The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

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Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In a genre crowded with series whose heroes and adventures seem much the same from one book to the next, The Queen of Attolia stands out. It is a sequel to the author's much acclaimed previous novel The Thief. While it has the same protagonist—Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis—the young hero has changed significantly since his quest for the legendary Hamiathes' Gift. He is not so apt to spout off wry comments or insults simply to get a reaction, and he has learned that the world does not revolve around him. He still has a healthy pride in his work and his judgement, however. In the sequel, this trait both gets him into worse straits than he has ever been in before and leads him to an exquisite revenge—or redemption. After having his hand cut off by the cold, beautiful Queen of Attolia, he manipulates affairs of state so that he can do the incredible—first kidnap the Queen, then marry her.

This book is full of political intrigue and military plans, but even those readers not fascinated by such topics can appreciate Eugenides' quicksilver wit, the mystery of a beautiful queen whose evil deeds mask her fear, and a group of other unique characters first met during Gen's quest for the Gift. These characters and courts are seen from a different angle this time too, as the book's scope widens and a third person narrative replaces the young thief's personal-viewpoint tale.

Behind it all, but integral enough that it colors every scene vividly, is the background, a sort of alternate-universe ancient Greece. The book will be most meaningful to those readers who are already familiar with its prequel, but even those who are not will easily fall under the spell of this intriguing story and world.