The King of Attolia Library Binding – Feb 1 2006
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7 Up–Fans whove 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 hes an idiot whos being used by the Queen. They refuse to believe that he and Irene could honestly love one another, considering that shes 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 hes 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 Costiss 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, its best to read the titles in order.–Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 8-11. Fans of the irascible Thief of Eddis will recall that Gen and his frosty nemesis, Attolia, exchanged vows of love in The Queen of Attolia (2000). This second follow-up to Turner's 1997 Newbery Honor Book, The Thief, follows the turbulent months just after their union, primarily from the perspective of Gen's reluctant personal assistant, Costis, who despises the "goat-footed throne-stealing interloper" as much as the rest of Attolia's insubordinate court. Gradually, though, Costis gleans that there is more to King Gen than his oafish, irascible behavior would suggest. Turner's wide-ranging, third-person narrative tantalizingly limits readers' access to Gen, leaving readers to sift truth from Gen-masterminded subterfuge and to weigh his detractors' prejudices undiluted. The challenge of internalizing so many new characters may halt some readers, and many will mourn the replacement of concrete, action-oriented exploits with this situation's more subtle courtly and diplomatic stratagems. Staunch fans of Turner's roguish hero, particularly those who enjoyed the middle-grade-friendly Thief several years ago and whose reading capabilities have ripened, will reap the greatest rewards here. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Usually, I can't think of anything to say for any of my favorites, mostly because they leave me speechless. This is no exception, but I'll give it a shot.
So. Each one of the installments in The Queen's Thief series revolves around a different genre; The Thief was an adventure, while its sequel, The Queen of Attolia, is about love, war and politics. The King of Attolia, however, is about loyalty and trust; specifically, how Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, earns the loyalty of the court of Attolia. It's a bumpy ride: with silly pranks, more serious conspiracies, gossip, hatred and prejudice at every turn, Eugenides has to deal with homesickness for Eddis along with many other fears and worries. He's an amazingly complex character, who appears on the outside to be petty and in every way unfit to be king - the court calls him the "one-handed goatfoot who abducted the queen and stole her throne," - because they know nothing about him. He falls asleep at meetings, ignores his attendants' cruel jokes, and generally convinces everyone that he's an idiot who doesn't know how to act like a king nor how to rule like one.
But he's no fool: he's a cunning chessmaster who knows exactly how to make them bow down, using careful planning, negotiations and mercy instead of his queen's preferred executions. He only has to reveal himself, and he does. In the course of time, Eugenides proves to each and every one of them what a king and warrior he can be.
Of course, if we knew all his plans, it would spoil the surprise for us, wouldn't it? So the narrative of this novel is given to one of his subjects, a guardsman named Costis.Read more ›
The book picks up with the former Thief of Eddis, Gen, now the newly crowned king of Attolia, except no one is taking him seriously, not even himself. The people of Attolia are furious with "the goat foot" who stole their beloved queen, and humiliating the king has become a national pastime. Poor Eugenides has found snakes in his bed, sand in his food, and has been attacked by the palace dogs, but isn't willing to enforce his authority. His court thinks he's an oaf and a pushover, and an unwilling king is a serious detriment as Attolia faces a war with the Mede Empire.
When Costis, a young idealistic member of the Queen's Guard, makes the mistake of showing his dislike for the king, he thinks he gets a fate worse than death; Eugenides promotes him to a lieutenant and makes him his personal guard. Though being the king's scapegoat is no easy trip, Costis soon realizes the difficulties Eugenides faces as a foreign sovereign in a hostile court. All the characters are tested in THE KING OF ATTOLIA as various forces vie for political power.
This book was a joy to read. Megan Whalen Turner gives the reader rich descriptions of both the sumptuous Attolian palace and its many inhabitants. The novel seems even more plot-based than her previous two books.Read more ›
Suitable for mature juvenile readers to adults - younger readers will love the action while teens and older will catch all of the pyschological drama going on. Some very strong stuff in these books, love both passionate and platonic, betrayal, loyalty, motivations; the concept of accepting your fate as pre-determined and leaving outcomes in the hands of your "god" are presented in all three of these books and perhaps most strongly in this one.
That's all below the surface. At the simplest level, just great stories. Prepare to stay up late with these.
I won't get into the plot here, but will just say the Eugenides is running true to form while developing in some interesting ways. Attolia herself is revealed in greater detail through the story. Disgraced palace guard Costis, from whose point of view most of the story is told, is a very human and believable character, though sometimes you just want to shake him ...
While these three books will definitely stand alone as a completed sequence if the author so chooses, I personally would love to see another sequel. There are many directions which this tale could go ...
Note to the author if tackling another sequel:
Keep your prose crisp and clean as you have in these three books; please don't ever fall into the "Rowling trap" of top-heavy, under-edited, words-for-the-sake-of-words and "Hey, look what a huge fat book I've produced." You've got a lot to say and are saying it in a beautifully developing and maturing style, with open-ended and non-stereotyped characters who will be able to travel as far as you're willing to send them. Kudos to you from an admiring (and demanding!) reader.
Most recent customer reviews
More and more brilliance. I read a lot but this is my favourite ever series.Published 14 months ago by Sarah
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