Notes about the books: - they are standalone-ish stories that share a cast and world - The Thief reads
like a quaint middle grade novel that is tonally completely different
from the rest of the series, which reads like classic YA fantasy with adult characters; the real action begins with The Queen of Attolia. Both books are much better on reread–the foreshadowing will likely fly by you the first time, and as these are more “setup” books, I think they can be difficult to appreciate on their own. - The King of Attolia, ho boy, I wasn’t expecting much from the summary and now here I am screaming; this is the one that goes on my all-time favorites. - EDIT: I HAVE NOW READ A Conspiracy of Kings AND AM CONSUMED BY EMOTION. MY SOVEREIGN BBS. Thick as Thieves releases in May!!
you must first understand: I have no interest in methodical political intrigue. This series is only methodical political intrigue and here I am.
it is subtle, unlike me, and every scene is so carefully crafted; concise, deliberate prose that knows exactly what it’s doing and revealing
or not revealing
VERY SMART PROTAGONISTS whose strength and cunning are balanced by having to make VERY DIFFICULT DECISIONS.
the QUEENS. Literal (multiple!) queens are at the forefront of the
politics, with unquestioned strength and ferocity even when they may not have the most tenuous hold on their power. They come
into the story seasoned rulers, not novices. One is a favorite anti-heroine, cold and cruel and YET.
I liked the titular character until The King of Attolia, now I LOVE HIM. All things in the world should star Eugenides.
the dash of romance in the series is so unique, so unexpectedly romantic; easily on my list of all-time fav couples
the stories build so much: many-layered cast with multiple PoVs, domestic andforeign politics, complicated relationships that have you constantly looking over the characters’ shoulders, a wry humor on top of that, and it is so satisfying to see it all weave together like an elaborate rug
a beautiful, elaborate rug that winks at you before pulling itself out from under your feet
This is ignoring all the intricate political and tragic plots that actually lead up to this series of events.
(To assist with my unruly handwriting, the text is written out below)
Panel 1- Ion (Out of view): Your majesty, will you please stop sulking and come get dressed? Panel 2- Gen: Do you realise, Ion, that all my friends are taller than me now? Ion (OOV): Your maj- Panel 3- Gen: No, seriously, y’know SOPHOS used to be shorter than me? And now he’s a damned tree! Then there’s Costis, Aris, Teleus- Ion (OOV): (is teleus really your friend tho?) Panel 4- Gen: All of you peacocks are taller, even Helen and Heiro! The last time I had a friend my height was - was… Get Costis. Panel 5- Costis: You want me to kidnap you a short friend. Gen (OOV): Yeh. But say it’s revenge. Make a hand pun. Be cool.
Panel 6 - A lot of walking and awkward flirting later Panel 7- Gen: Yes! He’s shorter than I remembered! Kamet: Oh Gods, it’s YOU Costis: Do you mind if Kamet and I go get married now?
I am going to the palace prison to indulge myself. I think I deserve it.
The King of Attolia, pg. 245 of the 2005 paperback
I do not have the words to describe how much I love the fact that our whiny, arrogant, sometimes vindictive, lying, thieving, horrendous son is nearly mortally wounded and decides that the one thing he can do to make himself feel better is to return to the scene of his worst nightmares to bring freedom and relief to the man who once tortured him because they are both wholeheartedly and irrevocably devoted to the same woman and our boy knows he can save the man from himself.
“The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the hollow of the queen’s shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day.”
“My king,” said the Attolian with a very serious expression, “likes to pretend that he doesn’t recognize the Mede ambassador. Whenever they meet, the ambassador has to introduce himself - with all of his diplomatic titles and his qualifications.”