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The King of Attolia (Queen's Thief) Paperback – February 28, 2017
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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 an alternate Paperback 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 an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
After a few books shown from the PoVs of Eudenidies and The Queens it was interesting that most of this book was shown from the perspective of Costis a member of the Attolian guard. At first I didn’t really understand what the author was doing, but then it made perfect sense. It was a much more interesting story to see how everyone else in Attolia perceived Gen and try to figure out what he was really up to. If we got the story from his perspective then the mystery of it wouldn’t have been half as entertaining. I almost feel bad for Costis caught in whatever game Gen is playing.
***“Don’t hang Teleus. But I don’t see how you can hang Costis if you won’t hang his superior officer.”
The queen turned back to face him.
“I could hang you,” she said.
Eugenides looked up at her. “You missed your chance for that,” he said.
The queen lifted a hand to briefly cover her eyes. “It is remarkable how you cloud my otherwise clear vision,” she said. “What is it you propose?”
“I propose that you let me trade him to Teleus. His life in return for Teleus’s good behavior.”***
AND LET THE GAMES BEGIN…..The people of Attolia have made sure that Gen does not feel the least bit welcome in their country. Most of the time they like to refer to him as a jumped-up barbarian goatfoot and play little vengeful tricks on him in order to chip away at his resolve and respect. It was so weird to see what they thought of him since we know how deadly he truly is.
***The gods above knew that the king could be laid out by a toddler with a toasting fork. What hope had he against an assassin, trained as a sword is sharpened, honed to one purpose, to murder?***
I really enjoyed trying to figure out myself what game he was playing and why he was pretending to be so much less than he was. While I was certain there was something up I struggled to put the clues together. Everyone thought that they were getting the best of Eugenides, when he was really maneuvering them to move to the steps of the dance he set in motion.
We get little glimpses of Gen and the Queen together and it made it all the more special to also see those through Costis’s eyes. There aren’t a lot of them as this is not a romance per say but the moments we get really are pretty beautiful and spectacular because there aren’t a lot of them.
***“Tell me you won’t cut out my lying tongue, tell me you won’t blind me, you won’t drive red-hot wires into my ears.”
After one moment of gripped immobility, the queen bent to kiss the king lightly on one closed eyelid, then on the other. She said, “I love your eyes.” She kissed him on either cheek, near the small lobe of his ear. “I love your ears, and I love”—she paused as she kissed him gently on the lips—“every single one of your ridiculous lies.”***
There are a few moments of action in the book. But for the most part it is a political maneuvering conspiracy and most of the fun was in the revelation of clues and the big reveal of why Eugenides would put up with so much for so long. There was a great sword fight towards the end and I enjoyed the reason behind it and why it finally happened. It was great to see Gen finally figure out his place in Attolia and claim it in true Thief fashion.