Book Review: The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner


279 pp.

Buy on Amazon.

I think this is going to be one of those series where I’m really glad that the other books are already available. (Though when I get done with the fourth book in the series I’m probably going to be miserable waiting for the next book.) The protagonists, setting and story continue to be intriguing, and the emotions and reactions of the characters to what happens in the novel are emotionally accurate and extremely intense.

In this sequel to The Thief, Eugenides has been engaging in a little espionage in the kingdom of Attolia. The Queen of Attolia is in no way happy about this since Eugenides previous adventure caused her to lose face in front of her barons. Since the Queen is in a very precarious position, she really wants to get her hands on Eugenides for the purpose of revenge. She gets her revenge, but she also gets a war. (The Queen of Eddis was not happy about what had happened to Eugenides, who is her cousin.)

Turner goes into some dark territory in this book. Eugenides has to deal with a crippling injury and the aftermath of his experiences in the Queen’s dungeon while feeling responsible for the war. Turner does not gloss over Eugenides depression and fear, but at the same time, she doesn’t dwell on it in a morbid fashion. There are no quick fixes, and Eugenides isn’t *magically cured of his depression.

One of the interesting aspects of the novel is the way The Queen of Eddis and her family is contrasted with the Queen of Attolia’s back story. (The Queen of Eddis did not have nearly as much trouble securing power for a variety of reasons, most of them centered on her relatives who are in key positions of power.  The Queen of Attolia however had very little interaction with her family, and she was generally regarded as useful only for who she might marry. She also had to do some fairly horrible things in order to secure her rule.)

This is a great book that I liked a great deal. Eugenides is an amazingly sympathetic character, and so in a strange way is the Queen. (A slightly scary character, but still very sympathetic.) I liked how there were no real villains in the book, even the characters with a tendency to behave villainously, and I liked how the story is eventually resolved. There were a lot of surprises and a lot of twists and turns to the intrigue that makes this a entertaining and even thought provoking book.

I would recommend this book to either young adults or older adults.

*While technically this is true, it might be more accurate to state that his gods have a tendency to follow the “tough love” school of interacting with mortals. That is to say, Eugenides gets a visitation from the gods, telling him to stop whining.


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Filed under book, fantasy, Megan Whalen Turner, non-earth, Review: Book, young adult

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