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
My favorite thing about The King of Attolia was that while Eugenides was distracted by puppeteering the ruin of a Baron’s house, Irene had neatly created the tune that made Gen dance himself into the position of a King, and she did it by barely lifting a finger.
It really was well played.
I got confused near the middle of the book because that’s when all the strands started being pulled together. Costis started respecting his king, the attendants got their well deserved dressing down, the court were realizing that their Queen might be in love with her husband after all, the conspiracies were revealed and dealt with… in a word, stuff that usually takes place more near the end.
But then I finished the book and realized that this was because in this book, the point wasn’t about how Eugenides the Queen’s Thief managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes until just the right moment, it was about Queen Attolia (and the gods) dragging him into the light of day (weather he wanted to be there or not) because being constantly underestimated is all well and good for a thief but a king needs to be reckoned with (and underestimated only under the right circumstances).
And I rather love that.
Also the romance aspects of it were amazing. And having them be slowly revealed through an outsider POV was brilliant.
And I liked Costis a lot too. Especially the further we got into the story and the more he saw of Eugenides’ true personality. And though I absolutely predicted him ending up attacking his king during practice to force him to show that he wasn’t an inept swordsman it was still really satisfying.
I’m hoping he makes further appearances in the following books too.
So currently this is ABSOLUTELY my favorite book in this series. And I’m more and more sure that this series might become one of my favorite ones ever. The best gem I’ve found in recent memory tbh.
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.
Yep. This is definitely one of my favorite books. I’ve read it so many times! I’ve even lost count. I mean look at it… It’s falling apart on me! The top right corner is on the verge of tearing away. The colors on the binding are crackling. The pages are yellow and crisp. Oh, it’s only a few steps away of entering the “handle-only-with-white-gloves” category. This cover – this copy is so special to me. You guys have no idea.[Insert feels here]
“No ‘Glory shall be your reward’ for me. Oh, no, for me, it is, 'Stop whining’ and 'Go to bed’.”
― Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia
My entry for @meganwhalenturner ’s Thick as Thieves ARC contest, featuring everyone’s favorite one-handed thief-king, Gen.
He wondered how the Attolians thought Eugenides had managed to become king if he was the idiot they assumed him to be. Perhaps because they had never seen him as the Thief, with his head thrown back and a glint in his eye that made the hair on the back of a man’s neck rise up… As a ten-year-old boy, the Thief of Eddis could stop a grown man in his tracks with a single look. Where had that look gone?
The King of Attolia
Unexpectedly Terrifying Gen will forever be my favorite Gen.