The Magic Thief: Home is an outstanding novel by Ms. Prineas intended for younger readers but is a great read regardless of age. She easily draws the reader in with simple and complex sentences as well as varied vocabulary. The plot is interesting and easy to follow. Also, this story is able to read as a stand-alone novel as well as one book in a series.
Connwaer becomes the new ducal magister (against a lot of objections from most of the magisters). His most immediate problem is trying to discover who is stealing the locus magicalicus stones and why. So he goes undercover and does what he does best: become a gutterboy.
His investigation goes to the heart of the magical community and into the palace. It is thanks to the help of his cousin, Embre, Duchess Rowen, his mentor, Nevery, and a host of others that Conn is able to dig into the problem of the missing stones. Time is precious, and none can afford failure at this point in Duchess Rowen’s ruling.
This is the fourth novel in the Magic Thief series, and Ms. Prineas was able to provide several helpful guides to aid new and returning readers in decoding messages, allow brush ups on the three prior novels (but not enough to be repetitious nor spill the beans), and have different pictures at the start of each chapter. The periodically coded messages are a great method of engaging a child’s interest as well. I’m going to check out the other novels as this is a series worth delving into.
The Magic Thief: Home, the fourth book in the acclaimed Magic Thief series (also including The Magic Thief, The Magic Thief: Lost, and The Magic Thief: Found), finds new wizard Conn back where he started—accused of being a thief.
Despite successfully securing a balance between the competing magics of Wellmet, Conn is not happy. Duchess Rowan has promoted him to ducal magister, but the other wizards see him only as a thief. But something sinister is brewing, as magicians' locus stones are being stolen and magical spells are going awry. As Conn faces old enemies and powerful magical forces, is he strong enough to save the city he calls home?
Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl's Moving Castle, praised this middle grade fantasy series filled with magic and wonder, saying of the first, "I couldn't put it down. Wonderful, exciting stuff."
Age Level: 8 - 12 | Grade Level: 3 - 7