The Thief Lord
|Author:||Cornelia Funke, Oliver Latsch|
|Publisher:||The Chicken House|
Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.
Imagine a Dickens story with a Venetian setting, and you’ll have a good sense of Cornelia Funke’s prizewinning novel The Thief Lord, first published in Germany in 2000. This suspenseful tale begins in a detective’s office in Venice, as the entirely unpleasant Hartliebs request Victor Getz’s services to search for two boys, Prosper and Bo, the sons of Esther Hartlieb’s recently deceased sister. Twelve-year-old Prosper and 5-year-old Bo ran away when their aunt decided she wanted to adopt Bo, but not his brother. Refusing to split up, they escaped to Venice, a city their mother had always described reverently, in great detail. Right away they hook up with a long-haired runaway named Hornet and various other ruffians who hole up in an abandoned movie theater and worship the elusive Thief Lord, a young boy named Scipio who steals jewels from fancy Venetian homes so his new friends can get the warm clothes they need. Of course, the plot thickens when the owner of the pawn shop asks if the Thief Lord will carry out a special mission for a wealthy client: to steal a broken wooden wing that is the key to completing an age-old, magical merry-go-round. This winning cast of characters—especially the softhearted detective with his two pet turtles—will win the hearts of readers young and old, and the adventures are as labyrinthine and magical as the streets of Venice itself. (Ages 9 and older) —Karin Snelson
Barnes and Noble
Cornelia Funke’s international award-winning novel, The Thief Lord took Europe by storm and lands on this shore with widespread acclaim. Filled with plenty of mood and colorful characters, this suspenseful tale marks the American debut of a wonderful talent.
Set in modern-day Venice, the book follows a troupe of runaways who partake in theft and resell their goods to a local shopkeeper. Two members—Prosper and his little brother, Bo—are being followed by Victor, a detective hired by their mean aunt, but luckily, they and the other kids are watched over by the gang’s mysterious and self-assured leader, Scipio (the Thief Lord). As the kids have several run-ins with the sleuth, they’re also focused on Scipio’s new job to steal a precious wooden carousel wing. Yet when they discover a few skeletons in the Thief Lord’s closet and befriend Victor, they realize there is more to their fantastic world than meets the eye.
Filled with strong characters and old-world charm, this engrossing read has a plotline that won’t leave you bored. Several stories are interwoven with grace and suspense, and the ending brings them all together with a breath of satisfaction. Although the real magic comes only toward the end, Venice provides a spellbinding backdrop that will have you feeling as if you’re riding in gondolas and dodging tourists in St. Mark’s Square. An adventure with subtle themes of being mature and doing the right thing,The Thief Lord is molto magnifico! Matt Warner
Mystical, magical and completely enchanting, this epic tale in the tradition of the Harry Potter series brings the beloved characters of prize-winning novelist Cornelia Funke to dazzling life. After their mother dies, two boys flee their mean aunt and head for Venice, Italy, where they meet Scipio, the mysterious “Thief Lord.” Along with a small band of abandoned kids who call an old movie theater home, the boys join Scipio’s world of robbing the rich to support themselves. Soon, they win the heart of the detective hired to track them, and begin an adventure that leads them to an old merry-go-round believed to have special powers. Featuring Vanessa Redgrave and a captivating supporting cast, The Thief Lord will steal your heart from beginning to end.