A Conspiracy of Kings

A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4)A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I guess this completes the series in a satisfactory way, since we were left with the disappearance of Sophos in a previous book. Perhaps I was getting tired of the series, but this just didn’t hold my interest very well. Yet another point of view – Sophos this time – but he is nowhere near the hero that Eugenides was in the first three books. In fact, there seems to be very little of him here at all. So unless you are dying to know what happened to Sophos, this book seems like just an afterthought to tie up the loose threads. There is none of the trickster quality that made Gen so endearing. Just a lot of political maneuvering. Sophos seems a bit plodding, and I’m not sure what Gen and the Queen of Eddis saw in him. It did pick up again toward the end when Sophos finally decides to fight for his right to rule Sounis.

Book Description: 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.

The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3)The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is fun to have a new perspective here – someone who does not know Eugenides. Of course, if you have read the first two books in the series, then you know that Eugenides is not the buffoon that he seems to be. Just as much fun as the other books in the series.

Book Description: 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. Told from the point of view of a naive young guard awaiting execution for striking the despised new king. Inexplicably, Eugenides pardons the young squad leader on one condition: Costis must faithfully serve as his personal assistant and bodyguard. But it’s not until assassins unsheathe their glittering blades that Costis realizes how much the quirky king means to him.

Audio version: Jeff Woodman’s superb narration highlights all the compelling action and subtle humor of a spellbinding novel with enough twists to suggest that things aren’t always what they seem to be.

The Queen of Attolia

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nothing much to add that I didn’t say in my review of The Thief. Another enjoyable installment of the world created by Megan Whalen Turner – part fantasy, part adventure, part romance. Narrated by the wonderful Jeff Woodman.

Book Description: Picking up where the Newbery Honor Book “The Thief” left off, “The Queen of Attolia” finds Eugenides detained inside a dank torture chamber, where the Queen orders that his hand be cut off to punish him for his past trangressions. After his release, mischievous Gen retains his sense of adventure, but is haunted by his loss and a growing attraction to the ice-cold Queen of Attolia. But he remains fiercely loyal to his cousin, the Queen of Eddis. When war breaks out between Attolia and its two neighbors, Eddis and Sounis, Gen must use all of his smarts to devise a plan for getting the rulers together to end the conflict — and perhaps sweep the Queen of Attolia away for himself.

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The Thief

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been meaning to read this series for quite a long time now. And I love anything narrated by Jeff Woodman. The world created by Megan Whalen Turner here is a blend of medieval fantasy (kingdoms and castles, but no magic or dragons) and ancient Greek mythology (tales of gods and goddesses). I picture Gen as a young Matthew Broderick (Ladyhawke), with the same knack for getting himself in and out of trouble. Turner has created the background mythology of this world and woven the stories of the gods into the adventure. But are they just stories, or do the gods still have a hand in the fates of mankind? The plot twists will keep readers in suspense until the very end. I had to go back and listen to it a second time once I knew the ending. Recommended for age 12 and up, but I think younger children would also enjoy it.

Book Description: Gen, the young thief, spends his time pacing restlessly in the king’s prison. Chains on his arms and legs don’t permit him to move very far. If only he hadn’t bragged about stealing the monarch’s ring, he wouldn’t be here now! When the royal magus summons Gen to his office, he has a surprising proposal for the prisoner – steal a marvelous treasure for the kingdom and earn his freedom – but fail, and pay with his life. Escorted by four hostile guards, Gen sets off on a thrilling journey so filled with adventure and intrigue that the gods themselves must be involved.