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Jocelyn (The Reading World)

I love to read and can get very attached to my opinions, but recently I've been learning not to completely lose my head when people disagree with me, so feel safe to argue with me whenever you wish ;) 


What is it about having a smartass protagonist

The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner

First things first: I have a problem. The only other Queen's Thief novel available in my library is the King of Attolia, and that's the third, not the second. Should I try reading it out of order? I've done that thing with Percy Jackson (2,1,5,3,4) and Harry Potter (1,2,4,3,7,6,5), and while it turned out just fine, I'm not sure I'd like to do it again.

Not really a review, just some wondering.

What is it about the charismatic unreliable narrator that's so appealing? I wondered a lot about this when Sage of The False Prince swept me off my feet, only be told that he was actually a spiritual descendant of Eugenides in this book, so naturally I was curious.

They're both gifted thieves, witty, clever, rebellious, tricky with identity, and enjoy needling their overlords until they're frothing at the mouth. I love that, but it still seems weird to me, as I'm not really a smart-aleck, I don't usually have a sharp comeback sitting on the tip of my tongue every second of the day, I've never been forced to hide my identity. When it comes to talented characters in fiction, I tend to admire them more than I sympathize with them.

Is it that their personalities come off sometimes as a defense mechanism? Both Sage and Eugenides have to suffer being treated like subhuman dirt by someone who holds power over them, but they defy expectations by making light of their situations, maneuvering their own agendas, and occasionally even managing to successfully rebel without compromising their identities--always so difficult to do in real life. They're also physically small, but have such a degree of smartass confidence that it certainly doesn't feel that way through the narrative.

I wonder if it's a fantasy of the underdog having an infinite capacity for self-control, so much so that they can hide from even the reader who's ostensibly sitting in their heads the entire time. Along with that is the more common trope of a hidden slash double identity, which is appealing because it offers an alternative when the present situation gets hopeless, even when the reader doesn't know what that alternative is.

It makes me wonder if The Thief and The False Prince can be counted as wish fulfillment, if said wish is much more internal than external. I don't just want to live in Sage or Eugenides's headspace, sometimes I wish I could BE them--sharp tongue, dirty mind, hidden identity and all.