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Posted June 7, 2010
intelligent ya fantasy
Like many of you out there, I am a huge fan of Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series - though perhaps what I should really say is that I am a huge fan of her clever thief Eugenides. Ever since Ms. Turner turned my world upside-down after reading The King of Attolia, I have been waiting none too patiently for another installment of Gen. So it should come as no surprise that I'll admit to being the teeniest bit disappointed upon learning that the bulk of "A Conspiracy of Kings" follows the bookish Sophos from "The Thief" instead of Gen. And then I gave myself a mental face-slap and got down to business after reminding myself: it's Megan Whalen Turner and I will follow that woman anywhere she leads.
Sophos has never really wanted his life. Next in line to the throne of Sounis, he'd rather spend his days reading poetry than learning how to fight or the best way to converse with an ambassador. But to Sophos' credit, he's still trying to learn all that his father and uncle, the king, want - knowing even as he does so, that he's still a disappointment to them. But when his family is unexpectedly attacked by rebels - his sisters and mother gone and Sophos himself captured and brutalized and sold into slavery - does Sophos find himself relying on his training as a fighter and a leader in order to find the strength to fight for the country he loves.
What I love most about Megan Whalen Turner's books is that she expects a lot from her readers. She expects everyone to be intelligent as Sophos, the Magus, and Gen (although no one really ever could be as smart as Gen). Consequently I find myself often rereading passages so brilliant in their subtly that are never predictable except in their ability to render me speechless. And of course, there are many references to Gen - throwing ink pots and adoring his boots - but Sophos is the real star of A Conspiracy of Kings and he lives up to his role absolutely. Sophos is so genuine and determined and I love his humor and loyalty without hesitation.
Most likely due to his rough upbringing, Sophos is constantly plagued with feelings of self-doubt coupled with an immense sense of duty. Although he would much prefer to be left alone with his poetry and books, Sophos never ever backs down from his responsibilities to country and family. Even to the detriment of his own happiness. Sophos will make what has to be the most life-altering decision of his life and even though he knows it will be hard and will make him unhappy, he still CHOOSES WHAT IS HARDEST because he knows it to be the most necessary. And it's not just this once Sophos does this: he makes these hard choices again and again - knowing people may not love him for it, but knowing that it just needs to be done. A better man you could not find.
Also: The cover artwork for "A Conspiracy of Kings" is simply beautiful - the entire series has had superb covers actually, each one subtly foreshadowing little bits of the story perfectly. In this case, I think the man on the horse is a little too pretty to be Sophos but you have to agree that his detailed red coat is stunning and the movement of the horse and rider exquisite. Although what draws me to this cover above all is the tightly clenched fist, firmly wearing the golden lion signet ring. There is such power and determination in that single fist that captures Sophos spot-on.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2012
Posted July 29, 2013
To the inspector
Think it a bad idea to mix Harry Potter & Percy Jackson? Go to the lost hero by rick riordan & follow the story called Demiwhich.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 27, 2013
Posted July 27, 2013
Twisted Stories 1
I looked up at my alarm clock, 12:00. Ugg. I have to get up. I slowly pull off my sheets and climbed out of my bed to brush my hair. I had thick brown hair with purple highlights on my sides and my eyes were a perfect green. I smiled at myself in the mirror. "Stop being so vain Lidia," my younger sister Abby said cooly. I glared at her and went on brushing my hair like normal. When I was done with that I put on a T-shirt that was plain white with a monkey on it. My mom never let me get any of the clothes from the cool stores. She and Dad make me stick with hand-me downs from my older sister, Hannah. So annoying! Abby trudged out the room noticing i wasn't paying attention to her. Good for you! I thought in my head. I then proceded to put on my ugly shorts. They looked more like what boys wear for swimming than shorts and felt like jeans. Terrible. (Im sorry if you like those types of jeans.) I put on an Alex and Ani bracelet i got from my aunt who was in America. I then trudged down stairs to grab myself of cereal, maybe with french toast on the side. That was enough to brighten up my spirit. When I came down stairs I saw two strangers in MY house talking to MY mom and dad. Very misterious. "Lidia, thought you would be down soon! These people here teach at a School called Hogwarts and they are wondering if you want to go there?" The way my mom said 'wondering if you want to go there' told me i was forced to say yes. So i just stared at the ground, acting if I was thinking about saying no but really i was wondering what in the whole wide world was Hogwarts? I was very confused. I finally looked up and asked,"What in the name of my peanut butter samwitch is hogwarts!" I said that because we weren't religous so i made up my own 'religous' sayings but not to offend people because I defently do respect the religous people. The strangers smiled at me as if I was a toddler. Great! Them too, I get alot of stuff like when i say my own 'religious' words. The one on the left (I couldn't tell because they looked identical in their robes(?)) I nearly laughed because they looked like jokes and I couldn't believe I didn't notice that before. "Well, where to start? Hogwarts in a school for witches and wizards like you Lidia and-" "Witches and Wizards arn't real sir!" I interjected wondering if he ever went to School where teachers explain to you about magic and only can be done if your a tooth collecting fairy or a fat man who delivers presents to kids. Thats where I come from and so far, we weren't on the same page! The man went on," -and we are inviting you to come and learn how to be one." Again I felt there was no saying no by the way he said it. It was very disturbing and bloody unfair that I can't decide things myself. But to move things along I said yes. "We explained to your parents everything so we'll expect you at Hogwarts at September first." With that, the two men walked out the door. I was glad that was over. After that I started making my breakfast as if nothing crazy just happened. But the whole time I couldn't stop thinking about Hogwarts and wondering how would I get there. It was August twentieth so school would be starting soon. Then a thought that had bugged me for so long hit me again. Who is my real father? My mom said they divorced the day I was born and I could hardly believe that because I'm pretty sure that no one just leaves their baby when they're just born! But I blocked it from my mind. Chap two will be at dragon res 12Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
Posted March 7, 2012
Posted February 28, 2012
from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com
It takes a certain kind of person to rule a country. Few men manage to make themselves into successful kings. Fewer still are born to be kings.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A lover of what his father calls intellectual pretension, Sophos knows a great many things. He has a firm knowledge of botany, poetry, languages, and even diplomacy. He also knows, with certainty, that he does not want to be king of Sounis. A disgrace to his father and his uncle, the current king, Sophos has always known that he was too fond of scholarly pursuits instead of fighting, too eager to write poetry instead of study battle plans.
Really, it's no surprise that he has been exiled to the island of Letnos since parting ways with the magus and a thief who proved too clever for his own good. Exile isn't such a terrible thing. It's better surely to spend his days reading poetry and contemplating philosophy even if it is in the company of an odious tutor.
For all of his life, Sophos has been told what he should and should not do. When an end to his exile is finally in sight, Sophos is given an unlikely choice. Attacked and abducted, hidden away and rendered unrecognizable, Sophos finally seems to have a chance to get away from his future as a king.
It is not easy to become a king. But it turns out it's even harder to forsake your own country. Navigating the murky waters of friendship and sovereignty, Sophos will have to decide if old friends can become new allies and whether or not honor, or for that matter freedom, have anything to do with ruling a country in A Conspiracy of Kings (2010) by Megan Whalen Turner.
A Conspiracy of Kings is the fourth book in Turner's series about Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, his friends, and his world. (The series began with Turner's Newbery honor book The Thief folloeed by The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. Readers of Turner's earlier books might be well advised to re-read the earlier titles to get a better sense of the big picture of the series.)
Sounis isn't a real country any more than Eddis or Attolia are, but there is something inordinately compelling about these countries and the struggles of their monarchs. Despite the incongruity with the lives of readers, A Conspiracy of Kings-liked Turner's other books-remains relevant and arresting with evocative prose and characters that are guaranteed to resonate.
This latest installment is particularly engrossing thanks to its second person narrative structure that gives readers full insight into Sophos' situation as well as his internal struggles as he tries to reconcile his understanding that he is nothing like an ideal king to the reality that, regardless of that fact, he is a king and responsible for a country. If the earlier books in the series showed Eugenides' journey from boy to man (and by extension from man to king), A Conspiracy of Kings shows a young man acknowledging not only that he is a king but also that he was meant to be a king all along.
Turner fans need not fret, all of the old favorites in the series make return appearances here even though Sophos' story remains the lens through which everything is viewed. Gen, Attolia, and Eddis all play their part among others to make A Conspiracy of Kings another satisfying story filled with wit, intrigue, stories, and even some romance with more than a few twists and turns along the way for good measure.
Possible Pairings: Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox, Lirael by Garth Nix, The Last of the High Kings by Kate Th
Posted February 1, 2011
I'll try to keep this short. It's Megan Whalen Turner and it's her fourth book in the Queen's Thief series, so you know how she writes. It's easy to read with many smart comments; you can get away without thinking much into certain phrases that seem relatively unimportant, but even so, she expects her readers to be intelligent enough to read in between the lines, and it's even more rewarding if you do. As for the main cause for blanching--Sophos. I love Gen so much that I thought it would pain me to have to read this book without the plot surrounding him (don't get me wrong, we see Gen well enough), but Sophos has always been likable, and he's a great protagonist. I can't wait until the next installment! Highly recommendedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2011
Posted May 19, 2010
A Bit Disappointing
I would hate to be the book that followed The King of Attolia, but here it is. And it was disappointing. I think the most disappointing thing was the lack of Eugenides presence. I realized that he is who made the series most interesting for me, and his absence makes that novel a little boring. Sophos is a necessary part of this story, and this book, I imagine, will play an important part in later writings (I hope for a Book 5!). But the passion is missing and I was distracted with how Ms. Turner switched from third to first person back and forth throughout the story. So while the details were important, I found the thrill, passion, and twists of the story to be less then impressive. Let's just hope #5 will follow soon and make me realize why this book was so important.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Worth the wait
I've been waiting for this installment of the Thief series for some time, and it does not disappoint. It would be best to read the first three books before tackling this one, as it does build on the others and gives updates on what has happened to characters I grew to care about as I read the first books. There is less of Eugenides' tricky self in this book, and I missed that, but overall I highly recommend all of the works by this author. And while Megan Whalen Turner's books are usually shelved in the Young Adult section, I am old enough to have a grandchild that age - these books can be read and enjoyed by anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Love to read
I have loved all of the books in this series. And this one is no different. These books have a great story, wonderful - memorable characters, action, humor, and a little romance. Being a mom of 4, I truly appreciate being able to find Great books, that Both me and my kids can enjoy. Megan Whalen Turner has done a Tremendous job in bringing this story to life. Thanks so much!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A conspiracy of Kings is a winner!
I would read Turner's version of the telephone book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Welcome back to a Mediterranean-like world of ancient gods, city-states, intrigue, love, war and of course, conspiracy! Gen, amazing thief and now the king of Attolia, takes the rear seat to the story of his close friend Sophos. He is a bored young man of privilege, sick of tedious lessons from a procession of tutors hired by his parents. Until one day when his villa is attacked and he actually follows a plan of escape devised by a former tutor. Unfortunately Sophos still is captured, beaten and sold as a slave to a baron of the country. Sophos grows up a lot while building rock walls and taking lashings.
Will Gen find him? Will those that want him dead find him? Will all the city-states fall to the Medes who infiltrate through diplomacy? I think readers will love the intrigue and the veiled love stories and the pseudo-history. And if you missed The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia, find them. Read them.
Posted April 9, 2010
Another stellar MWT outing - this one with a different flavor
After the perfect triumph that was King of Attolia, the third book in this award-winning and acclaimed series, Megan Whalen Turner's long-awaited fourth book may seem to pale a bit in comparison with its focus on Sophos, heir to the Sounis throne. However, fans and literary connoisseurs alike, never fear: Turner's brilliant prose, tight plotting, and dryly hilarious humour are potent and ultimately fulfilling consolation prizes for those who expected a more Eugenides-centric book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
To explain: I will be honest. I finished this book in one marvelous sitting, completely absorbed throughout - and yet still, somehow, I felt conflicted at its finish. I'd enjoyed the book more than practically anything I'd read all year, and couldn't stop reviewing the plethora of brilliant sentences and favorite comments studded throughout, but somehow, I still felt - empty? Confused? Let down? While Sophos's adventures stood on their own merit, there seemed to be less of the expected focus on the popular Eugenides and Attolia in the storyline, an unexpected distance in the text that left me unsatisfied.
It took me a few hours to realize that, Megan Whalen Turner has, once again, turned this brilliant series in a new, unexpected direction, and that I'd been reading with the wrong perspective all along. While the previous books in the series - Thief, Queen of Attolia, and King of Attolia - focused on the indefatigable Eugenides, Turner here must make a necessary narrative shift to focus on Sophos, heir to the kingdom of Sounis, as lead-up to the penultimate upcoming books. Not to say that there isn't Eugenides goodness offered slyly throughout. To the contrary - Turner has once again presented a unique and fresh point of view of the onetime Thief, deftly opening yet more doors to this fascinating character while keeping a seeming distance. However, to fully appreciate this extraordinary nuance and flavor hidden in the text, one must recognize that this book must necessarily - if temporarily - sacrifice some of the Thief's tale in favor of that of Sophos, creating a new and multilayered character that will hold his own in future, hopefully Gen-saturated volumes.
In short: One of the best books I've read all year. Absolutely worth every penny, and heading for a re-read. Four stars because only King of Attolia and a few rarified others hold the five-star post, but this is a book no reader should even consider missing. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
A Review of A Conspiracy of Kings
It's hard to say how long I've waited for this book, but I wasn't disappointed. It's admittedly drier than the other books, but that has to deal with the fact that it is written from mostly Sophos' perspective. He is not Gen, the hilarious, if slightly idiotic Thief of Eddis and King of Attolia. But it's absolutely well written. You start to see the change in him throughout the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I don't want to say more, or I'll ruin the book. (:
Megan Whalen Turner has written another winner!
I've waited two years for Turner to publish another book that continues the story of the characters introduced in The Thief, and continued in its sequels, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. I don't like waiting, BUT when the wait results in a book like this, well, I don't like waiting even more. This book, like Turner's earlier works, has a complex plot, realistic characterizations, and lyrical writing. There's plenty of humor, too. HarperCollins markets this series as YA (age 12+), but the adults with whom I've shared it agree that it's written for adults, although it can be enjoyed by young adults, too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This review is based on the first 67 pages, which can be read at http://browseinside.harpercollinschildrens.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061870934&cm_mmc=el-_-atah-_-15254-_-201003kings
Posted September 19, 2012
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Posted May 8, 2011
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Posted February 3, 2011
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