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The Fire Thief Paperback – Apr 18 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (April 18 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753461188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753461181
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #419,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–In highly irreverent fashion, Deary retells the myth of Prometheus as a time-travel adventure. After enduring 200 years of punishment for stealing fire from the gods, Prometheus has managed to kill the Avenging Fury. Before he can escape, however, Zeus issues a challenge: find one true hero. Prometheus travels into the future, with the resurrected Fury in pursuit, and arrives in a murky factory town in 1858. He falls in with a pair of itinerant thieves: a young orphan and his Uncle Edward. They gain admittance to wealthy homes, and while Uncle Edward stages a theatrical performance in the downstairs parlor, Jim steals valuables upstairs. The story switches back and forth from ancient Greece to 1858 until the two narratives come together as related by young Jim, who aspires to become a writer. He interrupts the story with footnoted asides that are often funny, but that slow the pace and add to an already complicated plot. Deary crams his tale with wordplay, zany characters, and allusions: Eden City, Dickens (including quotes from A Tale of Two Cities), a pathetic match girl hovering at death's door, and a mayor named Wallace Tweed, among others. The characters fail to develop beyond stereotypes, and the plot twists unroll all too predictably.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A rollicking, cracking, time-travelling story." Julia Eccleshare "An action-packed tale, an intriguing blend of narrative tradition and anarchy which [readers] will devour with gusto!" Sunday Herald" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think kids between the ages of 4th to 8th grade would love this book. It is short and easy to read and the footnotes are hilarious.

It begins at the dawn of time with Prometheus, who is chained to a rock because he brought fire to humankind. Theus, for short, was a titan and Zeus, the king of the Gods, made sure that he never forgot what he did. Every morning while chained to the rock, a fury would come and tear out his liver. Of course by nightfall Theus would be alive again. Well, when we start the story, Hercules has arrived and helped Theus escape. Zeus discovers this and challenges Theus to find a hero among the humans. If he does he will be forgiven.

Theus sets out and crosses time to 1858 and lands in the murky city known as Eden City. Eden City is very Dickens-like. It is full of zany characters, poor people, rich fiends, and thrilling situations. There Theus meets Jim, an orphan, who has fallen in with a diabolical thief, Uncle Edward. He gets involved with their caper and within twenty-four hours all of the characters lives have changed for the better.

Terry Deary, while teaching about Greek mythology, has written a story that is exciting and funny -- which is a wonderful combination. This is the first of three books in THE FIRE THIEF series, and I need to go finish the second one. Go pick up a copy of THE FIRE THIEF. You won't be sorry.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Courtesy of Teens Read Too July 3 2007
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think kids between the ages of 4th to 8th grade would love this book. It is short and easy to read and the footnotes are hilarious.

It begins at the dawn of time with Prometheus, who is chained to a rock because he brought fire to humankind. Theus, for short, was a titan and Zeus, the king of the Gods, made sure that he never forgot what he did. Every morning while chained to the rock, a fury would come and tear out his liver. Of course by nightfall Theus would be alive again. Well, when we start the story, Hercules has arrived and helped Theus escape. Zeus discovers this and challenges Theus to find a hero among the humans. If he does he will be forgiven.

Theus sets out and crosses time to 1858 and lands in the murky city known as Eden City. Eden City is very Dickens-like. It is full of zany characters, poor people, rich fiends, and thrilling situations. There Theus meets Jim, an orphan, who has fallen in with a diabolical thief, Uncle Edward. He gets involved with their caper and within twenty-four hours all of the characters lives have changed for the better.

Terry Deary, while teaching about Greek mythology, has written a story that is exciting and funny -- which is a wonderful combination. This is the first of three books in THE FIRE THIEF series, and I need to go finish the second one. Go pick up a copy of THE FIRE THIEF. You won't be sorry.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mythology like you've never seen it before! Nov. 18 2011
By Jennifer Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Terry Deary is a true storyteller from start to finish. In "The Fire Thief," Deary spins a tale about the young thief Jim and his Uncle Edward. The pair have just entered Eden City, intent on robbing the home of one of the richest men in town. Jim senses from the moment they arrive that the city itself is against them.

Meanwhile, a million years in the past, Prometheus is escaping his imprisonment on a mountaintop only to be caught by Zeus. Prometheus has spent the last two hundred years having his liver ripped out by the Avenger every morning as punishment for giving fire to the humans. The great god, Zeus, agrees to pardon Prometheus if he can find one hero among men. Prometheus flies away into the future to see the destruction men have caused with their fire and to search out a hero, aware that the Avenger is hot on his trail. If caught by the Avenger this time, he will be ground into dust and utterly destroyed.

Prometheus descends into the world of 1858, arriving in Eden City just in time to fall in with the notorious thieves, Jim and Uncle Edward. None of them could have guessed the events that follow. When the mayor catches on to Uncle Edward's scheme and wants a cut, its time for the thieves to skip town. With the sheriff and the Avenger closing in, its a race against time that could end at the scaffold, or worse.

Terry Deary writes mythology like you've never seen it before, linking the days of the gods to the culture of 1858 seamlessly with the help of little Jim. Readers 9-12 years with an appetite for mythology and adventure will easily relate to the wit and humor of "The Fire Thief."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Engaging and entertaining Sept. 13 2011
By Red Beard Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Fire Thief is the first in a trilogy by Terry Deary, a best-selling British author. The story follows Prometheus (Theus) as he runs from the Fury, a monstrous bird that tore out his liver every day for thousands of years. The story of the Fire Thief is engaging from the start and will not disappoint fans of Deary's other works. The writing, though obviously aimed at a young audience, is detailed enough to satisfy and yet fast and simple enough to quickly read through. The pacing is near perfect, when there isn't action there's either something interesting enough or funny enough to hold your attention and to keep you turning the pages. The author appears to seamlessly blend the mythology and history with the fictional story, giving a unique and intriguing flavor to the book.
Humor permeates this book, from the dialogue and descriptions, to the opener for each chapter and footers that appear at key points in the story.

So overall the writing is simplistic though engaging, the pacing is well done, and the story well thought out and funny. One of the things that I think could have been improved is that the characters mostly have only one side to them and don't appear to have any layers beneath that.
But more importantly this book was highly entertaining and leaves you hanging for the sequel.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Fire Thief Feb. 12 2008
By Denine M. Benedetto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Fire Thief is about a half-god named Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods. His punishment was for him to get chained to a huge bolder and every morning a bird rips him up. One day Prometheus escapes and hides in Victorian Eden City, and befriends an orphan named Jim.

He is hiding from the most powerful God, Zeus. Zeus takes over a man's body named Mucklethrift. Prometheus and his "uncle" go to Mucklethrift's house and plan to do a magic show. While the magic show is being upheld, Prometheus goes and scavenges through Mucklethrift's house to find any valuables. Prometheus has many adventures such as this one and the huge bolder.

I recommend this for readers from 8 to 13 years of age. There are also 2 other books in the series. Check them out!

-Richard Goble
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Delightful July 12 2008
By Zelda Clutchbucket - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have a grandson who loves reading about the Greek gods. I picked this up for him and found myself reading it first. It was so enjoyable. Deary made you laugh while learning about mythology. I am off to order the other two in the series.


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