The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen TurnerThe King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen’s Thief # 3
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Number of pages: 387
My copy: paperback, bought from Fully Booked

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.

Then he drags a naive young guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king’s caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging respect. Though struggling against his fate, the newly crowned king is much more than he appears. Soon the corrupt Attolian court will learn that its subtle and dangerous intrigue is no match for Eugenides.

* * *

I did say that when I finished The Queen of Attolia, I cannot not pick up the next book, right? And that is very true — soon as I finished that book, I immediately picked up The King of Attolia to know what happens next. Because really, after you’re done with Queen, how could you not want to know?

I’m going in circles, I’m sorry.

Spoiler warning for The Thief and The Queen of Attolia from this point forward.

Seriously, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you read on and haven’t read the first two books.

So there is a new king in Attolia after years of not having one. But the Attolians aren’t rejoicing because they do not believe in the king. The scheming people who want to remove the queen think it’s easy to get rid of the king, too, while the loyal ones to the queen believe that the king is a fool. Reminiscent of school bullying, the Attolian court make life for the new king hard with various pranks and mockeries. But those pranks are nothing compared to an assassination attempt at the king. In the middle of all of this is Costis, a simple guard who did the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time. This makes him an unwilling companion to the king, and privy to his personal moments with the queen. His contempt for the king soon fades away, when he realizes what we readers have known or a long time: that the king, Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, is smarter and more cunning than everyone in the Attolian court combined. That, and he loves the Queen of Attolia and she loves him back.

Again, I must say: Megan Whalen Turner is a genius. Or a GENius, because Eugenides is a genius. After reading the first two books in the series, I already know what Eugenides is capable of, so it felt like I was in on a big secret as I read the book. I felt sorry for Costis, but I was amazed at how the events unfolded. MWT is amazing with hiding things from the reader, and making us wonder about the schemes and secrets of her characters. We know that Eugenides is smart, but why does it feel like he’s being beaten? What is the queen doing? Where is Eddis?

But as good as she is with hiding things from the reader, she’s also extremely skilled in revealing it bit by bit, and convincing readers of how it was all planned all along when we get to the end. It makes for a very, very satisfying read, and it made me fall in love with the series and the characters as I go on.

The best part of this book, IMHO, was the romance. The romance took me by surprise in The Queen of Attolia, and a part of me had a hard time believing it. In The King of Attolia, this romance was proven. I don’t think I fully understood how it came to be, but in the end, I was definitely convinced that these two people really love each other. My favorite scene (may be slight spoilery):

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.” (p. 218)

Ah. <3

I think this is my favorite of all the books so far. The King of Attolia had me snickering, sighing, giggling and sighing again with satisfaction when I was done. I think this may be my favorite book in the series. I can’t wait to get my hands on A Conspiracy of Kings. :)

Oh, and you know what? I think this book will also make for very good rereading. I look forward to that, too. :)

“Am I king?”

Rating: [rating=5]

2011 Challenge Status:
Required Reading – May

Other reviews:
Janicu’s Book Blog
Book Harbinger
Fantasy Cafe
Stella Matutina

Reviews for other Queen’s Thief books:
#1 The Thief
#2 The Queen of Attolia

9 Thoughts on “The King of Attolia

  1. Angiegirl on June 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm said:

    Yes! Yes, yes, yes. Wonderful review, Tina. I’m so glad you fell in love with these characters and this book. How could you not? And you’re quite right–it makes for excellent rereading.

    Also, I love that quote you included. LOVE it.

    • I am eternally grateful to everyone who’s raved about it. :D So happy to know what makes it so good. I feel like I’m part of the IN crowd now, LOL. :D

  2. I still haven’t read The King Of Attolia yet, just the first two. After this review, omfg I think I need to get to my copy ASAP.

    That quote you included is awesome and sweet and totally swoonworthy.

    Glad to see that The King Of Attolia is AWESOME.

    • I found it was a teensy bit better than Queen, but only because there was more fun and manipulation and romance. :D I hope you get to it soon!

  3. Yay, I knew that you’d love this one! So glad you finally got the chance to read it. I love the quote that you included, I have so many favorite scenes in this book. I also love the one in the staircase where Gen and Attolia meet right after the assassination attempt. Sigh. Maybe I should reread this books soon.

  4. Oh my. That quote! *love* I’d add it to my fav GR quotes but I’d worry about spoiling it for others yet to read KoA. I think this may be my favorite book of the series too. I love how much Gen has matured in some ways yet stubbornly remains himself in others.

    Didn’t you just think the fountain fight scene was the best? Gen is beyond cool. :D

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of Conspiracy of Kings! I was surprised at how much I liked it. Don’t know why. MWT is a genius, brilliant, a mastermind, etc so how would it not be just as excellent as its predecessors?

    • I felt really bad for him at first, but I knew he was up to something. Costis was the perfect POV to use — I loved how he realized that Gen is more than what he first thought. :)

      YES. That fountain scene got me! I knew something was up, and I was truly worried, but I loved how everything turned out. Then the scene at the stairway after! <3

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