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

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

by Megan Whalen Turner
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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Discover and rediscover the world of the Queen's Thief, from the acclaimed novel The Thief to the thrilling, twenty-years-in-the-making conclusion, The Return of the Thief. The epic novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief can be read in any order.

New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

The brilliant thief Eugenides has visited the Queen of Attolia’s palace one too many times, leaving small tokens and then departing unseen. When his final excursion does not go as planned, he is captured by the ruthless queen. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. 

This edition of The Queen of Attolia includes "Knife Dance," an exclusive story about Eugenides by Megan Whalen Turner, an introduction to the characters from the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief.

A Booklist Top 10 Fantasy Books for Youth
ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
Parent’s Choice Gold Award
A Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book

“The Queen’s Thief books awe and inspire me. They have the feel of a secret, discovered history of real but forgotten lands. The plot-craft is peerless, the revelations stunning, and the characters flawed, cunning, heartbreaking, exceptional. Megan Whalen Turner’s books have a permanent spot on my favorites shelf, with space waiting for more books to come.”—Laini Taylor, New York Times-bestselling author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone novels and Strange the Dreamer

"Unforgettable characters, plot twists that will make your head spin, a world rendered in elegant detail—you will fall in love with every page of these stories. Megan Whalen Turner writes vivid, immersive, heartbreaking fantasy that will leave you desperate to return to Attolia again and again."—Leigh Bardugo, New York Times-bestselling author of the The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows

“Megan Whalen Turner proves to be one of the brightest creative talents. With each book, she continues to add new levels and new luster to her sparkling imagination.”—Lloyd Alexander, Newbery Medalist and National Book Award-winning author of The Chronicles of Prydain

“Readers will be spellbound.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Turner’s storytelling is so sure that readers will want to go along with her—and discover whatever it is that Eugenides will do next.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[An] intense read . . . thoroughly involving and wholly satisfying on all fronts.”—The Horn Book (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061968464
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 09/22/2009
Series: Queen's Thief Series , #2
Format: eBook
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 156,580
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

About The Author

Megan Whalen Turner is the New York Times–bestselling and award-winning author of five stand-alone novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. Return of the Thief marks her long-awaited conclusion to the epic and unforgettable story of the thief Eugenides—a story more than twenty years in the making. 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 twice been a finalist for the Andre Norton Award and won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.

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.

Reading Group Guide


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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