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

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

by Megan Whalen Turner


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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
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

New York Times–bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner is the award-winning author of six novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. These epic novels of intrigue and adventure can be read in any order, but were published as follows: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings, Thick as Thieves, and Return of the Thief. Megan Whalen Turner has been awarded a Newbery Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature. She has won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. She worked as a bookseller for seven years before she started writing. Her first book was a collection of short stories called Instead of Three Wishes.

Read an Excerpt

The King of Attolia

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.

The King of Attolia. Copyright (c) by Megan Turner . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 130 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The books just keep getting better!!! I loved it!!!
katekf on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Another fascinating entry in this amazing series, where Eugenides tries to figure out what kind of king he will be as no one in Attolia wants him to be king. The main voice is young Costis, a member of the Royal Guard who doesn't understand this young man who is suddenly his ruler and struggles in Eugenides' wake. These books are a great series for readers in middle and high school who enjoy political intrigue and historical fiction as they are inspired by the history of Greece. They hold a reminder of how dangerous the world of politics can be and the violence is approached seriously, which a reader should be aware of.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 5 months ago
After waiting six long years, The King of Attolia, sequel to The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, finally came out. Continuing the adventures of Eugenides, the former thief of Eddis, after stealing away the Queen of Attolia, falling in love with her, and exchanging unexpected marriage vows, even though the woman had his right hand cut off, which would render most thieves completely useless. This tension, along with the wonderfully-drawn political intrigue introduced in Queen of Attolia set the stage for the events of King of Attolia.Eugenides is having a tough time adjusting to his role as king. Not only is he unfit for the title, but seemingly could care less. Despite this, Attolia tries to help Eugenides rise to the occasion and gain respect from his subjects, particularly the palace guards. But it doesn't take long for rumors to swirl. Does the Queen truly love Eugenides? Does she just mean to use his love to control him in some political game? Should Eugenides continue to be the king, or is another better suited. Told primarily through the eyes of Costis, Eugenides' man servant and personal assistant, who tends to spend most of the novel disgusted with his master.King of Attolia signals a massive shift in the The Queen's Thief series so far. Instead of following the adventures of a thief, instead readers watch as a fish-out-of-water tries to cope with his new surroundings and adapt to political games. There is less action than in previous novels, which may make it difficult for some readers, but King of Attolia is instead chalked full of political intrigue, witty court games and good old backstabbing. Yeah, I love it.Whalen's writing style has also matured in the six years she's been away from Eugenides's world. In particular, her ability to portray characters has significantly improved. Eugenides was particularly well-drawn, easy to visualize and fully three-dimensional. Heck, I could almost imagine him as one of my friends I hang out with regularly. I got to know him that well with the details Whalen included -and didn't include.King of Attolia is highly recommended for fans of the series, and for YA readers. Even though King is the third book in the series, it's essentially a stand-along title, so readers won't be completely lost if they start here, but I would recommend reading the other books first to get a full picture of the world and the characters.
eleanor_eader on LibraryThing 5 months ago
In this third book of the series, Megan Whalen Turner leaves the threat to Attolia and its neighbouring monarchies from the Medes simmering in the background as motivation for the urgency of a strong rule, and instead gives the reader a splendidly intimate insight into the problems of the young King¿s new position. Gen is enduring a great deal for his love of the Queen, as witnessed by Costis, a guard with little political savvy and no liking for the thief who stole a throne, but who Eugenides nevertheless enlists as a personal lieutenant. The author has cleverly deposited Gen in a position where he is once again initially unimpressive; his youth and comparative freedom to date so obviously against him, removing him from everyone who has grown to respect his strengths, and once again leaves the reader ¿ who should know better by now ¿ wondering if the Thief of Eddis can handle ruling as King.I am really enjoying these books; all the characters are strong, but since meeting Gen in the first person narration of book one, the reader has immediate sympathy with him in these next two books; watching him manipulate the people who would try to manipulate him is a delight, and watching him win their respect is even better.
DRFP on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I've persevered with this series to the end because so many people said how much it improves with each volume. To be honest, I wish I hadn't. I'd had quite enough of Gen after TQoA. This is just more of the same mediocre writing as before. Turner's style is okay: it's not heavy, wordy or boring, but after three novels she has failed to invest her characters and world with any substantial depth. That's what made reading this final novel so boring. Everyone is the same with no new facets revealed. The whole cast is just so plain! The plot here is rather unexciting. Court intrigue makes a fine subplot to many fantasy novels (heck, it even forms the bulk of some of ASOIAF) but here it's the whole story and it's simply not that interesting. With better characters, like GRRM's, it can be engrossing but Turner simply doesn't provide. On any front for that matter.
roguelibrarian on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Plot: ¿I don¿t know how to summarize these three books without giving everything away. The series follows three small countries (Soumis, Eddis and Attolia) and their rulers. They are all facing the threat of foreign invasion and are each dealing with it in their own ways. In the first book the king of Soumis is trying to win the hand of the Queen of Eddis so that he might claim her country and strengthen his own. To this end, his highest adviser leaves on a quest with a thief to find a holy object. In the second book, Eddis, Attolia and Soumis go to war. And in the third Attolia¿s new king must adjust to his new role and bring the country¿s rebellious barons under control so that they can confront the invaders with a united front.That (purposely vague) plot description does not do this series justice. This is a wonderfully rich fantasy world with complex and realistic political intrigue (and people behind the intrigue) and a compelling pantheon of gods. I¿m not entirely sure why this series is often shelved with the children¿s books in book stores, or even the YA (though it is put out by Harper Teen, an imprint I¿ve grown quite fond of). These are dense books about adult characters and about politics. There is nothing inappropriate in them (a little gruesome violence aside) and I would have loved these as a teen, still I find the editorial choice interesting. I suspect a lot of adult fans of political fantasy (like myself) are missing out.The writing quality and style develops beautifully over the three books. I admit that I had a bit of trouble with the first book, The Thief, mainly because of the first person narration. The main character in all three books is an intelligent man who wins through trickery and manipulation. He¿s wonderfully good at it and even tricks the reader at times. But this is also why the first person narration bothered me. How do you trick someone who is in your head? The big reveal at the end of the first book left me feeling a bit betrayed. But the two other books do away with the first person narration and are better for it.The King of Attolia is definitely the best in terms of plot, character development and intrigue (though there is now a forth book, The Conspiracy of Kings, which I would love to find even better) but they all have something to commend them. The Thief, whatever else I may say about it, makes beautiful use of stories and storytelling. And the Queen of Attolia pits two strong, powerful, intelligent and deeply interesting women against each other in a battle that I became as invested in as they were. To think I found them in a remaindered book sale and picked them up for the pretty covers.
tyrvek on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A great book, interesting, fast read and engaging. While not as good as the first book, more than redeemed Eugenides. It ties everything up neatly and effectively.
AJBraithwaite on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A bit less in the way of action than the previous two books in the series: this one concentrates on the relationship between Eugenides and the Queen of Attolia, as seen through the eyes of Costis, a member of the Queen's Guard.Sets the scene nicely for the fourth in the series, which is due to be published this year.
bell7 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Costis, a member of the Queen's Guard, expects to lose his life because he has punched the King in the face. Everyone knows he's just a swindler from Eddis who stole their queen, but obviously, even if you hate your sovereign hitting him is dangerous business. But Eugenides doesn't kill Costis; he promotes him. The new lieutenant instead sees the King at his finest - half asleep during the morning sessions, bored during lessons on history and languages, practicing sword drills in first position. This is the King of Attolia?Because the story is told primarily from Costis' perspective, we are that much more distanced from Eugenides, though his personality still comes out, especially when he speaks with his cousins or Attolia. Though I like this book least of the three I have read, I appreciate it in rereading in ways I did not before. The King of Attolia is more about political maneuvering than the previous books in the series, and more about Eugenides becoming a true king than about the action. Though it can drag in parts, I did read it in a day and have read it multiple times, so I can hardly be too critical on that front.
xicanti on LibraryThing 5 months ago
**SPOILER WARNING*** While I always do my best not to reveal anything major about the book I'm reviewing, it's difficult, (if not impossible), to discuss The King of Attolia without at least implying a major spoiler for The Queen of Attolia. If you haven't read that book yet, proceed with caution.A young soldier looks on as the recently-crowned King of Attolia adjusts to his new status.And once again, Turner changes her storytelling method in a surprising way. The Thief was in the first person, with Eugenides as narrator. The Queen of Attolia was in the third person with Eugenides as the primary - but not sole - point of view character. Now, with this most recent installment of the series, Turner rarely tells the story from Eugenides's pespective. He's still very much the centre of the story, but his exploits are all filtered through the eyes of Costis, a young soldier who finds his fate linked with the new king's.I found this an interesting approach. While I initially missed Gen and hoped the POV would shift at some point, I quickly got used to Costis's perspective. It worked well as a means of engaging the reader while still keeping her at somewhat of a distance. Readers already familiar with the first two books in the series, (and I would most definitely recommend that you read them before tackling this one), will find it interesting to wade through the many guises Eugenides adopts as he faces the Attolian court. Costis's impressions of him are bound to differ from the reader's own, letting the reader feel as though she's in on a large and delightful secret. As Costis's view of Eugenides slowly shifts, the story begins to twist and turn in some surprising yet logical ways.Like The Thief, this is a slower story; unlike The Thief, it works right from the first page to the last due to its strong characterization and readable, engrossing style. The plot is much quieter than that of the last two books, with less attention paid to wide-reaching political concerns and more emphasis on individuals. I highly recommend it to readers with an interest in character-based stories.And I certainly hope Turner returns to this work. I feel certain there are more stories here; I, for one, can't wait to read them.
notemily on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Moar Eugenides nao... plz? I think I like this book best of the three because it names all the characters. And there are a lot of named characters. Pretty well-fleshed-out ones, too. I won't say much about the plot because I don't want to spoil for all three books. I will just say that it is awesome. And I can't wait for the fourth book.
ncgraham on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I read the first two of Megan Whalen Turner's Attolian books (more properly referred to as the Queen's Thief series) a few months ago at the behest of some online friends, and found both to be great reads. With school out I finally had a chance to read this, the third installment, and ended up enjoying just as much as the others. Note that if you have not yet finished The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, you probably shouldn't be reading this review—or any of the others. Don't worry, you have plenty of great reading ahead! For those who have made it through the first two volumes but are still in the process of reading the newest book, I'll try to keep the following relatively spoiler-free. "The king sat with his feet on the chair and his knees drawn up to his chest, looking over them and out the window. So motionless was he, and so silent the progress of his tears, that it was the space of a breath before Costis realized the king was crying. When he did, he stepped hastily back out of sight."—pg. 142 Like its predecessor, The King of Attolia can be a frustrating book initially. At the end of Queen, it seems that love will be triumphant: Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, has not only melted the heart of his true love, the Queen of Attolia, but also secured a tenuous piece between their countries. However, as the curtains open on this new milieu, one finds Gen ridiculed and persecuted by his new court, and seemingly lacking any true romantic relationship with the Queen. For the most part we see him through the eyes of a member of the Queen's Guard, Costis, and the picture we get of the new king is of someone small, weak, cynical, bitter, and just waiting to become the puppet of either the Queen or one of her Dukes. The stimulus of the plot is provided by Costis when he publicly insults and almost attacks the king; in return, Eugenides makes him a personal guard of sorts. Costis' contempt gradually turns into pity, respect, and even love as Gen struggles to find his place in this new world. As much as it is a trial to see Eugenides act so uncharacteristically for much of the book, it is a joy to see him slowly reveal himself within the last half especially. Turner's character's are always beautifully developed; in each book they are constantly learning, and so are we—but not in the Aesop's Fables sense. In the last book I wasn't fully reconciled to the romance between Gen and Irene (Attolia's given name), but their encounters later in this volume are intense, romantic, and—dare I say it of the sequel to a Newberry Medal winner?—yes, even sexy. Moreover, they complement themselves beautifully as both people and rulers. At one point a raging Attolia vents at one of her advisers for preferring the king's mercy to his justice, and though there is justice in his mercy, it is true that to some extent they represent these two qualities as individuals. Deep down, for all her pride and fierceness, she does want him to succeed, to become a true king. But both must make sacrifices for that to happen. Costis, too, has much to learn about honor and loyalty (not to mention humor!) before this book can come to a close. Though it is hard to put down once one comes to the half-way point, there are a few scenes that drag, and why Turner insists on writing sixty-page chapters I don't know; it's not something I remember her doing in the two previous books. It will be interesting to see how The King of Attolia will appear in the context of the entire series, once it's finished. As it is, it's an excellent character piece and leaves one wishing for more.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Again, just beautiful. Costis, an Attolian guard assigned to the despised new King lets us see Gen with an outsiders eyes. From the first two books, we know not to take anything Gen does at face value. And again, every word this author uses has meaning, nothing is wasted.
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
My favorite of the series so far, by far. The politicking and intrigue absolutely delighted me, as did the flip of seeing Gen and Attolia from other, outside eyes. I kept turning pages eagerly, waiting to see what this event or that move would turn out to /really/ be. This one made me hungry for more.
rivkat on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Gen, now king, struggles with how to be king while retaining his identity as the Thief, honoring his role in Eddis, and learning to be a husband. He¿d prefer to be thought weak so that the queen can continue to rule, but it doesn¿t quite work that way. I¿m describing the book badly¿it¿s very controlled, and it spends half the time in the POV of a guard who really doesn¿t like Gen at the outset and comes instead to see him with half respect, half incomprehension. It does very interesting things with palace intrigue and Greek-ish settings where, among other things, Gen¿s god does intervene¿but only to prevent him from dying in a specific way.
Nikkles on LibraryThing 8 months ago
When ever I pick up a book about our dear Thief, I expect to put it down and do something else for at least part of my day. That never really seems to happen. This story, like the rest of the books, is so compelling and interesting and fun that I just keep reading it. The characters and dialogue are of course fantastic, but twists and turns of the story are great as well. The writing itself if also very good. These books are for a bit of a mature audience as they can be a little violent. I highly recommend the whole series.
edspicer on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Every year BBYA has a discussion about whether or not sequels belong on a BBYA list, especially if the sequel requires prior knowledge of previous books for comprehension. The strongest supporters of this book, the third in Turner¿s magnificent trilogy, were those readers who did not read the second book, at least. Turner¿s skill is in the creation of the spiritual and religious mythologies that guide her characters. Her cosmos is at once very believable and always logical and consistent. She creates, perhaps, the most complex and believable characters of any fantasy writer out there. This book is, perhaps, even better than The Thief, and certainly a book that award committees will be seriously considering. Eugenides is the new king of Attolia, whether anyone in his kingdom wants him to be or thinks he is worthy of being. Many believe the Queen only married him to maintain political stability between realms. The political intrigue in this court is such that any sudden moves or decisions on the part of Eugenides, have dire consequences for his love and his queen. Whether Eugenides wants to be king or not (and the text is rich enough to support many different viewpoints), Eugenides is forced to be the king. Consequently, he is forced into the tightrope of earning the respect of his enemies without damaging their relationship with the Queen. This sophisticated story is also a book that will keep you reading well past your bedtime. Highly recommended for all middle school and high school libraries.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
Short and Sweet: The King of Attolia defied all conventional logic that a fantasy series follows and managed to delight me and keep me hooked throughout this political masterpiece. Let’s go more into detail: It honestly took me a while to pick up The King Of Attolia after I put down book two, The Queen of Attolia, for reasons unknown to even me. I really liked QoA in comparison to book one, The Thief, but it still took me a long time to get into the mood for this one. I'd heard a lot of people say that The King of Attolia was BY FAR the best book in the series so far and so my expectations were high. It didn't disappoint, but I will admit that the beginning of this book threw me a little bit. If you've been following my reviews of The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, you'll know that it took me a while to get used to Eugenides and his narration but the minute I had, we got the book from another's (new) character's point of view. While books one and two were all about travelling, this one was set purely in the palace with Gen's transition to King being told from the point of view of a Palace Guard. Gen, once again, faces tremendous character growth but from the eyes of a third party. At first, Gen seems like a thoroughly disinterested King - sleeping at meetings, wears ridiculous clothes and takes none of his duties seriously, letting his wife, the Queen rule as she always has. From Costis' POV (the guard) we see how his view of Gen changes from an arrogant King to a boy who misses his home and everything he knew. One thing I should mention is the GORGEOUS construction of Attolia in this book.In The Thief, we only saw it from it's enemy kingdom's perspective but in this book, we were properly introduced to the customs, religious practices and superstitions of a beautiful kingdom. As always with this series, Megan Whalen Turner managed to get the politics and ruling a kingdom SPOT ON. There were twists, turns, betrayals, assassination attempts and so high paced that I LOVED IT. A series definitely worth diving into (you can read them all as stand-alones or together) purely for the fact that you will NOT be able to predict what happens next. The Queen's Thief series defies all conventional fantasy rules and paves its own way to glory. Highly recommended.
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I really liked all four books from this series, and liked them about equally. They are fairly short books, and on occasion may not seem to fully develop when some of the twists occur, but they are fun, thrilling, and imaginative!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know each book in this series was a masterpice, so brilliantly written they kept you enged evey step of the way. There was just the perfect amout of every element I love in a book and it was easy to read. I love Gen and even Irene who proves herself in this book as worthy of him. I find their little love story charming and not overdone. I love the idea of two enimies falling in love and having such a strange but meaningful relationship. Not to worry to those who are in it for the action and intrigue there is plenty of it written to perfection. If only they would let me give it ten stars.