel. She knew just when to add little hints to the story to pull you in, and to keep you wanting more. For example, when you first meet Scipio, the Thief Lord, you don't know anything about him. He's a mystery. You begin to wonder why he's protecting these children and how he can possibly make so much money stealing being only a kid. Funke, slowly unfolding the truth, makes it so it is absolutely impossible to put the book down. She brings magic to Venice, and life to the characters. In opinion, I believe that Funke's style of writing is brilliant. She chooses exactly the right words, and she puts them in a way that makes you feel as if the book is coming alive.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ivana de B.

    I liked it, but somehow I expected more of it. More excitment, more secrets, more revealing of the same secrets... I'd love to read more of Cornlia Funke's books, but I know my expectations are and will remain very high.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Boundless

    Lol I remember enjoying this book a lot! Can't write my full thoughts on it, though, because I read it so long ago. I need to reread this. :) Content Rating: PG

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