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The Queen of Attolia (Queen's Thief) Paperback – 30 Apr 2017
|Paperback, 30 Apr 2017||
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“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)
“Megan Whalen Turner proves to be one of the brightest creative talents. With each book, she continues to add new levels and new lustre to her sparkling imagination.” (Lloyd Alexander)
“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))
“The intense read is thoroughly involving and wholly satisfying on all fronts.” (The Horn Book (starred review))
“Readers will be spellbound.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“A plot twist sets the obvious on its head and leads to an unexpected conclusion. Scheming, spying, thieving, and fighting fill the pages of this cleverly plotted, enjoyable tale. (Book)
“This rich, layered tale is immensely satisfying. A story to savor, one of those books a reader will race through to find out what happens, at the same time never wanting it to end.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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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Let’s go more into detail:
Like I said in my review of book one, I couldn’t help but feel that The Thief was more prequel novella than anything else, mostly because I felt like the ‘Master Thief’ that we were promised was just someone with a lot of luck. Also, the book was too nice and not at all filled with backstabbing and cunningness that I would expect from a book told in a Thief’s POV. (Thanks Six of Crows)
The Queen of Attolia, like I hoped it would be was SO SO MUCH BETTER.
For starters, there was a lot more going on in the book. I adored Gen’s descriptions in this book of his thieving encounters. They felt real, and pumped with adrenaline and actually showed off his skills unlike in book one.
I also REALLY LOVED the basic plot of this story. It showed us Gen is a whole different light. He was smart, capable and slightly cocky like in the first book but at the same time, after he gets caught, we see a more human as he wallowed in self-pity. He also made mistakes that he had to work to overcome, find his way back to becoming a capable Queen’s Thief and I really liked seeing him grow as a character.
Another thing I loved about the book was how we got to know the Queen of Attolia a lot more. We met her for a brief scene in the first book and here we also got to know her better – her motivations, the numerous pressures on her and how she survives as a woman in a man’s world.
I also loved the REALLY WELL DONE politics in this world, and all the war (battle) strategy. It is, after all, a book that encompasses the political nature of three countries – Eddis, Sounis and Attolia – and it took on that all important feeling that I expected from it.
As I said in my short and sweet, I liked this book a WHOLE lot better than book one, but I still didn’t fall in love and flail about it!
Hopefully I will in book three, though. 4 stars.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The plot twists like a river down a canyon, but at the end, the reader is left asking the same question as Gen. Was he betrayed, and if so, were the setbacks really necessary or just there to be torturous?
This is a long book and a lot happens in it. Eugenides is in the story a lot but not as much as the first book. The point of view bounces between Eugenides, Eddis, Attolia, and the Medean ambassador Nahuseresh.
This book was much more epic fantasy-like than the first book with more about war between nations than any adventure. I didn't like it quite as much because of that but it was still really well done with some unique twists and turns, just like the first book.
My 10 year old son and I read it together and we both enjoyed it a lot; although we both agree that the we liked the first book better.
Overall this is a very well done epic fantasy and I plan on continuing the series with my son.
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 Queen of Attolia is the second book in the series. It continues the career of Gen the thief, and introduces us to the last of the key players. Attolia's queen is 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. None of her choices are good; she has to decide which choice is the least bad and then live with the consequences of it. It's a darker book, full of grim realities. 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
I think the story was originally supposed to end here, but I can see how Ms. Turner couldn’t let it go. There was still one person who needed to tell his story.
In the fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings, the chief advisor of Sounis’ young apprentice, whom we met in The Thief, gets to tell his tale. It is the story of how a boy becomes a man, how a man becomes a king, and how the young apprentice 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.
Gen is probably one of my new favorite characters. Right behind Uhtred. And maybe Jericho Barrons. I'd have to read earlier Fever books to be sure. He's clever and proud and yet wounded in a way that makes you want to take him under your wing like a tiny bird fallen out of its nest and nurse him back to health.
This book was written in third person instead of the first person POV in The Thief. I was sad to lose the closeness with Gen but it was necessary for the story to be told this way. Otherwise you'd never know how Attolia was feeling and the story wouldn't have the same impact.
I did have this story spoiled for me because I got greedy and looked at the synopsis of the next book without realizing that the first three words of it were one giant reveal. It didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story however and maybe was helpful in that I had an idea of where it was all headed. Looking back, this book isn't so much about that turn of events as it was the journey to get there.
Turner's writing is clean, concise and efficient. Not poetry, but I mean this as a complement. Flowery writing in fantasy gets tiresome. Turner is a story teller, and she won't let you forget it for a moment.