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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy, where hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets...

Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious thirteen-year-old boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo delight in being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.

©2000 Cornelia Funke; English Translation ©2001 Oliver Latsch; (P)2000 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winner, Children's Literature, 2003

" "It's a compelling tale, rich in ingenious twists, with a setting and cast that will linger in [listeners'] memories." (School Library Journal)
"Brilliantly narrated by Simon Jones, this enchanting tale of adventure, mischief, and magical outcomes is utterly charming." (AudioFile)<

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Excellent production, original story

What a wonderful book! I thought the story was very original, unpredictable and quite wonderful. I have always liked this narrator and thought he was perfect. All the characters seem quite real and varied. I have a hard time with the negative review posted here, obviously someone who does not like fantasy. Also I have never considered Simon Jones a "soothing" reader -- on the contrary I find him quite invigorating!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great fun

At first I thought this book was a little too much like others about thieving street children, but Cornelia Funke is now one of my favorite writers and her characters are fabulous, alive and fun. Lots of twists and turns - I'm always amazed at her ability to think up so many adventurous plot twists that all come together in the end. Really fun listen. If you haven't listed to Inkheart & Inkspell, though, those are must listens for those of us who love these types of books! And if you like these books and haven't yet listened to "His Dark Materials" (starts with the Golden Compass), by all means do. Not the same author, but great fantasy adventures, too.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Cornelia Funke does it again!

One of my children's most favorit books. The story takes place in Venice, Italy with all its romance and dangers. Cornelia spins a story that will keep you inthralled and entertained. A defenate read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bev
  • Alton, IL, USA
  • 10-11-07

Good Children's Story

Taking place in Venice, following the story of 2 run-aways, this story takes you on adventures throughout the city while the children live in an old theatre and depend on the Theif Lord for their needs. Good story with alot of heart.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Danielle
  • Georgetown, TX, United States
  • 12-30-03

Not quite what I had expected

I hadn't read this book before purchasing the audio tape, and it wasn't quite what I'd expected based on the blurbs. The plot is good, but I had thought there would be more elements of fantasy in it. Also, because of the number of characters in the book and their unusual names (the book was originally written in German, though most of the names are Italian), I had difficulty following the plot while driving. The narrator, though good, was also a bit too soothing for my alertness level.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cynthia
  • Colorado Springs, CO, United States
  • 08-22-07

Thief Lord

A good listen :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent recording, excellent book!

My daughter and I loved this book so much we have heard it several times since it was published, and have given it as a gift to many others! Great, imaginative story, wonderful characters, wonderful narrator, all round great success! It inspired my daughter to do a project for school on Venice and to ask many times to visit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, USA
  • 04-30-06

Great writer great reader!

It may be a children's book; however, it has enough intrigue for any adult. A great listen with your children on a trip or to and from school!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Zoe
  • albuquerque, NM, USA
  • 10-06-04


A wonderful book. Much enjoyed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A favorite!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Fascinating story, beautiful language and beautifully written.

What did you like best about this story?

My daughter listens to it over and over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful