Book Review: The Queen of Attolia
By Megan Whalen Turner
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.
…at what price?
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…
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
The Thief series is very complex, and I believe many young adult readers will lose much of what is written. My first reaction to The Queen of Attolia was dislike even though it is well written. I was so upset over the Queen’s behavior that I had a hard time understanding why Eudenides would put himself in such a tenuous position. Hopefully it isn’t giving away too much when I tell you that Gen loses his hand. (Please note the queen is holding a hooked hand on the cover for a reason.) I really hated to see Gen maimed!
Because of my initial feelings about The Queen of Attolia, I decided I needed to go back and read it again. Gen losing his hand so brutally definitely colored by point of view. I can see clues that Queen Attolia is not what she appears to be and has taken the action she saw to be necessary to solidify her reign. I am still baffled over Gen falling in love with Attolia. His feelings seem to be based on a time when he spied her dancing alone in the garden and a compassion for the decisions she was forced to make.
The Queen of Attolia moves between the machinations of four kingdoms and so it’s more complex. Each nation is distinguished from the others and necessary to the plot. Gen makes a couple of bold strategic moves to help Eddis, and change the politics in each nation. I love how Gen is always under appreciated.
I love some of the lines, such as, a conversation between Gen and the magus:
“You said I should do something.” Eugenides smiled in the dark, twisting the knife of his revenge a little deeper into the magus.
“As you were leaving, after your extremely edifying visit in the spring. You said, ‘You could still do something.’ Your exact words.”
“I meant talk your queen into surrendering, not destroy our navy in its own harbor!” the magus shouted.
I enjoyed the stories of the gods in The Thief and wished there had been more stories in the sequel. The Queen of Attolia is my least favorite in the series. As a second book in a series it does move along at a quick pace. Still read it so the next book makes any sense.
– the Mother
If you like this series try reading A Cast, of Stones by Patrick W. Carr.
Teen Point of View
This book lacked character development. My favorite part of a book is characterization.
The most undeveloped part was the love between Eugenides and Attolia. The affection on Gen’s part seemed random and unwarranted. I couldn’t see anything in Attolia to redeem her for Gen’s love other than her beauty.
I liked Gen’s ploys. It was clever that he stole people as the thief.
– the daughter