Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia
When Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes's Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eugenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered...she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge.

Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times.

When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph, and his greatest loss, comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago...

After loving The Thief so much, its sequel wasn't going stay long on both the wishlist and the TBR pile. I was expecting more adventures with Gen, more of his awesomeness, more of the mythos of Eddis, Attolia and Sounis, and, going by the name of this book, a lot more about the queen of Attolia.

What I was not expecting, though, was to like this one even more than the first.

The Thief was amazing, introducing Gen and his quirks and cunning and cleverness. But it was focused mostly on Gen. I am not complaining, but the rest of the characters of this series are quite good as well. In this book, the queens of Eddis and Attolia get more air-time, and they are quite different from Gen. They are complex and, being queens, there is a lot about them that has to do with how they rule. (Oh, and they rule!)

And if, to those two queens, we add one king, one pesky foreign ambassador and a whole bunch of disloyal barons and ministers, we get a lot of political intrigue. And I really like that. The expression that comes to mind about this book is "political machinations".

And to do yet another comparison with The Thief, in the first there was a lot of cunning on Gen's part, a lot of twists, and a lot of surprises. So this time around, I was on the lookout for those, having learnt to expect the less sensible course of action from Gen. But that doesn't mean that it didn't surprise me here and there (it did, and especially at the beginning that I was afraid of the direction the story was going), but there was nothing really major as on the first book. But I did spend a lot of the time trying to figure out how exactly Gen would get out of his troubles.

So, to summarize, I loved this book and will keep on reading (the next book is on its way!).

Rating: 5 out of 5

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