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A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Megan Whalen Turner
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father's villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.

In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.

Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the magus—and Eddis—sets out on an Badventure that will change all of their lives forever.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up—Teenaged Sophos is his uncle's heir, but his love of poetry and lack of interest in ruling have caused his father to send him to a remote villa. When it is attacked by the king's enemies, Sophos is sold into slavery, where he begins to mature and develop both physically, from the hard manual labor, and emotionally. He makes the decision to escape slavery and try to resume his place as heir and eventually king of Sounis, traveling to Attolia to try to recruit support from its queen and king, Sophos's friend, Eugenides, the protagonist of The Thief (1996) and The King of Attolia (2006, both HarperCollins). Layers of intrigue follow Sophos as he tries to protect Sounis from various groups of enemies, leading to a surprising twist at the conclusion. Sophos tells his story to an initially unknown audience, but interspersed third-person chapters provide additional perspective. Fans of Turner's earlier books set in the medieval-style kingdoms of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia will enjoy seeing Eugenides, the magus, and other familiar characters again, while the new protagonist and ample background make A Conspiracy of Kings accessible for new readers as well. This is a well-constructed and intricate tale of action, adventure, and assuming the mantle of leadership.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Following The Thief, a 1997 Newbery Honor Book, and The King of Attolia, a 2007 Best Book for Young Adults, Turner continues her exquisite series with another rich story that examines peace, power, leadership, and loyalty. After initial, tense prison scenes focused on Eugenides, the king of Attolia, the novel’s viewpoint switches from third to first person, and Sophos, the reluctant king of Sounis who prefers poetry to politics, relates the adventures that precipitated his rise to questionable power. Tutors have drilled Sophos in imaginary attacks, but after he loses his family in a real invasion, he is bereft and goes into hiding as a slave on a nobleman’s estate in order to avoid his sovereign responsibilities. Even though Eugenides’ fans will miss his presence, he continues to pull strings from the sidelines as he joins leaders in high-priced alliances and prepares for an invasion. Turner’s plotting remains deft, and the subtlety with which she balances her characters’ inner and outer worlds will delight both series 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. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Dobrez

Product Details

  • File Size: 360 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061870935
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (March 23, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003AYZB8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,651 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Continuity without repetition March 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a lot. Turner continues to demonstrate her ability to construct beautiful sentences, moving descriptions of places, events and people, and elegant turns of phrase. There are the (for Turner) typical shining moments when characters reveal themselves, sometimes even to themselves. The reader learns more about Gen's world, its geography and history (the archipelago off the coast of Attolia and the impending all out war with the Medes suggests a future book in which the islands will play a prominent role and the possibility of a Salamis style naval battle with the Medes - I hope). We are reminded that Gen is 1) very young, 2) very very smart, 3) very very gifted, 4) willing to bear the burdens of both kingship and of those he loves, and 5) in need of a male friend to whom he can talk to and love more or less as an equal. We're also reminded that the gods work in subtle ways and that this is a world where violence is taken for granted even when regretted.

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.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book- Tips to Maximze Enjoyment April 11, 2010
My relationship with this book started out cool, but now I am convinced it is the best book I will read this year.

Here are a few tips to really enjoy this book - I hope you will have as positive of a reading experience as I did:

Q1) Do you need to read any of MWT's books beforehand to enjoy this book?
A) Probably not, but it sure helps to re-read The Thief. The narrator of the book is Sophos. A secondary character in The Thief who has a charming personality. Refreshing your read of The Thief will bring this character (Sophos) to light as he comes of age and decides what kind of a man he is going to be in this book.

Q2)Should I buy this as an e-book or as a paper book?
A) I actually downloaded this first to my Kindle. Didn't like it that much - couldn't bond with the book. MWT has a wonderful command of the english language and her plots are dense, but light on their feet. It is easier to read this book in paper because it physically slows your reading down and you can refer back to dense (but nimble) sections.

Q3) For Young Adult Readers or for Adults?
A) For all--but it is definitely a mature plot line.

Q4) How does this fit with similar adventure/quest books like JK Rowling/ Harry Potter or Riodian's Lightning Thief?
A) MWTs books do not follow a formulaic structure. There are tremendous benefits to a formulaic structure - It makes for an easy read and easy bonding with the characters. It is easier to dive into those types of books since authors often don't write sequels rapidly. I found myself wishing for that type of familiarity to get me back into the author's mind/character's world. However, a simple re-reading of The Thief got me back there.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
By Girl
I'll just say it: I miss my thief. His Majesty, the King of Attolia has become more and more distant as these books progress. First he was Gen, a common thief, telling his story in an endearing first person. I loved him, and I loved that I, too, was tricked by the thief. I turned those last pages with my mouth open in shock that the braggart thief I had grown to respect for his stubbornness and wit was an even greater man than I thought.

For "The Queen of Attolia" he became Eugenides, a man whose life is related in third person, his thoughts a mystery, but the story at least told from his perspective. Then, in "The King of Attolia", I was denied even that. I was forced to sit and observe from the perspective of Costis, to be lured into his misconceptions and prejudices against the "King of Attolia," when I knew better. And now, in "A Conspiracy of Kings", he is donned (even more impersonally) "Attolis" and I see so little of the man I came here for. I am forced to snatch glances of the King through the eyes of Sophos, and desperately wish for more.

Sophos is not nearly the hero that Eugenides was.

His voice seems whiny and I found myself, if not skimming, at least hurrying through his story, which dominates the book. I just didn't care. I wanted to see the thief. Even the romance between Sophos and Eddis is not really fulfilling when I've already been privy to the complex relationship between Gen and Attolia. Can you imagine having to face the fact that you stole THE RIGHT HAND of the person you love? It seems unfathomable, unthinkable and yet, there it is, greeting Attolia every morning. I loved reading about it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Series!
The Queen's Thief is a WONDERFUL series. I couldn't put it down. Loved the characters and the mythic fantasy environment that is reminiscent of Greece. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn Hay
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good entry in Turner's wonderful series
I am a middle-aged woman, and I love this series of books. I discovered them by reading a post by Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite authors. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Looking for a Fun Read
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel to the series
Excellent sequel to the series where we find out what happened to Sophos, the missing heir to Sounis, and adventure with him as he comes into his own. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frankie C.
5.0 out of 5 stars I gave it four stars because I love the series and the book
I gave it four stars because I love the series and the book! Also the shipping came in time so that is also a plus. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Younghee Somemoto
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good interesting read
Published 2 months ago by KenE
5.0 out of 5 stars Reall good reading. I already gave my review with The ...
Reall good reading. I already gave my review with The Thief ( the first book in this series). I love all of these books
Published 2 months ago by Jane A. Knaak
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It could have been a very short story.
Did anybody care what happened to that boy?
Published 3 months ago by whittier
4.0 out of 5 stars while beautifully written, was just not as fully evolved as ...
this book, while beautifully written, was just not as fully evolved as the other three books in this series. i have read and re-read the other three countless times. Read more
Published 3 months ago by L. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet.
Sorry to have the series end. What a great read all of Turner's books are. What will happen now. Perhaps there will be more to follow.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful writing. Loved all Megan's stories. One of my favorites.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Megan Whalen Turner is married to a professor and often relocates when he needs to do research. When they traveled to Greece one summer, she decided to use its landscape as the background of a book, but didn't write The Thief until she was spending a year in California, where the olive trees reminded her of the Greek mainland.

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At last
I'm a librarian who has recommended this series to many (adults, teens and kids alike). While I wouldn't rank it as "like Jane Austen", I'd definitely set it beside, and equal to, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series, and C. S. Lewis's Narnia books.... Read More
Jul 31, 2009 by Gillian D. Wiseman |  See all 20 posts
Conspiracy of Kings Cover
Thanks, Antiquarian!! Not only was I able to view the beautiful cover, but there also was a nice, in-depth synopsis of the novel. I am so looking forward to finally reading this book!
Aug 12, 2009 by Susan Robertson |  See all 3 posts
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