Book Review: A Conspiracy of Kings
By Megan Whalen Turner
Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father’s villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.
In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.
Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the Magus and Eddis, sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I liked A Conspiracy of Kings more than The Queen of Attolia, but not as much as The Thief and The King of Attolia. Gen is not as involved in A Conspiracy of Kings, though he is still a clever boots. I cannot help but love Gen’s character and so I missed his continual maneuverings in the conspiracy. It is definitely worth reading.
Sophos grows through his trials and discovers he has qualities that he, and his father never suspected. Sophos grew from being Useless the Younger, into a young man we can admire. Even through the dramatic change in his station he retains a naivety which makes him very likeable. It’s the flaws and shortcoming of characters that help us love them.
There are also a many lines that had me smiling. Here are a few favorites to watch for (though I tried to keep them vague enough that it won’t spoil the plot):
“When you stop fussing,” Gen had said, slipping to his knees beside her couch, “I will sleep with two knives under my pillow.”
“Green wood,” I suggested, but even he sensed that there was something unfortunate about a metaphor for a king in which you dry out your royalty before you set fire to it.”
“One cannot toss ambassadors back like bad fish,”
‘I can make the king.’
“I had never let him see what I looked like when I smiled”
“I needed my king to send me help. You did.”
“You gave me the gun,” protested Sounis.
I have immensely enjoyed reading the books by Turner, and still hope she can write a bit faster so I have more to peruse. Not only does she create an interesting plot, but she writes so well. I love how she includes a mythology. Too many authors carelessly throw words on a page and call it a book, she crafts her words to make a new world. I easily slip into Turner’s new world because of her excellent writing.