The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3)
  • The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3)
  • The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3)

The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3)

4.7 109
by Megan Whalen Turner
     
 

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By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making.

Then he drags a naive young guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging

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Overview

By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making.

Then he drags a naive young guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging respect. Though struggling against his fate, the newly crowned king is much more than he appears. Soon the corrupt Attolian court will learn that its subtle and dangerous intrigue is no match for Eugenides.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers who fell for The Thief and grieved over his devastating loss in The Queen of Attolia will devour this account of how the "goat-footed, throne-stealing interloper" grows into his crown. The erstwhile Thief and newly crowned king chafes under his status as a homebody, even if the home in question is an opulent palace. Accustomed to a life of stealthy maneuvering, Eugenides is now shadowed everywhere by his armed Guard and a mostly malevolent audience of courtiers, many actively trying to sabotage his reign in retaliation for Gen having "stolen" their Queen in a politically convenient marriage. The backdrop continues to track the intricate relationships among the small, faux-Mediterranean nations of Attolia, Eddis and Sounis, and the menacing Mede empire, but the action here-including an assassination attempt-takes place within the palace walls. The plot turns on political intrigue, hidden motives, ploys and counterploys, as Gen slyly consolidates his power while solidifying his marriage to Irene. Turner assumes readers' familiarity with the vast canvas on which she's working, making this book best suited to those who read the first two, and who are familiar with the ample detail she has woven into this complex tapestry. Although some readers may ache for the old snide and sneaky Gen, they will likely understand why there is no theft involved in the prize he wins here. Gen has grown up and, this time, he earns his kingly respect. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This title in the award winning series opens when Eugenides of Eddis, the hero of The Thief, comes to Attolia with his Queen Irene. We see through the eyes of the at-first unsympathetic and compassionate guard, Costis, who flies into a fury and punches the King. Instead of death, he rises in rank and becomes a close caretaker of the king everyone hates. How could anyone trust or honor this one-handed, inept fool? Through time Costis (and readers) begin to see that Gen (Eugenides) is far from the oaf he seems. He is politically savvy, physically superior, and compassionate. Series readers, of course, have known this all along, but adventure and intrigue will show new readers the gift of Turner's magnificent writing and send them searching for past adventures. It is difficult to maintain interest and quality in any series, but when one is so superior, it is a far greater fear. Turner's newest work deepens characterization, makes the ancient world she creates believable, and offers delectable descriptions amid action that makes it all work. A threat from outside the kingdom adds extra conflict. Pacing and events make a changed perspective occur perfectly. 2006, Greenwillow/HarperCollins, Ages 11 up.
—Susie Wilde
VOYA
As a fan of The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, I was eager to read this one. In this newest addition to Turner's adventure-packed series, readers find their favorite Thief of Eddis back and ruling as the King of Attolia. Because of his new position, a lot of the excitement that Eugenides brought to us in the previous novels is lost. Instead he is faced with more . . . kingly matters. But the book is not just about Eugenides, and many times readers are offered the world through the eyes of Costis, a young Attolian soldier who is less than happy with his new position as King's Guard. It is his attitude toward his promotion that first makes the book worthwhile. Every so often, Gen gets to add his own sarcasm and witty remarks to the plot, but because he is king, those remarks appear much less than in the other two books. He still finds time to be mischievous and deceiving, which becomes increasingly apparent as the story develops, and as usual it's his carefree attitude that makes the book more interesting. I did not enjoy this novel as much as The Thief, but it was still a good book worth reading. (It would probably be a good idea to reread the other two novels first, because I did not and was a little lost at some parts!) VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Greenwillow, 390p., and PLB Ages 12 to 18.
—Carolyn Stallard, Teen Reviewer
KLIATT
First, let me say that it is necessary to read the first two books to understand the main characters: Eugenides (once the thief, now king) and his wife, the queen, who had once ordered Gen's hand to be cut off when he was discovered to be the thief, who now loves him and wants him to succeed as king. Needless to say, her security guards still mistrust Gen and they do everything in their power to undermine his authority and arrange his downfall. This third book is about the subtle ways Gen uses his shrewdness, skill, and strength to win over his opponents and earn their respect and loyalty. Turner, a gifted writer whose book The Thief is a Newbery Honor winner, continues this amazing adventure story set in her imaginary world. This third part is more talk and less action certainly than in The Thief, with what action there is confined to the palace in Attolia, but like the other two books, this one excels in intrigue, in people and situations not being what they appear to be. And Gen is a memorable character, there's no doubt about it. (Sequel to The Thief and The Queen of Attolia). KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, HarperCollins, 390p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, January 2006: First, let me say that it is necessary to read the first two books to understand the main characters: Eugenides (once the thief, now king) and his wife, the queen, who had once ordered Gen's hand to be cut off when he was discovered to be the thief, who now loves him and wants him to succeed as king. Needless to say, her security guards still mistrust Gen and they do everything in their power to undermine his authority and arrange his downfall. This third book is about the subtle ways Gen uses his shrewdness, skill, and strength to win over his opponents and earn their respect and loyalty. Turner, a gifted writer whose book The Thief is a Newbery Honor winner, continues this amazing adventure story set in her imaginary world. This third part is more talk and less action than in The Thief, with what action there is confined to the palace in Attolia, but like the other two books, this one excels in intrigue, in people and situations not being what they appear to be. And Gen is a memorable character, there's no doubt about it. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Fans who've been waiting for six long years for the sequel to The Queen of Attolia (2000) and The Thief (1996, both HarperCollins) can finally rejoice. Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, is back and just as clever as ever. As King of Attolia after literally stealing and marrying the Queen, he must convince the rest of her court and her subjects that he deserves his title. The Attolians think he's an idiot who's being used by the Queen. They refuse to believe that he and Irene could honestly love one another, considering that she's responsible for having his hand cut off. His attendants and guards mock him behind his back and play pranks on him, all the while thinking that he's too spineless and incompetent to protest. That is, until a guard named Costis punches him in the face and knocks him down. Beheading is the usual penalty for such a transgression but Eugenides devises a better punishment. It is through Costis's eyes that readers see how he and the court consistently underestimate the shrewd young man. This third book in the series continues to involve political intrigue, espionage, and attempted assassination but is less concerned with the fighting between kingdoms that dominated the previous book. Instead, it explores the complex and very romantic relationship between the monarchs. Although it does stand alone, to appreciate the amazingly charismatic and beguiling character of Eugenides fully, it's best to read the titles in order.-Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Like all loyal soldiers of Attolia, Costis hates Eugenides, his new king. Eugenides was an enemy until he forced the Queen of Attolia into marriage, and the oafish conqueror doesn't even have the grace to behave with majesty. But when Costis is ordered to guard Eugenides directly, he gains an unexpected sympathy for the young king. Through Costis's naive eyes, Eugenides appears weak, bumbling and a too-pathetic target for the pranks aimed at him. A knowledgeable reader of the series, however, will know that Eugenides is more than he appears, and can follow with delight as the king's clever schemes slowly become apparent to Costis. Ultimately, this unreliable narrator sees Eugenides transform from fool to larger-than-life hero, and never realizes that both are true at once. Well-constructed puzzles and intrigues keep this offering moving through Turner's characteristic secrets and subtle revelations to a wholly satisfying conclusion, while a few loose ends hint at more entries in this compelling series. Less emotionally powerful than Eugenides's earlier adventures, but still a winner. (Fiction. 12-15)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060835798
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/12/2007
Series:
Queen's Thief Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
93,933
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The King of Attolia


By Megan Turner

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Megan Turner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060835788

Chapter One

Costis sat in his room. On the table in front of him was a piece of paper meant to hold a report on the squad of men he directed. He'd scratched out the first few lines of the report and written underneath the beginnings of a letter to his father. It began, "Sir, I must explain my actions," and then stopped. Costis couldn't explain his actions. He rubbed his face with his hands and tried again to compose his anguished thoughts into cold words and orderly sentences. He looked over the mess in his quarters. His small trunk of clothes was tipped out onto the floor. The tray that had sat in the top of it to hold his sleeve links and buttons and pins was thrown down by the bed. The links, the spare buttons, and the small image of his god were scattered everywhere. His books were gone. He'd had three. So, he assumed, was his wallet with what money he kept in his room. That was a pity. He would have given the money to his friend Aristogiton. His sword was gone from its rack on the wall. He would have given that to Aris as well. The two soldiers who'd brought him back from the training ground, almost dragging him along by their grip at his elbows, had taken every sharp thing out of the room. They were veterans, who'd served in the Guard for most of their lives. They'd searched his small trunk and dragged the thin mattress, as well as the blanket, off the narrow bed frame. One had pulled down Costis's sword and swept up his knife from the windowsill while the other had collected his papers, crumpling them together in his fist. Without looking at him again, they'd gone. Costis had turned the stool upright on its three legs. They had left his cloak pins, his plain everyday one and his fancy one with the amber bead. He had been a little surprised. His good pin was fibula-shaped with a shaft four inches long and as thick as a cornstalk. It would be as effective as a sword, if Costis chose to use it. Even the smaller pin would do; two inches in the right place was all it took. As Costis had considered, without any real motivation, the possibilities of the cloak pins, the curtain across his doorway had swept back and one of the soldiers had returned to kick his feet briskly through the detritus on the floor, quickly locating the cloak pins. After scooping them up, he had checked the floor again to see if there were more. He had seen the sandal straps and taken those. He'd looked Costis over once and shaken his head in contempt as he left. Costis looked back at the letter in front of him. It was almost the only paper they'd left him. He shouldn't waste it, but he didn't know how he could explain his actions to his father when he couldn't explain them to himself. He'd broken a sacred oath, had destroyed his career, his life, and perhaps his family in one moment. It was unnatural to look back at events and be unable to believe that what you remembered could actually have happened. It was afternoon. He'd made no progress on his letter since morning, when the sun had been slanting into the narrow window and filling the small room with light. The sun had climbed over the roof of the barracks and the room was grown dim, lit only indirectly by the sunlight falling into the narrow courtyard between barracks. Costis was waiting for the queen. She had left the palace for the first time since her marriage and had gone hunting. She was to eat at midday at one of the lodges and return sometime in the afternoon. Costis got up from his stool and paced for the hundredth, the thousandth time across the room. He would be sentenced when she returned, almost certainly to death. Even worse than death would come if she thought that he had acted as part of a conspiracy or that even one member of his family had known of his actions in advance. If that happened, his family would have to leave the farm outside Pomea in the Gede Valley. Every single one of them, not just his father and his sister, but uncles, aunts, and cousins. Their property would be forfeit to the crown and they would be no longer members of the landowning class, but would be okloi -- merchants if they were lucky, beggars if they were not. Of course, even he had had no foreknowledge of what was going to happen. He would never have guessed that he could so compound calamity with disaster, but the truth hardly mattered now. Costis thought of the papers they had taken away and tried to remember exactly what was in them that could be mistaken for plans of treason. The Secretary of the Archives could see treason in a single word. One hint of a plan and Costis would be put to torture instead of hanging in the morning. He knew that when torture began, Truth, which had mattered very little to begin with, soon mattered not at all. He stepped to the window and looked out at the shadows falling on the barracks across from him. The midafternoon trumpets would be sounding soon and the watches would be changing. He was supposed to be on the palace walls. Behind him he heard the curtain rings sliding on the rod across his doorway. He turned to face the men who would take him to the palace. There were no guards. Standing alone in the doorway was the king. The ruler, anointed by priests and priestesses, of all the lands of Attolia, the official father of the people, the lord of the barons who'd one by one sworn him their oaths of obedience, the undisputed, uncontested, and absolute sovereign of the land. The swollen discoloration by his mouth closely matched the elaborate purple embroidery on his collar.

Continues...

Excerpted from The King of Attolia by Megan Turner Copyright © 2006 by Megan Turner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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