Sonderbooks     Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 30
    Previous Book
    Next Book

        Previous Book
        Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
Picture Books

2005 Stand-outs
2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
2002 Stand-outs
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers
Book Discussion Forum

About Me
Contact Me
Make a Donation

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


**Take a Thief:  A Novel of Valdemar

by Mercedes Lackey

Reviewed June 1, 2002.
DAW Books, 2001.  351 pages.

It took 200 pages for this book to get to the event that happened on the cover flap copy.  In fact, I was going to quit reading it, but it sounded like it would get interesting when that event happened.  Indeed, once I got to that point, I was interested and engaged and didn’t want to stop.

Usually when a book flap gives something away, I blame the writer of the flap.  In this case, the unfortunate truth is that the book flap was more interesting than the first 200 pages of the book!  If only the author had let the copywriter help her edit those twelve chapters into one or two, it would have been an outstanding story.

I’m tempted to tell you to read the flap and then skip to page 200, but you would miss out on a few important details.  If you can wade through the beginning, I can promise you an interesting book.

Take a Thief tells the story of Skif, an orphan boy who turns to a life as a thief.  The beginning tells of his sordid life that leads him to this choice.  We understand his background and every detail of his cleverness at his chosen profession.  At the turning point of the book, his life dramatically changes.  A horse who turns out to be one of the “Companions” of Valdemar steals Skif.  Unfortunately, at this point, when I was interested in the details, the story began moving more quickly.  Perhaps that is what kept it so interesting from that point on.

I also learned an important exception to the old Writer’s Rule:  “Show, Don’t Tell.”  If your main character is horribly bored, please Tell, Don’t Show!  You do not want your reader to experience boredom along with your character!  Any other emotion, yes, but not boredom!

In summary, I don’t recommend this book as a first Mercedes Lackey book.  If you already know and enjoy her work, then you might like this one, too.  In the long run, I did.  Press on with this one.  It’s worth it in the end.

Reviews of other books by Mercedes Lackey:

The Fairy Godmother
One Good Knight
The Snow Queen
Sleeping Beauty
Beauty and the Werewolf
The Dragon Quintet

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-