Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review of Found (The Magic Thief) by Sarah Prineas

Prineas, Sarah. Found (The Magic Thief, book 3). Harper, 2010.

In the third part of The Magic Thief series, Conn is a hideaway in his own city of Wellmet, from which he was exiled in book 2. More desperate than ever to find a new locus magicalicus now that the dread magic Arhionvar is coming to destroy the magic of Wellmet, Conn tries out a new finding spell with the help of his mentor Nevery. Not only does the rather dramatic outcome get them both into more trouble, but the spell leads Conn away from Wellmet and into the clutches (literally) of some dragons.

Conn does find his locus magicalicus and in doing so, discovers a fascinating truth about magic and cities. Will his new knowledge and his locus magicalicus be enough to save Wellmet and its people from disaster?

Although I was delighted with the first book in the series, the second was rather disappointing due to the grayness of the setting and the apparent depression of our hero, who seemed uncharacteristically listless. Good news - Conn gets his fire and verve back in Found. Perhaps we can thank the dragons, which (like Tapatio hot sauce) add a welcome spice to anything. And these dragons are particularly enigmatic and uncuddly - there is none of that bonding or getting to know each other business going on here.

We don't get much Nevery, Benet, or Rowan, but that's okay - Conn, his obsessive search for his locus magicalicus, and the dragons are more than enough. The spell-line that Conn creates and then follows unerringly to his locus magicalicus, is an inspired idea. Wish I could create a spell-line to find the Perfect Pair of Jeans that I know is out there waiting for me somewhere...

Oh, and there is the looming danger of Arhionvar, but actually there isn't much tension there - not nearly as much as you'd think there would be. In fact, when the big Battle of the Magics begins, it has hardly heated up before Conn gets a good idea, executes it quickly, and voila, saves the day. Sure, there are some repercussions - but really, Conn makes it all look so easy that one wonders what all the fuss was all about.

The series could end here - the problem with the magic has been creatively resolved, the two parts of the city of Wellmet have a newly harmonious relationship, and all is well. But I do hope that another crisis comes crashing down on Conn, because I want to find out how he and his mobile, fire-breathing locus magicalicus are getting along, and how Rowan is coping with her new job.

Ages 8 to 12.


  1. I shall have to put this on my "to read" list!

    Like you, I enjoyed the first, and was okay with the second, so had thought about giving up on the third. I like the design of these books, because I'm a sucker for deckled edge paper.

  2. Great review. I actually liked the second book and this one sounds even better.