Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)

Author| Megan Whalen Turner
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| YA Fantasy
Rating| 4 1/2 stars
Other Reviews| The Thief

This is a SPOILER FREE review.

For those of you out there who had a hard time getting into The Thief the first book in this series, don't feel bad for giving up on it.  I would, however, recommend continuing onto this one anyways.  A strange recommendation, I know, but the two are so different and they can stand apart very nicely.

This book takes place not long after the first one.  Eugenides is in Attolia, performing his job, when things go terribly wrong.  From there a snowball effect occurs for the majority of the story.

After The Thief took me by such surprise and drew me into a remarkable story I was expecting this one to surpass it and gain a five star rating.  Sadly, it couldn't.  For one, the narration switches to third person.  Even Gen's parts.  It was so frustrating!  I enjoyed Gen's voice in the first one, and while this is a wider story with characters like the Queen's of Eddis and Attolia telling parts, there was, in my opinion, no reason for Gen to not "speak" in first person.  Mostly, it's disorienting for the first few chapters and you begin to wonder, "is this a dream?  is this really happening?" because of the change.  It set off the whole book for me.

Additionally, it was not what I was expecting.  It is a much broader story than the first.  Book one is easily a quest and.... that's it.  It's a good quest, but still.  Here, politics take center stage.  Little actual action occurs outside of the immediate beginning and end.  The middle reads like a history textbook, which, while interesting, was not what the back of the book says it will be.  In fact, if you can, don't read the back.  It gives away pretty much the only plot-point, and, well, it's better not knowing what that is.

But Sam, you say, You've given the book almost five stars in your rating!  Well, yes, I have.  The writing is still at the top of its game- in fact, it got better.  I couldn't put it down, even in the early hours of the morning.  There's something about Megan Whalen Turner's writing that is just magnetic and that I rarely experience.

Also, the character growth in this one, especially for Gen, blows my mind.  The kid you came to know in the first one is a man by the end of this one and you can't help but look on proudly (and sadly, for that kid is gone forever).  The story itself if fantastic!  I can't begin to imagine thinking up the events in this book.  It's a unique piece of YA fantasy and I completely understand why so many are smitten with this one.

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