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

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

4.7 114
by Megan Whalen Turner, Jeff Woodman (Read by)
 

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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. Attolia's barons seethe with resentment, the Mede emperor is returning to the attack, and the king is surrounded by the subtle and dangerous intrigue of the Attolian court.

When a naive young guard

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. Attolia's barons seethe with resentment, the Mede emperor is returning to the attack, and the king is surrounded by the subtle and dangerous intrigue of the Attolian court.

When a naive young guard expresses his contempt for the king in no uncertain terms, he is dragged by Eugenides into the center of the political maelstrom. Like the king, he cannot escape the difficulties he makes for himself. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but he discovers a reluctant sympathy for Eugenides as he watches the newly crowned king struggle against his fate.

Fans of the Newbery Honor Book The Thief and The Queen of Attolia will recognize Megan Whalen Turner's signature plot twists and turns in the third exquisitely crafted tale about 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)
Joelle Charbonneau
“Megan Whalen Turner has constructed a clever world filled with suspense and intrigue and characters that will never be forgotten. Once you dive into the world of the Queen’s Thief [books], prepare to have your life stolen from you until you finish them all.”
The Horn Book
“One of the most fascinating and original children’s fantasies to appear in years . . . . Rarely does one see a hero as psychologically knowing and irresistibly attractive as Turner’s Thief.” (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781428117198
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
10/30/2006
Series:
Queen's Thief Series , #3
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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.

Meet the Author

Megan Whalen Turner is the bestselling and award-winning author of stand-alone novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. She 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. Megan Whalen Turner lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

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The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 114 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The books just keep getting better!!! I loved it!!!
Aditi-ATWAMB 10 days 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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New characters come into play. Just as good as the first two books in the series i hope the author can crank out another in the next year
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Defentle my favret book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The King of Attolia is another great installment in the series. The story is told mostly from a young Attolian soldier's point of view, Costis, who is assigned to the new king. He despises Eugenides, but what can he do? However, as Costis spends more time with Eugenides, he finds that the new king is quite intelligent, and there may be more to him than meets the eye. Eugenides is the new King of Attolia, and the people don't like him, at all. They think he's lazy, naive, unintelligent, and not fit to be king. But Eugenides doesn't care. He wanted their queen, not the crown. But eventually he starts to accept the responsibilities of being king and wins the loyalty of some Attolians. In this book we also get to see a more intimate relationship between Eugenides and the queen, which was very sweet. I really missed Eugenides in this book. He was in the book quite a bit, but I missed reading from his point of view. It was awesome seeing him stand up to the Attolians and seeing them change their views about him. NEVER underestimate Eugenides! Costis is very honest and loyal and I'm glad he got stuck watching Eugenides, though I kind of felt sorry for him. But he was one of the first few to see the other side of Eugenides, the clever, capable, and vulnerable side. I loved the third installment in the series. The Queen of Attolia is still my favorite, but this one comes close
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I've read this many times, whole series actually. One may ask why, but all I can tell you is that this is an amazing book of Kings and Queens, pain and loyalty. Once you pick up the book, you cannot put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. You really have to pay attention while reading this one.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
It is not easy to become the king of a country already fond of its queen, especially for a foreigner who kidnapped that queen and may or may not have forced her hand in that matter of their marriage. How can any man truly become a king when no one can see him as a sovereign? Not that it matters. With such tenuous foundations, sovereignty is not enough to ensure loyalty anyway. Being the Thief of Eddis was always enough for Eugenides. He didn't want to become King of Attolia. He didn't want the crown at all. He wanted the queen. Even more wondrous, Attolia wanted him. But one cannot marry a queen without becoming a king. The union requires a careful dance of shadows and unsubstance, but under it all, there is still a marriage of two people. But there is also more. An unlikely pair and, for Gen at least, unlikely monarchs, their marriage will not be an easy one. Each move will require careful calculation. Especially when a rash young guard is dragged into the middle of the kingdom's political machinations. Much like Gen himself, Costis wants nothing to do with the royal court or Eugenides' efforts to avoid all royal responsibility. And yet the more time he spends with the young king the more Costis understands all the Gen has lost in his pursuit of the throne--and what made the sacrifice worthwhile. Together these unlikely allies might even teach the Attolian court a thing or two about what it takes to be a true king in The King of Attolia (2006) by Megan Whalen Turner. The King of Attolia is the sequel to Turner's Newbery honor book The Thief which first introduced readers to Eugenides and his world and its followup The Queen of Attolia. Readers of Turner's earlier books will quickly recognize references to characters from other volumes and past events (others might be well advised to re-read the earlier titles to get a better sense of the big picture of the series). Written with shifting viewpoints, readers learn about Gen's changed circumstances through Costis' eyes. In this way, it is easy to see how little the country thinks of their new king and also, thanks to moments from Gen and Attolia's perspectives, how greatly they underestimate his cunning and his ingenuity. As much a coming of age story as the story of a man learning to be king, The King of Attolia is another fine installment about the inimitable Thief of Eddis. Somewhat lighter on action and war-making than the first two books in the series, this one makes up for it by providing more insight into the ways of Attolia and her relationship with Gen. Richly told and expertly written, this story lays fine groundwork for the next installment in Turner's wonderful series A Conspiracy of Kings. Possible Pairings: Fire by Kristin Cashore, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Sabriel by Garth Nix
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