Herr der Diebe

ISBN: 3791504576
ISBN 13: 9783791504575
By: Cornelia Funke

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About this book

"Du bist also wirklich der Herr der Diebe", sagte der Fremde leise. "Nun gut, behalte deine Maske auf, wenn du dein Gesicht nicht zeigen möchtest. Ich sehe auch so, dass du sehr jung bist."

Reader's Thoughts


I was recommended this book years ago by my roommate and finally got around to reading it. A tale of charm, intrigue and adventure set in Venice, Italy. It follows two runaway brothers who travel to Venice after their mother has died. They travel to the magical city their mother always told them about and to escape their aunt and uncle, a cold unfeeling couple who only have an interest in the five year old Bo and his angelic looks. Prosper, not even in his teens was to be disposed of in boarding school, splitting up the brothers. Once in Venice, cold and hungry, they are taken in by a gang of street orphans and their leader, Scipio, better known as the Thief Lord. The book follows the children through an adventure, stealing a desired item for a wealthy client, trying to avoid a snoopy private detective on the hunt for Bo and Prosper, the police and a bevy of other threats. There is a bit of magic thrown in the latter half of the book, making it all the richer, a great quick read.

Jihyeon Oh

The book I’m currently reading now is ‘The Thief Lord’ by an author called ‘Cornella Funke.’ This book’s genre is fiction and takes place in the city of Venice, Italy. Prosper, one of the main characters is a boy who is twelve years old and has ran away from his aunt and uncle with his little brother, Bo since they were trying to adopt Bo and put Prosper in a boarding school. Victor, the detective who tries to find Prosper and Bo likes to boast about himself and Scipio, the thief lord, also the leader of the group takes care of them by providing a shelter and provisions with the stolen goods. In the book, Prosper and Bo, whose mother had passed away has come to Venice to live their dreams. They met good friends like Riccio, Hornet, Scipio and Mosco but their aunt and uncle tracked them to Italy. The aunt and uncle hire a detective to chase the children down. I think this book is very interesting and entertaining because it is about two orphaned brothers’ adventure! Also, the detective who follows them increases the interest of the book. The thief lord steals many precious things from people, and supports his friends. He makes infallible plans and succeeds every time he steals. This scene has reminded me of the film ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ Fantastic Mr. Fox also steals a bunch of chickens from the farmers and makes an impeccable plan of luring a guarding dog with a blueberry filled with sleeping pill and gets into the farm without anyone noticing. There are some other connections between the thief lord and the fantastic Mr. Fox. First of all, both of them steal. While the thief lord steals valuables from people, Mr. Fox steals a few chickens from a farmer. Second, they are both poor as well. Mr. Fox steals foods because it is hard to live on without stealing. The thief lord steals valuables since he is responsible for his companions and has to take care of them. Thirdly, they hide something from their family. The thief lord kept the fact that he is the son of a rich man and Mr. Fox didn’t tell his family that he was stealing chickens and was instead going to the book party to his wife. This is such an amazing book. If you are thinking about whether to read this book or not, go for it immediately! You will never regret it. This book taught me an important lesson that we shouldn’t lie to our family. Lastly, I’d like to share my favorite quote from the book with you. “We all belong together. Your problems are our problems.” This quote is spoken by one of the characters ‘Hornet.’ This is important to me because it gave me hope and huge impression.

Minne Chu

The Thief Lord is a story I've read written by Cornelia Furnke. It is a fiction and is also a fantasy thriller. In the Thief Lord, two orphan brothers ran away to Venice from their aunt and uncle. Because of this, Bo and his older brother, Prosper, ran away from them and went to Venice because of their mother's fantastical stories of Venice. One day, they meets an orphan girl called Hornet, and meets other many orphans; Riccio, Mosca, and their leader, who calls himself the Thief Lord. The orphans go on an adventure that threatens the orphans' happiness, and shows the orphans a great treasure that can change one's life.. and then for the next part, you can read the book and find out now.This book is fun and is a good story to me at first. It was a thrilling and fun book. I kept reading and it became more and more engaging. Then suddenly it became so boring. I don't enjoy reading fantasy books, especially something about magicians, like Harry Potter. But at first, I thought that this book was not a fantasy book, so I was so happy and enjoyed reading. But when I read nearly to the end, I realized that this contained fantasy! Sometimes, I enjoy reading full-fantasy books too(if it's not about magicians). But I really didn't like when those who doesn't has any magic at all suddenly meets a fairy-tale-like something and then it ends in this book. I wished that the orphans solve the problems they have for each of themselves. And also, I wanted for the writer to teach us that if we all gather our small powers, it can be really strong. But at the end, it kind of breaks. I could see the writer trying to make the gathering a little bit more, but still it broke apart. Even if the end was not so good to me, the rest was really fun. It reminded me of Venice, where I went on a trip a few weeks before. The story often tells about Venice's old houses and the Vaporetto, and the Rialto Bridge, and it's really in Venice. It's the similarities of the story's Venice and the 'real' Venice. However, the gorgeous house which is shown at this book is not in 'real' Venice. (Well.. It is a fiction..but there were no gorgeous houses in Venice!! Not even one!!) Well, there might be some houses that are a little more richer than others, but there were no really big houses with a gorgeous door like a house at The Thief Lord. That is the difference between the 'real' Venice and the book's Venice.I recommend this for someone who likes adventures. That's because there are a lots of adventures in this book. Also, I recommend this for someone who knows the Italian language well because there are some Italian words in the book and you have to find the meaning at the back of the book to know what it means! It really irked me because I don't know Italian language. I also recommend this book for somebody who likes fantasy AND a realistic fiction, and likes a book mixed up with both of them. That's because this book is realistic at first, but has fantasy at the end. It is mixed up. If you don't like just one, this book would be boring to you. This book made me think that if we gather each of our small powers, we can do anything. (Even if the end doesn't really mentions this..) If we don't gather our powers, our own powers are so weak that we cannot do anything except just follow orders and do as we are told."He had given himself a name that everyone had to call him. It was 'The Thief Lord.'" Yes, The Thief Lord.


** spoiler alert ** There was once a story about a bunch of parentless kids who make their living by stealing, and are lead by a mysterious leader and live under his protection. That, my friends, is a story called Oliver Twist and I highly reccomend you read that instead of Cornelia Funke's book, The Thief Lord. In this book, we get the story of brothers Prosper and Bo, who ran away from their horrible aunt Esther. To help them hide, they come accross the so called "Thief Lord". Hehe. If you read this already and know about Scipio's family then you know why I said so called. Now to make things easier on me Im gonna break the book into components and rate those.Setting: Ya know, maybe it's just because I really wanna visit Venice before I die, but I liked the setting. Funke names real places in Venice and there is a map of the place in the beginning so I liked that. I give setting 4.5/5 stars. Characters: For me there is a specific number of how many characters you can have in a story that are so unlikable that I wish I could hop in the book to break their nose. That number is 1. This book has WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY to many. I can tell you why I hate each character too. Ready?Prosper: Stop being so emo without Bo being around. Also stop being such a prick when it comes to stealing. YOU LIVE OFF OF STEALING! DEAL WITH IT!Riccio: Stop being so whiney and paranoid. It gets REALLY annoyingBarbarossa: Stop being Barbarossa. Plus you fed those blood thirsty dogs poisoned meat. THAT WAS TOO FAR! That was nearly as bad as J.K. Rowling killing Dobby and I still havent forgiven her for that.Esther: GROW A BLOODY HEART ALREADY! Esther's husband: Stop being such a minor characterDottore Massimo: I just dont like youOk thats 5 characters right there. NOT COOL! I give characters 2/5 stars.Plot: Not much to say about the plot. Pretty standard. I nearly believed it until I saw the magical merry go round. Really? A BLOODY MAGICAL MERRY GO ROUND?!?! That just made me mad. Thats it really.I give 3.5/5 stars.Attention capturing: Now I judge a book solely on how well it can keep me interested. I was really bored until the kiddies kidnapped Victor so I give this book an overall 3.5/5 stars.


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.


Selamat datang di Venezia, Kota Rembulan! Di sini anda akan dibuai dengan semilir angin Venezia saat anda menyusuri kanal-kanal dengan gondola, sambil menikmati keindahan bangunan-bangunan eksotik! Namun awasi selalu dompet, kamera, dan perhiasan anda terutama bila anda berjalan melewati Lapangan Markus, jika anda tidak ingin barang-barang berharga anda berpindah tangan ke Pangeran Pencuri dan komplotannya!Apa? Anda belum mendengar tentang Pangeran Pencuri? Dia bukan Robin Hood, tentu saja. Pangeran Pencuri adalah pencuri paling lihai seantero Venezia, atau setidaknya ia ingin dianggap demikian. Diantara kita saja (ini rahasia), sang Pangeran Pencuri sebenarnya adalah seorang remaja misterius dengan rambut dikuncir yang suka mengenakan jaket panjang hitam dan sepatu bot berhak tinggi, dan tak lupa topeng menyeramkan yang mirip burung pembawa kematian. Nama aslinya adalah Scipio, dan ia memiliki teman-teman yang ia pelihara lewat hasil mencuri, mereka adalah Riccio si Rambut Landak, si hitam Mosca, dan seorang anak perempuan yang dipanggil Tawon. Mereka semua, kecuali Scipio sendiri, tinggal di sebuah bangunan eks bioskop bernama STELLA, namun mereka memanggil tempat itu Istana Bintang.Sssst, belakangan, ada dua tambahan dalam rombongan anak-anak jalanan itu, mereka adalah kakak-beradik Prosper dan Bo. Prosper dan Bo yang malang sudah yatim piatu, dan paman dan bibi mereka, Max dan Esther Hartlieb, hendak mengangkat si kecil Bo sebagai anak mereka, dan memasukkan Prosper ke sekolah asrama. Tak mau berpisah dengan adik semata wayangnya, Prosper melarikan mereka berdua ke Venezia, kota yang begitu dicintai mendiang ibu mereka.Tahu bahwa Prosper dan Bo mungkin lari ke Venezia, Bibi Hartlieb menyewa jasa seorang detektif lokal bernama Victor Getz untuk melacak keberadaan mereka. Benar saja, tak lama setelah itu Victor bertemu dengan Prosper dan Bo yang telah menyamarkan penampilan, bersama ketiga teman mereka. Namun alih-alih menangkap kakak beradik itu, Victor malah dikerjai oleh anak-anak jalanan itu sampai-sampai ia dibawa ke kantor polisi!Sementara itu, melalui Barbarossa, seorang pemilik toko barang antik yang tamak, Pangeran Pencuri mendapat tawaran dari seorang Conte untuk mencuri sesuatu baginya di sebuah rumah di Campo Santa Margherita. Imbalan sang ditawarkan sang Conte begitu menggiurkan sehingga Scipio menyanggupi untuk melakukan pekerjaan itu, walau akhirnya ia tahu bahwa barang yang harus mereka curi hanyalah sepotong kayu tua berbentuk sayap. Dengan berani mereka memasuki rumah itu dan tertangkap basah oleh sang tuan rumah, seorang fotografer wanita terkenal bernama Ida Spavento! Untunglah, Ida seorang wanita baik hati yang tidak serta merta melaporkan mereka ke polisi. Alih-alih, ia menceritakan kisah yang sulit dipercaya mengenai sepotong sayap yang ada dirumahnya itu, dan bahkan berkomplot dengan anak-anak bandel itu untuk mengetahui siapa yang membayar mereka untuk mencuri sayapnya. Begitu banyak petualangan yang mereka jalani! Akankah Victor Getz menangkap Prosper dan Bo dan mengembalikan mereka ke bibi yang begitu mereka benci? Benda apakah sebenarnya sayap kayu itu? Siapa sebenarnya si Pangeran Pencuri? Dan bagaimana nasib Tawon, Mosca, dan Riccio selanjutnya?###Hal yang paling memukau mengenai novel anak Pangeran Pencuri ini adalah kemampuan pengarangnya, Cornelia Funke, untuk mendeskripsikan seluk-beluk kota Venezia yang eksotik. Dari jalanan ke gedung-gedung, dari kanal-kanal ke laguna luas dan pulau-pulau misterius. Karakter tokoh-tokohnya beraneka warna mulai Scipio yang ngebos, Prosper yang cerdik, Bo yang polos, Tawon yang ceria namun menutupi jati dirinya, Barbarossa yang tamak, dan Victor si detektif yang sering sial. Adegan demi adegan dalam buku yang sarat petualangan ini bergulir dengan mulus dan ilustrasi-ilustrasi karya penulis yang menghiasi halaman-halaman buku menjadi nilai tambah novel anak yang dapat dinikmati segala usia ini.@melmarianhttp://surgabukuku.wordpress.com


I am just going to cut to the chase. This novel is EXACTLY like the movie…I mean… the movie is EXACTLY like the book! I watched the movie first which got me to read the book as well. Thinking that the book was going to be a little different than the movie (like all novels are), but to my dismay, there were no differences at all. I liked the fact how the writers in Comet Film Productions created this movie to be spot on with the book. I literally skimmed whole pages and chapters because the movie gave it away for me. The theme of family togetherness is a very common theme in most novels. This theme is shown more prominently in this book than most. The story is about two brothers, Prosper and Bo, who never leave each other’s side. They prove that family is a powerful thing when the brothers, Hornet, Scipio, Masca, and Riccio stick together when they are chased by cruel and rude adults. The author wants to show us that when all else seems hopeless, that we should know that family will always be there for you. It sounds very cliché, but it is true! While I was reading the story, I thought, “Was the author ever an orphan or had feelings for orphans?” This question came up because the main characters in the story consist of orphans, runaways, and unloved children. I think the author wants us to see that there is a place in the world for all people. He uses Victor Getz as an example when the detective takes care of them at the end of the story. There is one part in the book that makes me uncomfortable. The reason why Prosper and Bo runaway in the first place is because of their evil Aunt Ester and her awful husband. Even though their aunt and uncle detest children, they still want Bo because he looks cute. So they hire detectives and spend a lot of money to find Bo. Why would you want Bo if you hate kids in the first place? There is no reason to “adopt” a child, even if the child is your sister’s, if you don’t like kids! What is the point? If you are in dire need to read a book and write a report on it but you are too lazy to read a book yourself, then I recommend you watch the movie to this book…I mean read this book. This is an excellent book if you care to read it. I know if I read it when I was younger, this book would be in my top ten because I liked books that have kids surviving on their own. The simple diction and dialogue makes this book a speedy read. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I would have! Have fun.

Sierra Abrams

After their mother and father die, Prosper and Bo find themselves in the not-so-nice care of their Aunt. Prosper plans an escape and he and Bo set off to Venice, their mother’s favorite place in the whole world. Once there they find a home among a gang of thieves – or really, orphans who have a clever young master who steals fancy and expensive objects under the cover of a bird’s mask. Then these items are sold, and the children use the money to provide food and clothes for themselves. Prosper and Bo immediately find a home among these young thieves. Then one day the group’s most faithful buyer, Barbossa, tells the Thief Lord of someone who needs a talented thief to steal something for him – in exchange for a lot of money. The thief, Scipio, and his daring troupers are up for the dangerous task, as well as the mystery that is behind the wooden angel’s wing they are about to steal.This book fascinated me – it’s a very original idea, with lots of great characters, adventures, schemes, and lessons to be learned. It is magical. It has depth. I fell for the characters quickly.Cornelia Funke has always inspired me. From The Princess Knight, one of her picture books, to her Ink-trilogy (I’m actually reading Inkheart for the third time right now!), she has always written wonderful stories that can relate to all ages. I recommend this book heartily. Whether you are a six-year-old boy wanting a thrilling adventure or a sixty-year-old woman wanting to relive the adventures that come with being a child, this book will sweep you up and always be faithful to give you a good adventure.

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 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 :pBut 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.


Prosper and Bo are on the run from their aunt and uncle who want to separate the brothers by having the young Bo live with them while shipping the older Prosper off to boarding school. With hopes of staying together, they flee to the magical city of Venice where they are taken in by a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord". With the help of their Thief Lord they are able to reside in an abandoned movie theater with other young runaways - who they consider family and the dilapidated theater a home. Along the way we also meet Victor Getz- the detective hired by Bo and Prosper’s aunt and uncle to help find the boys (and by far my favorite character). This story was such a fun, action-filled, fast-paced adventure! I loved all the details and descriptions of Venice. The characters were full of wit and quite funny. The story itself is well-written has the perfect combination of magic, imagination, and reality.For those of us who love adventure, twisty plots and witty characters - this is really a treat.


The Thief Lord has many dark elements: the plight of street children, the tragedy of having loveless parents, the tragedy of having no parents at all, and the dangers of living in a criminal underworld. Funke touches upon the dark histories of Scipio and Hornet, but never does more than imply. In many cases this works very well. The way that Funke hints at Hornet’s backstory through quick references, and subtle nuances in the girl’s character develops a story in the reader’s mind that is harsher than Funke could easily show. For this reason, Hornet ends up almost stealing the show, in a book that’s supposed to focus on Prosper and Scipio.But too often, Funke pulls back from taking us into the dark. The perils that afflict our heroes end up being dealt with quickly, with few lasting consequences, and then soothed with a bit of comic relief. It’s almost as though Funke is afraid of scaring away her younger readers. And while I can understand the need to write something that’s not all doom and gloom, Funke’s whitewashing of certain elements in her book gives it a somewhat unsatifying, incomplete feel.Click here for the full review


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!

Melon Manis

Anak-anak sering tidak sabar ingin cepat dewasa.Karena jika sudah dewasa, boleh melakukan banyak hal, serta tidak melulu diperintah dan dilarang oleh orang dewasa. Bebas.Sebaliknya, orang dewasa pun adakalanya ingin kembali menjadi anak-anak.Tak perlu memikul tanggung jawab orang dewasa, tak banyak hal yang perlu dipikirkan dan dipertimbangkan. Bebas. Herr der Diebe (atau dalam rilisan Indonesia diterjemahkan menjadi Pangeran Pencuri), membawa tema demikian. Bagaimana anak-anak dan orang dewasa ingin bertukar posisi. Tokoh-tokoh utama dalam novel ini adalah anak-anak jalanan, yang di antaranya kabur dari keluarga karena tidak ingin diasuh famili yang sebenarnya tidak peduli dengan mereka. Dalam kumpulan mereka, ada tokoh yang dianggap idola dan dijadikan panutan, yaitu Scipio alias sang Pangeran Pencuri.Scipio juga anak-anak seperti mereka. Tetapi kehadirannya yang bak Robin Hood, tiba-tiba datang berkunjung membawakan benda-benda yang bisa mereka jual, kemudian pergi lagi entah ke mana, memposisikan Scipio bagai pemimpin mereka. Belum lagi topeng yang kerap ia gunakan menambah kesan berkharisma.Situasi yang lalu mereka alami yang melibatkan seorang detektif sampai bangsawan tua, perlahan merenggangkan hubungan anak-anak yang lain dengan Scipio, apalagi setelah identitas si Pangeran Pencuri diketahui oleh mereka.Sebenarnya benda apa yang diincar si bangsawan tua, sampai ia tega berbuat apapun?Hal yang saya suka dari novel ini adalah poin bahwa 'orang dewasa sering lupa bahwa mereka dulunya juga anak-anak'.Karena lupa, maka sering memperlakukan anak-anak tanpa ingat bagaimana mereka dulu ingin diperlakukan.Anak-anak, walau sudut pandang dan pengalamannya belum sekaya orang dewasa, bukan berarti mereka tidak bisa menilai dan tidak bisa berpendapat.Dan yang terpenting, bukan berarti penilaian dan pendapat mereka tidak bermakna :DSeandainya komunikasi dengan anak-anak juga melibatkan pemikiran dan pendapat mereka, mungkin tidak ada Scipio yang terus berpikir ingin lekas jadi orang dewasa dan tidak membutuhkan fase anak-anak :))


When I read the translations of Cornelia Funke's books (so the Inkworld books and this...) I feel like there's something missing. It might have got lost in translation or it might not have been there in the first place, but whichever it is, something doesn't feel quite right about this. There are some lovely descriptions and ideas in Cornelia Funke's work, it just somehow doesn't appeal to me. And I know her work is targeted at younger people, but I read plenty of YA lit and it doesn't have this effect.I felt there was something more lacking about The Thief Lord than about the Inkworld books. I'm pretty sure it's older, but regardless, it's not quite up to that standard. The idea is interesting, but it doesn't seem to quite mesh with the world that she writes about -- at first, for more than the first half of the book even, Venice is entirely as in reality (give or take improbable orphans) with fantastical stories, but reality more or less as we know it. The Magical Roundabout doesn't seem to quite fit in with that for me, even though it does for the characters, because that's full of a kind of magic that I can't see in the rest of the descriptions of Venice.I love the relationships between some of the characters here, in theory. For example, Bo and Prosper -- there's not much that gets me in fiction more than that kind of brotherly devotion in a relationship. But it just didn't click with me, the characters didn't feel real.It's a nice enough read, not too heavy, but I guess I just didn't feel a "click" with it. Not quite my thing, maybe.


I've really enjoyed most of the Cornelia Funke books that I've read, but the first time I started The Thief Lord the story felt way too typical. Why do so many children's books have orphans for main characters? I felt like I'd already read this book quite a few times. And I felt like the Thief Lord was way too arrogant to be any fun as a character. So I stopped reading after not very many pages and moved on to something else.On the plus side, this book and the question it raised about orphans in children's literature led to a very interesting conversation with a librarian friend. After abandoning this book and then having that conversation, I started an "orphans" shelf here on GR and have been tracking all of the children's books I read with orphans as characters. It's been very interesting to take note of how various children's book authors deal with parents or the absence of parents in their books.Also since then, every time this book has been checked out of my library, I've wondered if I missed anything by not finishing it. It didn't feel like anything unique in the beginning, but how could I know for sure if I didn't read it? Well, now I know. It wasn't the typical story I thought it would be. She really did bring something fresh and fun to the story. And she made me really want to go to Venice sometime! But this also isn't the book I would recommend reading first if you want to read something by Cornelia Funke. (I would recommend reading Inkheart first.)I came to really like many of the characters. The Thief Lord wasn't as arrogant as he appeared in the beginning - although I guessed his secret LONG before it was revealed. I liked how the story progressed, but it did feel a little jarring to have a bit of fantasy take place in the last fourth of the story. Overall, though, I'm happy to cross another title off of my "unfinished" list and add another book read to my "orphans" shelf. 3.5 stars.

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