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Extended Audio Sample The Magic Thief, by Sarah Prineas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,111 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Prineas Narrator: Greg Steinbruner Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Magic Thief Series Release Date:
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In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure.

Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery’s pocket and touched the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet’s magic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What works wonderfully well here is the boy’s irresistible voice.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A delight to read…Since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

  • “An uncommonly engaging young narrator kicks this debut fantasy ahead of the general run…Conn works his way into the hearts of both his master and the mystery…along the way to a literally explosive climax.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Readers clamoring for magical tales will enjoy Prineas’ fast-paced first novel…Prineas depicts Conn, the narrator, as refreshingly candid and a quick study while revealing Nevery as insightful and unexpectedly caring…The magical fireworks do not explode until the end, leaving readers confident that Prineas will turn up the heat in the next installment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Prineas has created an appealing cast of characters, which she carefully reveals through their actions. The story is told primarily by Conn, and is interspersed with cryptic journal entries by Nevery, which offer a tantalizing counterpoint to the protagonist’s viewpoint…This novel would work well as a read-aloud, as it has a conversational rhythm that moves the plot along.”

    School Library Journal

  • “It is a mystery accompanied by danger, intrigue, and betrayal. This first book in a projected series will appeal to readers who appreciate Jonathan Stroud and J. K. Rowling…An eccentric cast of characters, sure to figure more prominently in other series books yet to come, are introduced and explained sufficiently here…[as it] illustrates the blend of the comic and darker elements of this novel.”


  • “An amiable tale akin to that of another well-known boy wizard…Young readers will also find the familiar character types and straightforward plotting easy to grasp, while the evolving conflicts and distinctive setting draw them on.”

    Horn Book

  • “Danger, humor, magic, and mystery combine to make an entertaining fantasy tale.”


  • “This is typical boy-wizard-rags-to-riches fare. What lifts it above the ordinary is a puckish interpretation of its main character, Conn, by narrator Greg Steinbruner. Also in its favor, and something quite often missing in young adult fantasy, is a likable and trustworthy, if somewhat curmudgeonly, adult…Nevery Finglas…Steinbruner’s skillful performance helps differentiate a wide array of characters and enhances the story’s entertainment.”


  • Winner of the Beehive Award in 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Hirondelle | 2/16/2014

    " Just saying, I keep hoping somebody will translate this into Portuguese (Portuguese Portuguese that is), this book belongs to that really rare type, the real books perfect for very young BOY readers. There is tons for little girls, for little boys not so much. And this would be so perfect, simple, easy to follow, but with great characters and lots of payoff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Colin | 2/10/2014

    " This is a really good book. it has a good storyline and interesting characters that keep you reading the book until you are finished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sabrina | 2/4/2014

    " This book is more for younger kids... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate | 2/3/2014

    " Enjoyable fantasy with steampunky elements; I enjoyed the conceit that industry is powered by magic in the land of Wellmet, with urban decline explained by a decrease in the amount of magic available to Wellmet's wizards. Conn is an endearing main character, whose voice leads us through the majority of the story. The chapters which he narrates are much more compelling than the short snippets we read from the journal of Nevery, the wizard who somewhat unwillingly takes Conn on as an apprentice following Conn's attempt to steal his "locus magicalicus." The plot is familiar but mostly well-done; Conn is "the chosen one" (a la Harry Potter), meant to save Wellmet's magic from destruction. Our young hero recognizes the true villains early on, but cannot convince the arrogant Nevery to listen to him, leaving him to face the baddies on his own. Nevery does not have the gravitas, empathy, or perspective of Dumbledore; in general, the adult characters are not particularly well-drawn, especially the villains, whose motives are unclear. The mystery of the disappearing magic is too straightforward; as I said, Conn figures it out early in the book. The language has a few lovely quirks -- "keen-gleam eyes" (p. 5), "the wizard Nevery loom-doomed up before me" (p. 8), "steep, rain-dark streets" (p. 10). The explicit separation of the haves and have-nots at the demarcation of the river was also interesting; the have-not side of town, in which Conn grew up, had a Dickensian feel to it. "

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