Written by: Megan Whalen Turner
Pages: 387 (Trade Paperback)
Series: Book Three (ongoing)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making. Attolia's barons seethe with resentment, the Mede emperor is returning to the attack, and the king is surrounded by the subtle and dangerous intrigue of the Attolian court.
When a naive young guard expresses his contempt for the king in no uncertain terms, he is dragged by Eugenides into the center of the political maelstrom. Like the king, he cannot escape the difficulties he makes for himself. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but he discovers a reluctant sympathy for Eugenides as he watches the newly crowned king struggle against his fate.
Must Have: it's very, very close to a "Keeper Shelf" because I'm very, very tempted to sit down with the first three books and read them all over again. The King of Attolia was beautiful, and I'm not sure what else I can say. When I finished, I just sat there, savoring it, not wanting to rush to the next book in my TBR pile because I simply wanted let the book resonate with me. There's so much beauty here, and what a heroic and clever journey for Eugenides. It's a quiet, subtle fantasy that delights the mind and warms the heart PROVIDED you already have the first two books under your belt. Mind you, this could be read as a stand-alone, but you're missing a whole other dimension to this book if you do so. So don't. This book is by far the best of the three, and I can honestly say I look forward to the fourth book in the series, A Conspiracy of Kings, once it's available in paperback (though I won't say no to a free hardcover if it came my way). I did get the bonus of a short story in the back of my The King of Attolia copy, which focused on a childhood experience between the girl who would become Eddis and the gods, and that too was beautiful. Honestly, I have to say I love the way Turner handles the magic and religion of this series, as it's honest while being fictional, honest without being trite. Fantastic work, and I highly recommend this book, let alone the series, to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy but hasn't yet checked this out. Just note: The Thief is very different in tone and style than the rest of the books, so don't be jarred like I originally was when I read The Queen of Attolia. :)
Review style: I'm going to talk about why time heals (some) reading wounds, how the style isn't as jarring this time around and why, and how having the first two books under your belt really helps the enjoyment of the novel even though it could be read as a stand-alone, and lastly, how this series just doesn't feel like YA in the slightest, and how I'm not convinced that the characters I'm reading about are even teenagers. Spoilers? Unlike Eugenides, I'll behave.
The full review is in my LJ, for anyone who's interested. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Megan Whalen Turner's THE KING OF ATTOLIA
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Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson