The Magic Thief: Lost, by Sarah Prineas, was published in 2009 by HarperCollins. It is the sequel to The Magic Thief.
Conn may only be a wizard’s apprentice, but even he knows it’s dangerous to play with fire…especially around magic. His master, Nevery, warns him that it could all blow up in his face. Besides, they have bigger problems to deal with. There is evil afoot in the city of Wellmet, an evil that isn’t human. But Conn is drawn to the murmurs he hears every time he sets off an explosion—something is trying to talk to him, to warn him. When none of the wizards listen, Conn takes matters into his own hands. His quest to protect everything he loves brings him face-to-face with a powerful sorcerer-king and a treachery beyond even his vivid imagination.
I’m glad that The Magic Thief: Lost expands on the world Prineas has built. When I read The Magic Thief, I thought the setting was a bit…lonely. The fact that Nevery was returning from exile was puzzling to me, since I couldn’t imagine anything beyond the city of Wellmet. In Lost, Prineas answers the question of “From where did Nevery return?” that I had while reading the first book and expands the world beyond just Wellmet. I do wish she had at least hinted at something bigger in The Magic Thief. I mean, the concept of exile implies that there is something beyond, but I didn’t get that in that book. But I do get it here, and I’m glad, because I love the world of these books.
I’m not a fan of impulsive protagonists who don’t listen to those wiser than them, but Conn manages to remain likeable despite his stupid actions. And, really, he does only do one stupid thing, and then is so contrite and guilty about it afterwards—yet still determined to see through what caused him to do that stupid action—that I felt with him, rather than having that situation alienate me from him. Also, that action led directly to the expansion of the world, so I can’t really complain.
I do wish that we had found out more about why Conn is so unique of a wizard and why he can feel the magic of the world and such. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation beyond “the magic chose him” and if that’s the only explanation we get, I will be disappointed.
I loved the little notes and letters that allowed us to catch a glimpse of what the other characters were thinking, and I love the inclusion of the recipes in the back.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
As I straightened up, I heard a whisper of wind sliding over the cobblestones. A black rag of shadow hurtled past me; I ducked and turned, water from the bucket slopping down my leg, and saw the bird from the tree, claws out, flapping in the face of a piece of night darker than dark.
It wasn’t a man at all, just a man-shaped shadow, swirling and ink black. Where its head would be was a glow of an eye—one blazing eye like a purple-black flame, staring at me.