- Reading level: 8 - 12 years
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 2 edition (30 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062642995
- ISBN-13: 978-0062642998
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,06,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Conspiracy of Kings (Queen's Thief) Paperback – 30 Apr 2017
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Praise for The Thief: Newbery Honor Book “This is an uplifting book, a literary journey that enhances both its characters and readers before it is over.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Tantalizing, suspenseful, exceptionally clever.” (Horn Book (starred review))
Praise for The Queen of Attolia: “The intense read is thoroughly involving and wholly satisfying on all fronts.” (Horn Book (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))
“Readers will be spellbound.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
Praise for The King of Attolia: “Turner has outdone herself here: The King of Attolia is one of the most fascinating and original children’s fantasies to appear in years.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, is back and just as clever as ever.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“A winner.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Megan Whalen Turner is one of my all-time favorite writers. A Conspiracy of Kings is impossible to put down.” (Holly Black, author of the Modern Faerie Tales Series)
“The world Turner creates is so tangible that not only do I believe in its characters, I almost believe in its gods.” (Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling)
“A Conspiracy of Kings brings the sweetest, sharpest kind of reading pleasure. Megan Whalen Turner’s books are pure joy.” (Rebecca Stead, author of When You Reach Me)
“Romance, intrigue, mystery, surprises, and sheer beautiful writing make this a worthy successor to the previous volumes.” (Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments Series)
“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.” (Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times-bestselling author of the Testing trilogy)
“Turner’s knotting of plots and counterplots, battle tactics, diplomatic skullduggery, and the tensions of state business and personal desire is masterful…having finished the book, one just wants to open it up and read it again.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Turner’s plotting remains deft, and the subtlety with which she balances her characters’ inner and outer worlds will delight both newcomers and fans, who will be waiting to grab this stand-out, stand-alone adventure, filled with all the expected intrigue and political machinations, from the shelves.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Turner’s imagined world [is] a realm in which her founding mythology is as impressive as her descriptions of the land itself.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Unmissable.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“A well-constructed and intricate tale of action, adventure, and assuming the mantle of leadership.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Elegant and sure-footed.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Masterful.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“A fascinating and beautifully crafted masterpiece.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
About the Author
Megan Whalen Turner is the bestselling and award-winning author of four novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. She has been awarded a Newbery Honor and a Horn Book-Boston Globe Honor and won the LA 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. She lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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Top customer reviews
This was obviously, my very long way of saying that this series managed to throw me, yet again, with a change in the basic "WHO IS TELLING THE STORY" Even within the book, the first part is told from Sophos' 1st POV and the latter half in 3rd person. Talk about confusing.
Even if I treated this book like a standalone, I didn't like the character of Sophos. He seemed like such a naive person even in the first book and it felt like his character was so vanilla throughout the course of the book. He sort of... bored me? Though is character made progress on what kind of a ruler he wanted to be, and what kind of a person he should be from the book in Book One, I struggled to connect with him on what was supposed to be a re-defining journey.
Even though I didn't like Sophos, the one thing I've NEVER been able to fault this series with is it's BRILLIANT world building. Whether we've been in Eddis, Attolia or absolutely anywhere else, I could feel the places being described and the people in it come to life as if they were sitting right next to me. There is no doubt in my mind that the world, the customs, the tradition and the religion that are in these books are some of the best that have ever been created in YA Fantasy books - and I've read a LOT of them!
Another things I really loved about this book was the Romance! I didn't think too much of it at first, as this series hasn't given the most importance to that particular aspect of books and life but there was just this minute when the ship in this book hit me and, well, I loved it.
I'm not entirely sure if I will be picking up Thick as Thieves, but it has been a wonderful experience reading this series.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Queen of Attolia
The King of Attolia
A Conspiracy of Kings
Thick as Thieves
by Megan Whalen Turner
This is one of those series of books that you really ought to read in order. While each book can and does stand alone, this is a tale that unfolds like a flower, one petal at a time, and you owe it to yourself to let yourself enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Take Humpty-Dumpty’s advice. Begin at the beginning, go on to the end, then stop — and then wish that there was more to the tale!
So: Imagine a land that looks like Greece but isn’t, inhabited by a people with Greek sounding names, who worship gods with Greek sounding names, but who have pocket watches, window glass, and flintlocks. They speak a common language, worship common gods, but have divided themselves into three separate states: Sounis, Eddis and Attolia: The queendom* of Eddis is both protected and trapped within its mountainous geography. It is sandwiched between the kingdom of Sounis on one hand, and the queendom of Attolia on the other. The king of Sounis covets Attolia, Eddis, and especially Eddis’ queen. The Queen of Attolia is struggling to keep her throne and her power against the machinations of the large empire of Mede across the sea to the south. Like the wolf at the door, Mede is hungry to get a foothold on their shores by using intrigue and influence to gain control of all three states, and another powerful empire to the north of them is equally determined not to let this happen.
The tale starts with The Thief, whose name is Gen, locked in the palace dungeons of the king of Sounis for being what he is, a thief. It’s a heist tale, suspenseful and exciting; it sets the stage for everything that comes after. By the end of it we have come to understand the where’s and why’s of the story, and have met all the important who’s but one.
The second book continues the career of Gen the thief, and introduces us to the last of the key players, The Queen of Attolia, a woman who must walk a tightrope to stay one step ahead of the machinations of the Mede ambassador who already sees himself as Attolia’s next king. When Gen falls into her clutches, she takes something important from him, but he steals something much more important from her.
In The King of Attolia, the third book, Attolia gets the king it needs but doesn’t want, and in order for Gen the thief to obtain the one thing he wants most, he also has to take what comes with it — which is the last thing he wants
In the fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings, Sophos, the chief advisor of Sounis’ young apprentice whom we met in The Thief, gets to tell his tale. He is an unwilling hero who has the wit to make the right choices and then somehow find the strength to carry them out. He survives betrayal, slavery, conspiracy, pitched battles and the loss of his mother and sisters. This is the fast-paced, action packed story of how a boy becomes a man, how a man becomes a king, and how the young apprentice Sophos puts the heir of Sounis on his throne.
I suspect that Ms. Turner succumbed to the plea that every story teller hopes to hear, “Just one more story! Please!” That “one more story” is Thick as Thieves. In it, the chief slave of the former Mede ambassador to the court of Attolia tells how Attolia’s king enacted his revenge on both master and slave.
I was lucky that the first three books were already out when I started The Thief. I only had to wait two days for the second and third books to arrive from Amazon. I read them again when the fourth book came out, and have just finished reading them all again now that the fifth book is out. I know at some point I’ll want to read them all again. Yes, they are that good. By the end of the first chapter of The Thief, the characters had stepped off the page and into the miniseries that was playing in my head as I continued reading. As I said at the start of this, do yourself a favor and read the books in order. Just when you think you know how the tale is going to go, the tale takes an unexpected twist. Things are not what they seem, and people are not who you think they are.
Oh, and did I mention the volcano?
*Don’t tell me a queendom isn’t a thing. If a country ruled by a king is a kingdom, then a country ruled by a queen is a queendom. Sit down and hush.
One reviewer asked why Gen was so "greedy". This seems a misreading of his motives which have to do with events foretold for Eddis and the impending conflict between the Medes and Eddis/Sounis/Attolia. Another reviewer found the epistolary style of the early part of the book off putting. I thought so too for the first few pages until the character to whom Sophos was writing became clear. One reviewer thought there was too little Gen. Gen isn't "onstage" in every scene, but I felt his presence continually in the actions and dialogue of the other characters. He remains the linchpin of the story. One reviewer questioned Sophos's intelligence and whether he was an interesting character. I read him as a very interesting character and quite smart, just not in a subtle and guarded "Gen" sort of way. One thing that struck me about Sophos as a character was that Turner was able to portray him as "royal" but in a very different way than Gen or Irene or Helen. By the end of _A Conspiracy of Kings_ I had a much better sense as to what made each of the rulers of Souris, Eddis, and Attolia uniquely suited to rule. This is in part to the different ways in which each has been introduced to the reader. One of the great things about this series is the way that Turner varies the point of view and other elements of the narrative structure while continuing the development of the characters, the plot and the setting. The density of the storytelling (which achieves a kind of paradoxical simplicity)contributes to the density of the story. The last scene of the book is utterly charming.
There are a number of fantasy writers whose books I look forward to reading but few writers whose books I look forward to rereading: Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia McKillip, C.J. Cherryh (for the most part), and Megan Whalen Turner.