Review of ‘The Theft of Sunlight’

The Theft of Sunlight brings readers back on to the Dauntless Path with a compelling protagonist and plot that keeps developing.

Good Storytelling & Momentum

theft of sunlight
The Theft of Sunlight
Intisar Khanani

If you read my review of Thorn, you might remember that I had mixed feelings about it. I loved some of the themes within the story, such as revenge, justice, and abuse against women. It was a good story, and I felt the plot took too long to develop.

With Theft of Sunlight, I did not feel that way at all. The story had a strong opening, referencing the snatchers briefly touched upon in the first novel. In her village, the little sister of Rae’s friend was snatched, and no amount of magic could find her.

So, while visiting her cousin in the Palace City, she decides she is investigating to see if the crown knows anything about the Snatchers.

This connects her to the Princess, Alyrra, who had her share of adventures in Thorn as the Goose Girl. It was fantastic to see the story strongly reference the previous novel and connect. My initial impression of the novel was that it would be its own story set in the same world, but seeing the connection highlights some of the character growth from the previous novel, the magic, and fantasy, highlighting how different the two narratives are.

Theft of Sunlight also develops both stories without losing its momentum. At over 500 pages, the story does not feel long or dragged out. Right from the beginning, the story is about the middle- and lower-class children being kidnapped and sold away from home. The plot clear, and the mystery Rae is trying to solve unravels in pieces, keeping the reader engaged.

A Different Narrative

What also makes Theft of Sunlight a good book is the narrative. Rae’s voice is so different from Alyrra’s. She is a strong-willed intelligent individual who grew up loved by her family and friends all her life. What also sets her apart from Alyrra is her disability.

Rae was born with a clubbed foot, but she does not let that slow her down at all. She is not one to bow her head to thieves or abusers, sticking her nose into the dark crevices of the palace to do what is right. Her resilience, her compassion, her intelligence, and wit make her such a compelling character.

The fact that she bonds with Alyrra and finds an ally in the palace also allows the reader to see how far Alyrra has come. The reader sees the distinction between their characterizations which makes the reader also appreciate Thorn a little more.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Theft of Sunlight is a fantastic story. The pacing never falters, and Rae’s personality draws the reader in. Her need to solve the mystery keeps the reader engaged up until the jaw-dropping finale.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: March 23, 2021Page Count: 528ppAge Range: 13 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-0628-3574-1Publisher: HarperTeenList Price: $18.99

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The Theft of Sunlight


Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Disability representation.
  • Strong characterization.
  • Compelling plot.
  • Pacing never falters.

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