The Thief - start of the Queen's Thief series
Gen thought it was a good idea to brag about his thieving skills in a wine shop and declare he would prove himself by stealing the King's seal. Which he did. Unfortunately, agents of the King had heard his boasting and thus he finds himself in prison for a while. Then the Magus, chief advisor to the King of Sounis, offers him freedom if he steals an unspecified item from an unknown place. Again Gen says he can steal anything and joins the Magus in a small party heading to a mysterious destination.
Along the way Gen whines about the light, bathing, food, horses, and pretty much everything. The Magus brings two pupils with him, Ambiades the son of a penniless noble who would rather swing a sword, and Sophos the scholarly nephew and heir apparent to Sounis. With Sophos comes Pol, his bodyguard and sword master. From the Magus we learn a little about the traditional gods which is relevant since they want Gen to take something from a hidden temple. A task that will kill him if he doesn't succeed. All he has are his tools, his wits, his belief in the old gods, and a warning...Do not offend the gods.
But not everyone is who they seem to be.
The Thief is the first book of the Queen's Thief series followed by The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings. The world has a Greek feel to it with its pantheon of gods, the names, etc. There are three kingdoms on a peninsula Sounis, Attolia, and Eddis fighting each other as well as trying to keep out the larger imperial powers. The first three books focus on Gen and the last one on Sophos, although Gen is involved in a minor role. The Thief is intended for young adults but as an adult I was quite caught up in it. Each of the characters is well developed, the pace seems slow for a while but later revelations give it full meaning and the ending is satisfying. The Queen of Attolia takes a dark turn which results in a maturing of Gen's character that continues in The King of Attolia, from the viewpoint of a palace guard. A Conspiracy of Kings might be my least favorite of the series but still a good book. Conspiracy seems a little distanced from the previous plots at the beginning but rounds out the whole series and characters very well.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1996) was runner up for the Newberry Medal.
An audiobook was done and narrated by Jeff Woodman but it doesn't appear on Audible.