The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.
What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
I first came across this book when I was younger and it instantly became one of my favorites. So my re-read of it largely builds off the nostalgia, though don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up–this book has it all. Cunning thieves, wily villains, rich mythology, and temple-raiding the likes of which Indiana Jones couldn’t pass up.
I think, for me, the characters cinched it as one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the character of Gen, both when I was younger and again as an adult. His cocky attitude and overabundance of confidence sell him as such a compelling character, especially because it seems to be in direct contradiction to the situation we first see Gen in. That, and his sharp wit, made the story all the more engaging.
I also loved how some chapters were of Gen telling the myths and legends of his childhood. I live for mythology or similar stories (duh, writer here) so I appreciated the extra world-building happening in those chapters. I remember reading it as a child, loving those quick little stories Gen shared, as they were the first I’d come across in a book. They’re just as compelling as the main story line and I loved how they were all tied together at the end.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone in need of a good adventure fix. I (both my child-self and my adult-self) adamantly give this book 5 out of 5 stars!