Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

February 1, 2010

The Magic Thief – Sarah Prineas

Filed under: children's lit — Tags: , — Sam @ 2:56 pm

This is about a street urchin who becomes a wizard’s apprentice – or more accurately, demonstrates Destiny Powers when picking the wizard’s pocket, and gets taken on as a servant before convincing the wizard that he really ought to be an apprentice instead. Conn is pleasantly direct and active for a child (pre-teen, I believe) and the fact that he’s used to controlling his own life comes out well in his actions & narration, which is refreshing. Whilst it’s Conn who saves the day, as is traditional in children’s lit, for once there are perfectly good in-universe explanations why adults are useless.

Prineas’s magic system is a well-executed and -explained implementation of the standard flow-and-channel Language-of-Control setup, internally consistent and suitably uncomplicated. It would have been nice to have seen more of the magical academy, but perhaps that’s planned for the next few books.

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