The Magic Thief Summary & Study Guide

Sarah Prineas
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The Magic Thief Summary & Study Guide Description

The Magic Thief Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Prineas, Sarah, and Javier Caparo. The Magic Thief. London, Quercus, 2010.

The Magic Thief is a fantasy novel written by Sarah Prineas. The novel is told mainly by its protagonist, Connwaer, in the first person. Short sections at the end of chapters are told by the wizard Nevery Flinglas in the format of his private journal.

The novel begins with Connwaer or “Conn” lurking in an alley as he waits for someone to pickpocket so he will be able to feed himself for the night. When he hears a man approaching, he dashes out and steals the contents of the man’s pocket, only to discover it is a stone. The man confronts Conn and introduces himself as Nevery, a wizard. The two sit down to dinner together and Nevery explains that holding the stone, known as a locus magicalicus, should have killed Conn. Since the stone did not kill the boy, Nevery is interested in him. Nevery takes the boy's survival as a sign to take him on as an apprentice. In Nevery’s journal, the reader learns that the wizard has been exiled from the city of Wellmet for some time, but has returned after receiving a letter from a fellow wizard, Brumbee, that tells of magical decay in the city.

The next day, Nevery recruits a large, burly man named Benet to serve as his bodyguard. The group goes to Dusk Hourse, the home of Underlord Crowe. Conn is deeply distrustful of Crowe, but he does not protest. While Nevery talks with Crowe, Conn investigates the various rooms of the house. He observes another wizard working on something evil-seeming in a secret workshop.

Soon, Nevery takes Conn and Benet to Heartsease, his old family mansion. The mansion is in utter disrepair, but Conn is happy to have any sort of home. Nevery plans on working on resolving the magical crisis from his home. Meanwhile, Conn gets started organizing and cleaning the residence.

One day, Conn and Benet go into the city to buy cooking supplies. Nevery also gives Conn some money to purchase new clothes to replace his rags. Conn is thrilled with his new ensemble, and it is clear how much better he feels having basic human needs like food, shelter, and clothes.

Nevery then requests that he perform a spell on Conn that will transform him into a creature in accordance with his own nature. Conn is transformed into a black cat and sent to spy on the magisters--the council of wizards--in order to find out what they are saying about the magical crisis. Conn fails the first time he goes to the meeting, but the second time he gains entrance and hears that they hope to appoint Nevery as their leader in order to help solve the problem. When Conn returns with this information, he is confronted with the fact that Nevery does not actually believe Conn is his apprentice, but merely his servant. Conn is heartbroken, causing Nevery to eventually change his mind and allow Conn to officially become his student.

Yet, if Conn is truly to become an apprentice, he must find his own locus magicalicus. When Conn is presented before the magisters, they tell him he can only become an apprentice if he finds a locus magicalicus within the next 30 days.

Conn immediately begins the hunt for his locus stone, which proves to be an immense struggle. Due to the fact that Conn cannot read, he starts school at the academicos, where is paired with a girl named Rowan as his tutor. Conn catches on to reading extremely quickly. Despite excelling in school, Conn is more focused on finding his locus magicalicus.

Meanwhile, Nevery continues his research into Wellmet’s magical decay to little success. Though Conn warns him of associating with people like Pettivox and Underlord Crowe, Nevery is deaf to Conn’s comments.

At the academicos, Conn becomes proficient enough in reading so that he is allowed to join regular apprentice classes. He is paired with a bright, though mean-spirited, student named Keeston, who is also Pettivox’s apprentice. Yet, as the days remaining to find his locus magicalicus dwindle, Conn decides to stop attending school. Instead of going to the academicos, he spends his days wandering the streets of the Twilight in search of some sign of his stone. He has a frightening encounter with Pettivox, who Nevery continues to believe is good. Meanwhile, Nevery hires Keeston as his secretary to help him with his research.

On the final day left to find his stone, Conn heads into the affluent area of Wellmet, known as the Sunrise. He searches for hours, but can’t find anything. Finally, he heads to the Dawn Palace, where the Duchess resides. He finds that a lavish party is being hosted. Through the window, he sees a brilliant jewel and instantly covets it. Conn waits until the party has disbanded and sneaks into the palace to steal the stone. He is caught by the guards, and when he wakes up, he is in an interrogation room. The palace guards give him a truth serum called philster that makes him realize that he was trying to steal the stone because it is his locus magicalicus.

Nevery arrives, having heard that Conn has been captured. He works with the duchess to organize a test in which Conn will have to prove the coveted jewel is actually his locus magicalicus. Conn is able to prove that the stone is his by finding it in a large room without any hints or indication. After finding the stone, Conn unleashes a powerful spell as part of the test and officially becomes Nevery’s apprentice.

In the following days, Conn revels in the acquisition of his stone, though he is unsure why such a grand object came to him. The Duchess requests a meeting with him in which she offers him the position of court magister. Conn is suspicious of this offer, especially because Pettivox is her current advisor.

One day, Conn, Benet, and Keeston are attacked by Crowe’s minions in the street. Keeston gets away unharmed, which leaves the others suspicious.

Soon, Nevery confronts Conn one night after learning that Conn is actually Underlord Crowe’s nephew. He tells Conn to leave Heartsease, as he believes that Conn has been working as a spy the entire time. Conn cannot deny he is related to Crowe, though he is not a spy. Still, he leaves, hoping to gather proof of Crowe and Pettivox’s evil-doings and regain favor with Nevery.

After disguising himself as a cat using the embero spell, Conn sneaks into Crowe’s mansion and finds a giant machine that is draining the magic from Wellmet. He heads home to tell Nevery, but he is captured by Crowe’s minions and put in a dungeon. Crowe arrives and casually tells Conn he plans on leaving him there to die. After Crowe departs, Conn discovers his cell is filled with deadly misery eels. He repeatedly tries to ward them off, but the magic in Wellmet is fading extremely fast. Finally, he blows open the lock on the door to find Nevery on the other side, attempting to lock-pick it open.

Together, Conn and Nevery head to the site of the magic-draining machine. While Nevery battles with Pettivox, Conn gets atop the machine and attempts to coax the magic free. He talks to the magic and tells it to use his locus magicalicus as a means of freeing itself. Suddenly, the machine explodes. The magic is released. Conn is safe, but his locus stone is completely destroyed.

When Conn wakes up, he can feel the devastation of the loss of his locus stone. He feels nothing can fill that empty space. Slowly, he begins to recover from the draining events of destroying the machine. One day, when he is well enough to get around, he is told to visit Nevery at the academicos. There, Nevery gives Conn an apprentice’s robe, and tells him that no matter what, he is still a wizard and will be able to find another locus magicalicus.

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