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The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, Book 2) Paperback – January 24, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Queen's Thief Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the firelit torture chamber the executioner's sword descends--and the Eugenides--the Thief of Eddis--no longer has his clever right hand. The Queen of Attolia sits calmly and watches the dreadful amputation behind her carefully cultivated mask of coldness, but later agonizes over what she has done to him. At the same time, she rages at herself for not hanging her captured prisoner outright.

Readers who first met Eugenides as the rascally teenager Gen in the Newbery Honor-winning The Thief will find that in this sequel he deepens through suffering and loss, but keeps the same witty talent for elaborate, crafty schemes of espionage and theft. Caught between two rival queens in a landscape based on that which surrounds the Mediterranean Sea, Eugenides is loyal to Eddis as her Queen's Thief, but in love (despite himself) with the beautiful and seemingly ruthless Attolia. In her small mountain country, Eddis controls the only bridge between the valley nation of Sounis and the coastal kingdom of Attolia, while all three are threatened by the ships of the powerful Medes. As the web of intrigue and shifting allegiances expands, and war is imminent, the Queen's Thief risks everything on an audacious and cunning military strategy to bring the two queens together--and to steal Attolia for himself. This remarkable fantasy, with its appealing characters, emotional intensity, witty dialogue, and inventive plot, will have teen fans panting for more. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

This spellbinder of a sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning The Thief is every bit as devilishly well plotted and grandly conceived. As it opens, Eugenides the thief has fallen into the clutches of the queen of Attolia, who still seethes from his besting of her (relayed in The Thief). Unwilling to execute him, lest she start a war with the queen of Eddis (Eugenides's cousin and ruler), she orders his hand cut off. The drama is high, and the action grows only more engrossing. As Eugenides tries to reconcile himself to the amputation, war breaks out, involving Attolia, Eddis and Sounis, tiny countries modeled on ancient Greece and other Mediterranean nations. For the most part, Turner eschews battle scenes, although she executes these with flair. Instead, she emphasizes strategy, with brilliant, ever-deceptive Eugenides a match for Odysseus in his wiliness and daring, perpetually catching readers by surprise. When, fairly late in the novel, Eugenides decides that he must wed the fearsome queen of Attolia in order to achieve a more lasting peace--and that he loves her--it requires a certain leap of faith to accept that his terror of her coexists with desire. But 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. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reissue edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060841826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060841829
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Thief" was notable for the wry humor of its narrator, Gen, who revealed so much about himself while still keeping his story's twist ending in store for the reader. In "The Queen of Attolia," Gen (who prefers to be addressed by his full name, Eugenides, as befits his position as Queen's Thief of Eddis) finds his humor under severe strain as the uneasy political balance between the three countries of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia finally explodes under the pressure of the encroaching Mede Empire. An ill-fated foray into Attolia's palace loses Eugenides his hand and Eddis' reprisal-war-seems to be the response the Mede Ambassador and his Emperor have been waiting for. Three small countries will either ally or fall, and at the moment none of them are at all concerned with alliance. "What can a one-handed man steal?" If he's very, very clever, he just might be able to steal peace.
It has to be hard, being the sequel to a Newberry Award-winning book, but "The Queen of Attolia" manages admirably, in part by being different from its predecessor without losing the familiar context of characters and setting. A third-person narrative allows the reader to view the situation from the perspectives of various characters-mostly Eugenides and the Queen of Attolia-but also distances the characters; fortunately, Megan Whalen Turner maintains such detail in her descriptions that many third-person passages feel like first-person narratives. There are changes to deal with in familiar characters as well.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Queen of Attolia" is a great book. It is true, however that this story is slightly darker/less pleasant than "The Thief," but it is still one of the better books that I have ever read. I find it difficult to write a review on "The Queen of Attolia" because it has so many little twits and such a clever plot that if I am not careful I'll give the story away! However, I strongly urge you to read "The Thief" (the first book in this two-book sequel) before you read this story or else "The Thief's" plot will be totally given away - and after all, the plot IS the story. And, if you liked "The Thief" you will not be let down by this book.
"The Queen of Attolia" continues the drama of Eugenides - Gen - as he steals one thing after another, engages in a war, and makes his usual snide remarks and complaints, which somehow make you like him more than ever. Eugenides struggles with his emotions, fear, love, hate, pain; and he is faced with many decisions and dangers, and involves himself in risky plans and strategies during a war between the countries of Sounis, Eddis, the Mede, and Attolia that keep you gripping the book and wondering what will happen next. A spellbinding tale that has charm, adventure, action, a good plot, and (don't let this put you off!) a little bit of love. Do read this sequel, it's worth it.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't read the editorial review of this book at the top of the page! It contains major spoilers.
You definitely need to read "The Thief" before you dive into this book, or it won't make much sense.
This book is darker and more mature than its predecessor. It's still categorized as a young adult novel, but if you had a hard time handling some of the situations or vocabulary in "The Thief", you might want to let this one sit on your shelf for a year or two.
Ms. Turner does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters and the political situations she introduced in the first book. Although it has a satisfying conclusion, things are definitely left open for a third book, which I will certainly be waiting in line to buy.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book (and its prequel, The Thief) to my children as bedtime stories. They are a highly critical audience, but found this book both exciting and intellectually interesting. It is exquisitely well-written. Ms. Turner never makes a false step with her characterizations, or with the plot, and her use of language is far above the quality of that usually found in children's literature. We found ourselves discussing the book during the day, thinking about the motives of one character or another, and picking apart the politics of the four kingdoms involved in her story. I highly recommend this as a book to read to children, as it provides a perfect vehicle for teaching them how to understand literature, not to mention a little psychology! My kids were crestfallen the day we finished the book, and we all hope Ms. Turner will write another!
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Format: Paperback
Though sequel to the best book in the world, The Thief, this book has a much different tone. War, rule, treachery, diplomacy, despair, and hope.

Two kingdoms, Sounis and Attolia, stand on the sides of the mountain kingdom of Eddis. Across the sea lie the ambitious Medes, wanting to end up with those three kingdoms with as little effort as possible.

Sounis no longer has a hold over Eddis (read 'The Thief') to entice the queen to marry him, and the king is anxious to control her kingdom by other means if necessary. Attolia is a tiger ready to pounce, waiting for her chance.

All events are set in motion when Eddis sends her Thief, Eugenides, to spy on Attolia in her own capital. One time too many, and Attolia finally gets her hands on the thief who has eluded her grasp so many times before. She doesn't hang him, but sends him back to Eddis maimed for life.

A one-handed thief isn't use to anyone; that is the way Eugenides feels. Locking himself in his room, he shuns the world around him and ignores the clues to the trouble his kingdom faces that would eventually pull him out of his stupor:

Eddis is furious at what Attolia has done to her cousin, and as retaliation the two kingdoms go to war. Sounis seizes his chance and allies himself with Attolia, Attolia brings in the aid of the Mede and their crafty (and charming) ambassador, and Eddis's only hope lies in the Thief.

Quote: "Steal peace, Eugenides. Steal me some time."

Eugenides is growing from a boy to a man, but his wit still remains. The twists and turns and smooth curves will delight you, and you will cry and laugh with the clever Thief.
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