The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #2)

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #2)

by Megan Whalen Turner

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061968464
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/22/2009
Series: Queen's Thief Series , #2
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 16,656
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
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

Queen of Attolia, The EPB

Chapter One

He was asleep, but woke at the sound of the key turning in the lock. The storage room held winter linens, and no one should have been interested in it in the middle of summer, and certainly not in the middle of the night. By the time the door was open, he had slipped through a square hole in the stones of the wall and soundlessly closed the metal door that covered it. He was in the narrow tunnel that connected a stoking room to the hypocaust of a minor audience chamber down the corridor. The door he'd crawled through was intended to allow smoke into the storage room to fumigate the linens. Moving quietly, he inched down the tunnel to the open space of the hypocaust. Squat pillars held the stone floor above him. There wasn't room to sit up, so he lay on his back and listened to the thumping noises, like drumbeats, as people hurried across the floor of the audience chamber over his head. They could only be looking for him, but he wasn't particularly worried. He'd hidden before in the spaces under the floors of the palace. His ancestors had used the tunnels of the hypocausts to hide in since the invaders had built them to heat their new buildings hundreds of years earlier.

Noises traveled down the long, narrow tunnel from the stoking room: shuffling thumps and a crackle that he strained his ears to hear. A fire was being lit in the furnace chamber. Soon the warm air and, of more concern to him, the smoke would be fanned into the hypocaust to warm the audience room above and drive the quarry out. Silently, in the pitch-dark, he moved between the brick pillars to a wall and then along it to a flue in thewall with an opening slightly larger than the others. Even with the enlarged opening, it was not an easy task to fit himself into the narrow vent, and while he maneuvered, the warm, smoky air blew around him. He remembered how easily he had slipped into the flue the first time he'd tried it. His grandfather, who'd brought him to the palace, had grown too old and too big for most of the passages and had had to stay at an inn in the town while his grandson explored on his own, finding everything just as he'd heard it described.

Once inside the flue, he wedged his fingers into cracks and braced himself with his feet to climb until the space turned at an angle to join the chimney above the audience room. When he reached the chimney, he cursed silently, though what he found was no more than he should have expected. There was a fire in the hearth below. Fortunately they hadn't already had a roaring blaze going when they chased him out of the linen room. They must have just lighted the fire, but the air in the chimney was smoky and quickly growing hot. With no other choice, the thief climbed into the chimney and moved up it as quickly as he could, relying on the sound of the fire to cover the sounds his soft boots made on the ridged bricks of the walls. The chimney was much wider than the flue, and the ridged bricks were intended to be climbed easily by sweepers.

He went on until he reached an intersection where several chimneys came together into a much larger one that rose to the roof of the palace. The chimney was warm and filled with smoke, but instead of climbing it, he turned to another opening and climbed down. He guessed that the queen had soldiers posted on the roof of the palace to watch the openings of the chimneys.

He breathed shallowly and slowly, stifling a need to cough. Any sound might betray him. As he dropped lower in the chimney he'd chosen, the smoke grew thicker, his eyes watered, and he missed a handhold and slid down with a thump to a ledge below. He sucked in a lungful of smoke and then covered his mouth with both hands while his face turned red and the blood pounded in his ears. The breath trickled out between his fingers and he breathed in again more cautiously, but his throat burned and his head swam. His breath came and went in huffs of suppressed coughs.

He was on a ledge where the chimney divided into smaller flues that led down to several different rooms. He closed his eyes and listened for sounds, but there was no shouting, only the muted crackling of the fire somewhere below. He poked his head into one chimney after another, debating with himself before choosing one he hoped led to the stateroom of some foreign ambassador too prestigious to be disturbed in the middle of the night by soldiers wanting to light an unnecessary fire in his hearth.

The chimney he chose descended from the main one in a long, shallow slope. Once he was away from the main chimney, the air was free of smoke and he stopped to draw grateful breaths until his head cleared. When he reached the turn where the chimney dropped straight to the hearth below, he paused and settled himself to wait. There was no sign of a fire laid underneath him, so there was no immediate need to get down, and he thought it best to be sure there was no one waiting for him in the room below. After a long silence he heard the creak of a bed as if its occupant had shifted in his sleep.

Queen of Attolia, The EPB. Copyright © by Megan Turner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Reading Group Guide

Introduction:

In The Queen of Attolia, Newbery Honor Award–winning author Megan Whalen Turner has created a brilliant page-turner that tells a story of survival and triumph. Eugenides, the Royal Thief of Eddis, is revered as a cunning, loyal, and "valuable tool" for the nation of Eddis. In the past, he has triumphed against the rival nations of Sounis and Attolia and ensured the stability of his queen's empire. Yet once he is captured by the Queen of Attolia, the future of Eddis as well as his own life are threatened. The Queen of Attolia spares the Thief's life, but cuts off his hand— a classic punishment for thievery and a strategic move to eliminate any future threats. Once he is returned to Eddis to recover, he retreats to the library in an internal exile, while his queen seeks revenge on Attolia and declares war in the name of Eugenides.

Renounced by his gods and forced to overcome his physical challenge, Eugenides must use "a thief's greatest asset" (p.53), his mind, to secure the future of Eddis. He must win back his fame, prove his loyalty to Eddis, and steal peace for his queen by stealing the heart of the Queen of Attolia.

Questions For Discussion:

  1. How is Eugenides a "valuable tool" for the nation of Eddis? Do his responsibility and loyalty to Eddis inhibit his true nature?
  2. What role do the gods play throughout the novel? Discuss the significance of the repeated warning "do not offend the gods" (pp.10; 17). Do the gods really have control over Eugenides' life? Do they betray him?
  3. Explain why the Queen of Attolia decided to spare the Thief's life after shecaught him in her palace? What influenced her decision to cripple him instead? In her eyes, was this the right choice in the end?
  4. When Eugenides retreats to the library in internal exile after his injury, describe his state of mind and how he views himself in relation to the Eddisians. Why is he so embarrassed, and how do these feelings resurface when he realizes the magnitude of his decision to become king of Attolia? Explain his character's evolution.
  5. What is Eugenides' reaction when he is informed that Eddis declared war on Attolia in his name? Does this change his relationship with Eddis? Does he like being called a "sacred relic, a hero" (p.133) in the eyes of the people of Eddis?
  6. What is the history of the queens' rivalry? Why is Attolia jealous of the Queen of Eddis? Is this resolved in the end? Why is Attolia referred to as the "shadow" queen?
  7. Discuss the relationship between Attolia and the ambassador from the Mede Empire. How do they use each other to achieve their objectives? How does Attolia finally free herself and her empire from the control of Nahuseresh?
  8. Why is Attolia plagued with nightmares after she cuts off Eugenides' hand? What revelation does she have when she fears that the Thief is dead at Ephrata? How does this change their relationship?
  9. Moira, whose name means fate, is portrayed as a messenger throughout the novel. What role does fate play in the lives of the characters? Discuss the significance of her encounters with Nahuseresh, Attolia, and Eugenides.
  10. How does the tale of Hespira and Horreon foreshadow what happens at the end of the novel to Eugenides and the Queen of Attolia?

About The Author:

Megan Whalen Turner's novel, The Thief was a 1997 Newbery Honor Book. Her first book, Instead of Three Wishes, a collection of short stories, also garnered critical acclaim. Born in Fort Sill, OK, she attended the University of Chicago and received a B.A. with honors in English language and literature.

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The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
Angieville More than 1 year ago
Wow. I just...wow. Talk about a sequel. In fact, I'm pretty sure that as sequels go THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA should be the standard textbook in a class entirely devoted to how to write a killer sequel. The kind of sequel that will leave your readers completely unable to contain their glee at how it was just as good as they weren't daring to hope it would be. The kind that makes them keep their husbands up at night expounding upon the splendor that is such a sequel. A note on the cover: I truly love the "new" covers. I do. But this one kind of makes me want to run and hide under the covers. And I'm glad I didn't see it until after I read the book. Rather, I went in blissfully unaware of what awaited me. A note on a SPOILER: I generally try to avoid them. This review, however, may have to be an exception as there is one key plot element early on that is, well, integral to everything that happens thereafter. I can't find a way to dance around it, so consider yourself forewarned. The Thief of Eddis is on a secret mission for his queen in the heart of enemy territory. As he slips away into the night, something goes massively, horribly wrong and he is run down and captured by Attolian guards. For his audacity, Attolia takes his right hand and sends him back to his queen broken and on the brink of death. While Eugenides struggles to comes to terms with his drastically altered life, Eddis declares war on Attolia for his sake and the three countries are quickly at each other's throats. As their losses mount, Eugenides realizes there is one more thing he can steal from Attolia that will save his country from destruction. But, given their last encounter, does he have the courage to venture into Attolia again and face her one more time? Truth? I spent a a fair bit of time holding back sobs while reading this book. You see I fell in love with Eugenides. And he does not have an easy time of it here. The thing is he is so very awesome that you know he'll be okay. He has to be okay. But, still, his anguish and rage are so palpable it's hard to watch. And at the same time, my favorite scenes are the beautifully alternating passages in which Gen tries and fails and tries to piece his life together while, a world away, Attolia sits on her throne, staring blankly out the window, agonizing over what she did. It's so unexpected and had me glued to the page. School Library Journal had a fun article on some of their favorite love stories and they named THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA the Best Declaration of Love. They're not kidding around. When it comes it takes your breath away. On top of it all this book's got a perfect ending. It'll make you smile through your tears.
Karen Davis More than 1 year ago
The book started off with an bang and kept going. I thought this was an excellent follow up to "The Thief." I look forward to reading the third installment in the series!
Matt Franklin More than 1 year ago
its full of excitement and suprises read it
bookworm31415 More than 1 year ago
Eugenides is at it again! Though this sequel is less humorous and rather more melancholy and political than its predecessor, it is just as riveting. As the book starts, Eugenides suffers a life changing loss, a loss that leads to a war between Eddis, Sounis, and Attolia, together with an even more powerful outside force. Eugenides must overcome his setbacks to save his country and steal the impossible. And in the end he will make a shocking, completely unexpected decision that will change the futures of Eddis and Attolia forever. With the return of the same great characters and even more thrilling adventures, this book is a fantastic installation of an amazing series!
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
After not having been blown away by The Thief, I was a little wary of starting this. I should not have been. The Queen of Attolia is a delightful book, full of politicking and warring and delicious character development in unexpected ways (in one instance in a way that seems a bit too pat and out of nowhere, but I find it hard to mind much because frankly I enjoyed the results).Turner seems to get better as she goes. If only all series were so luck!
notemily on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I forgot how utterly awesome this book was until I re-read it. Tightly plotted and suspensefully paced, it makes Newbery Honor book The Thief look like a mere prequel. As readers of the earlier book will know, Megan Whalen Turner is the master of the unreliable narrator. Never quite lying, but carefully laying out exactly what you need to know and no more. Several times in this book, you'll find yourself leafing back through earlier chapters in surprise, wondering how she tricked you, and realizing it was your own assumptions that were incorrect. In Eugenides, Turner has created one of the most indelible characters I've ever come across. Her "historical fantasy" world evokes shades of ancient Greece and feels as authentic and accurate as if Eddis, Sounis and Attolia were just off the map. I can't wait for the fourth installment, A Conspiracy of Kings, coming in March.
5hrdrive on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I wasn't that impressed. It was way too "talky" for one thing, and took thirteen chapters (!) for anything to start happening. Then, instead of letting things follow along from there, we get a big upheaval a few chapters later, that takes about five more chapters to explain. I'm not going to stick around for the third book.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I could not put this down, the sparse writing hints at emotion without pouring it over your head. This is the most delightful and yearning romance I have every read, with a good lot of political intrigue thrown in. I'd give this to people who enjoy Patricia McKillip, the feel of Greek mythology, or mythic tales.
ncgraham on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A word to the wise: if you have not read this book, and especially if you have not read its predecessor, The Thief, stop right here. Do not read this review. Do not read any other reviews. Remove yourself from the computer, buy or check out the books if you do not already have them, and sit down to enjoy them with a hot cup of tea. Do not read the back cover or flaps (except for Turner's bio; I suppose that's allowed). One of the hallmarks of Mrs. Turner's craft is her ability to take a story and turn it completely on its head, thus playing with the reader's expectations and views of the characters. As a result, her books are easy to spoil, this one in particular.Only a chapter into The Queen of Attolia, Gen¿or, as we now know him, Eugenides¿is again imprisoned. But he's in much greater trouble than he was before, for now he is in Attolia, in the clutches of the queen herself, and she is not known for her mercy. Using the old, forgotten Attolian punishment for thievery, she cuts of his right hand and then sends him back to Eddis, maimed and broken. As he is recovering, the conflict between the three countries of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis reaches a boiling point, while the Medean empire from across the sea looks to gain an entryway into this tumultuous land. With his good hand gone and a war that seems beyond his power underway, Eugenides no longer feels he can be of any use. Until, one day, the Queen of Eddis makes a request of him:"Steal peace, Eugenides. Steal me some time."How he accomplishes this I would not tell for the world.It should be clearby now that The Queen of Attolia as a very different book from its predecessor, more mature, less humorous, and much darker. To some extent this is implicit in their titles, for Attolia is just as cold, distant, and false as Gen was warm, funny, and candid in the first book. Many readers have complained about the switch from first person to third person omniscient, but I feel it is in keeping with Turner's purpose. This book is all about masks. Though we as readers are allowed momentary glimpses into the characters' minds, for the most part we are asked to observe their actions and draw our own conclusions. There is a certain pain in being separated from Eugenides/Gen's consciousness, but this is a painful and difficult book, at least on the first read. The scene in which Gen's hand is cut off is incredibly gruesome and disturbing (but tasteful). Parents will note that younger readers who love The Thief may or may not be ready for the sequel.The things that remain consistent between the books are Turner's fine writing, excellent characterizations, and tortuous twists and turns. The third person narrative, in addition to making the thematic point explored above, allows her to use more of her own voice, rather than her narrator's, and it is a lovely experience. Eugenides, while not inciting as much laughter as he did previously, is in full command of our sympathy, even when we feel alienated from him. Even Attolia is not the one-dimensional Medusa of the last book, though there is still plenty of the Gorgon about her; she has her own fears and problems. Turner's gradual unfolding of her character is fascinating. In this book, however, Eddis emerges as my favorite character. She is at turns practical and passionate, but always fiercely loyal to both her cousin and her country. A cast of colorful supporting characters only serve to add spice to the milieu; I particularly like Galen's defense of his calling when Gen asks to die.As for the twist, some will find it wonderful and wildly romantic, whereas others may feel cheated. I do not particularly like it, but still recognize its brilliance. Let's just say it gives a whole new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.
yhaduong on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The very first time I read the Queen of Attolia I was expecting a traditional story but Megan Whalen Turner is not a typical author and not a straight forward storyteller. It's not to say the book is difficult to read, but that time and time again I read her stories and am amazed at how many different layers of meaning she implies at.Sometimes I read too fast and I can miss the beautiful craft of her words but now that I have read and reread The Queen, I can take time to savor each well crafted phrase.
eleanor_eader on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The second book in this YA fantasy series moves the point of view from first person to third, and having become used to Gen¿s voice, this feels a bit distancing at first¿ but not for long. Things get darker quickly in this instalment, and the shock drags the reader back into the story and renews our bond with the Queen¿s thief, and is clearly necessary for the widening of the focus of the story. Eugenides, known by his full name now that he is back in court, has a devastating blow to overcome; Queen Eddis is at war with Attolia and Sounis, manoeuvring carefully to keep her own land from falling to either, looking also for a way to prevent Attolia¿s land falling ¿ through treaty or treachery ¿ into the hands of the Medes, who will overrun all three countries as soon as they have a foothold in the region. And Attolia, distracted by the thief of Eddis, listens to the advice and courtesies of the Mede Ambassador, keeping her thoughts carefully hidden behind her mask of tractability. Once again the author plays cleverly with the expectations of the characters and the reader; not all the surprises in this book are unforeseeable, because after the first book the reader is aware of her enjoyment of making a mockery of assumptions, but they unfold delightfully all the same.
gallandro_83 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I enjoyed this book like the rest of the series but the structure and the point of view was personally very hard to read. I kept feeling a bit dismayed at all the times we bounced between characters and the overall 3rd person viewpoint made it hard to empathize with the characters like I normally do. The characters also felt a bit flat from this angle with emotion muted through the entire novel. This was deliberate on the author's part but still made me feel at times as if I was reading a precise and not a story for enjoyment.The story was enjoyable with unexpected twists and turns almost from the start. Ms. Turner obviously has a devilish mind and enjoys plot twists that are hard to see coming, much more so than the first book in the series. I found the craftsmanship of the way it fit within the series was good but on the whole I think the author's change in perspective should have been saved for another type of story. gallandrl
stephxsu on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Perhaps because I found The Thief so fun and heartfelt, and was enthralled by numerous others¿ lavish praises on the sequels, that I had extremely high expectations for THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA. It pains me to say that I didn¿t like THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA as much as I did The Thief, but it¿s still a good read in fantasy literature that will appeal across age ranges.THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA is altogether different from The Thief. It¿s told in third-person instead of first. Eugenides seems older; the events and the premise of this book are a lot darker, dipping into the disturbing at times. THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA focuses a lot on the political tensions between the kingdoms, to the point where long sections of the book are dedicated entirely to dry accounts of political and military events. While I go gaga for books that are smart, yet interesting to read, I couldn¿t help but feel that all that information could have been presented to readers in a more engaging way.Maybe this decision to report war news in such a dry way was a deliberate decision on Turner¿s part. In any case, it also affected by connections I had with the characters. Which is to say, I felt that the characters saw me, but instead of coming over to chat, decided to head to another room on the other side of the soundproof glass, where they continued to be aloof and secretive and unfriendly. Not quite how I wish to interact with characters.As for the romance¿eh. Well. It¿s not as if there weren¿t hints as to what would happen, and the turning point was kind of cute in a romantic-movie-swoon kind of way, but the characters¿ aloofness throughout the story up to that point took away from the impact of that scene, at least for me. I hope they¿ll be good for one another, even though I can¿t quite see how that will happen from the rest of the book, but hey, it would go beyond my realm as reviewer to question the decisions of the characters and author, so I¿ll just leave them to do their thing.THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA didn¿t sweep me off my feet as The Thief did, but perhaps I was in the wrong mindset when I read this book (ten years too late, perhaps?). I¿ll still continue with the series, though, since it¿s gotten so many rave reviews from every reviewer I respect. Perhaps, however, by toning down my expectations, I will get more out of my reading experiences.
kmd1994 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best I've ever read, but it wan't bad. It had just as many twists as the first in the series.
mdtwilighter on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the second book in the series, following "The Thief." I liked the second book even better than the first because it went deeper into the politics of Sounis, Eddis and Attolia. While still a fantasy, the book had a lot of details taken from history that made it more believable. The twist at the beginning was really shocking and the rest of the book follows that trend of surprises. I would recommend it to fantasy and adventure lovers.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This excellent follow-up to The Thief initially had me worried for the central character, who experiences a significant setback in the opening chapters. However, Eugenides, through his struggles, develops into a richer, more interesting character who I am much more invested in following through the next books in this series. Eugenides grows up a lot in this book and becomes a much more likable and understandable person. I hope the rest of this series continues to be as good!
sagrundman on LibraryThing 8 months ago
.The Queen of Attolia is the sequel to the Thief. Gan, the Queen's Thief is caught by Attolia and suffers the traditional fate of thieves. His hand is loped off. Broken, he is sent back to Eddis, where he seemingly mopes as war erupts all around him. Somehow he brings himself out of his stupor and manages to stop all the wars, single-handedly (hahaha). And becomes the King of Attolia. You'll have to read to book to find out how! The characters are all the same, with a few new introductions. We do see more of characters that only had a passing mention in th first book. The book has many fantasy elements in it (Gods, Wars, Betrayal,), but the characters aren't purely good or evil. Most are a mixture of both, which strays away from the portrayal that most fantasy books present. There isn't clear good vs. evil, because of the many views of the characters. The story isn't quite a linear as the first, which followed a journey. At times I would get very lost, trying to figure out how something happened. That could've been worked on to make the plot smoother. Also, if someone hadn't read the first book, some of the events that were mentioned would be confusing for them. It isn't a book you can pick up without prior knowledge. I would recommend this book to anyone who like The Thief or middle school and above age children.
allthesedarnbooks on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the second book in Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia series, after The Thief. This one is just as good as the first, although darker. The politics, the action, the characterization, and the romance are all top notch. Highly recommended, and I hope to read the next book, The King of Attolia, soon. Four and a half stars.
lenoreva on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Gen, our Thief from book 1, once again finds himself in a tight spot after being caught by the queen of Attolia. What transpires between Gen and the queen sets off a war between their countries. Meanwhile, neighboring countries plot and plan, trying to gain advantage. Gen must now somehow find a way to steal the biggest treasure yet ¿ lasting peace between the nations.Turner excels at literary sleight-of-hand ¿ focusing your attention on something else entirely while she sets up major twists right under your nose. After a dramatic opening, the plot builds slowly as the kings, queens and advisors move their pieces around the playing field. Everyone underestimates Gen because of the tragedy that befalls him early on, but as we learned in book 1, Gen is not to be underestimated.What I most enjoyed about the story though was Gen¿s character growth. In book 1, he was clever, certainly, but also borderline unlikable for most of the book. Here he actually begins to grow into a swoonworthy romantic lead, and the transformation is stunning.
tyrvek on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A good book that is much better the second time around. The first I was too angry at all the characters. The plot works, and much as I wish it hadn't happened, it was a good book
roguelibrarian on LibraryThing 8 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.
goodwinmd13 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I love Eugenides as a character. I enjoyed the foil of the two queens. The writing in this book is beautiful. I loved reading the relationship between Attolia and Eugenides. What I did not like, the war between the different countries. I generally skimmed over any part that mainly dealt with just the war. Favorite Quote from the book. Eddis talking to Eugenides, "If I am the pawn of the gods, it is because they know me so well, not because they make up my mind for me."
veevoxvoom on LibraryThing 8 months ago
First, read my review for The Thief.Then times everything by two.Seriously, this series has addicted me. The moment I closed the covers of The Queen of Attolia I was off to read the third book and obsess over whether or not there will be a fourth, and whether it will come out soon. In Queen, a few years have passed since Eugenides stole the Gift and he has taken to taunting the Queen of Attolia by slipping in and out of her palace. One day she catches him, and does something to him that inflames the already existing tensions between their countries.If The Thief was more of a quest-type fantasy, The Queen of Attolia is about war. Of course, such simple labels don¿t suffice to describe the intricacy and thought Turner puts into her writing. Politics twist and turn with a maturity that will satisfy adult readers as well as young adults. Eugenides as well seems to have grown up some, and the third person POV in this book as opposed to Thief¿s first person POV makes him more adult and enigmatic a figure. As usual, there is a twist, this time concerning Eugenides and the Queen of Attolia, which I adored.I also appreciate the way Turner characterizes women. For being independent queens during war, Attolia and Eddis do not read as Spunky Girl cliches but real people. Attolia in particular was well drawn out in that she reacts to situations the way I would expect a woman of her personality and circumstances to.
xicanti on LibraryThing 8 months ago
When his small country goes to war, the Thief of Eddis must use all his cunning to keep the nation from destruction.I came to this book through The Thief, which I read last month. I was a little leery going into it, but my fears were largely unfounded. The first book took quite a long time to get going, and lacked that certain panache that makes slower stories seem engaging. This one has got panache to spare. I really, really enjoyed it.I think Turner made a good move in switching from first person to third. The shift allows for much more character development as Turner invites the reader inside each character's head. It wasn't the plot that hooked me so much as these beautifully realized fictional people. It's possible to see where everyone is coming from, even when you disagree with their decisions. I really came to care for them, and I was always eager to see how things would turn out for them.That's not to say that the plot is shabby. It most definitely isn't. Turner opens the story with a pretty big bang, and the intensity never lets up. She definitely doesn't pull any punches; like all the best children's authors, she treats her young audience as capable of dealing with whatever she throws at them. There's a lot of dark stuff here. Bad things happen to good people. Characters are forced to do terrible things in order to survive. The war gives rise to a lot of issues surrounding combat and political struggles. Turner does an excellent job of dealing with all these plot elements, and she manages to do so while still delivering the sorts of clever twists and turns that fans of the first book are sure to expect.Much as I enjoyed it, though, I did feel that a couple of things surrounding the final resolution could have been developed a bit better. Hopefully they'll be fleshed out in the next book.
rivkat on LibraryThing 8 months ago
More palace intrigue in this sequel, which begins with the Thief of Eddis caught and maimed by the Queen of Attolia. He survives, but he¿s traumatized, and Eddis, Attolia and Sounis descend into conflict, to the happiness of the Medes waiting to sweep in and take as much of all three countries as they can. Attolia, her position precarious with her barons restive and her Medean advisor taking ever greater liberties, becomes a fascinating character¿to us and to the Thief she nearly destroyed. I quite enjoyed this volume and look forward to the next.