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Monday, April 13, 2009

The King of Attolia

Turner, Megan Whalen. The King of Attolia.

As good as the previous novels, The King of Attolia takes Gen the thief to Eugenides the king. What an unlikely scenario based on our first look at the rascal in The Thief! Gen, however, has been forced to grow up a great deal since his initial adventure, and as usual, appearances in Gen's case are almost always deceiving.

A reluctant king in many ways, Gen finds himself embroiled in court intrigue, deception, and treachery and must proceed carefully. Attolians are not inclined to accept Gen as their king and reveal their resentment in large and small ways. While Gen appears to shrug off the responsibilities of the kingdom, leaving the details to his queen, he does take steps to ensure his own safety by enlisting a reluctant young guard as his personal attendant.

Costos, the young guard, while grateful not to have lost his head for striking the king, finds his position as personal attendant galling. His irritation with Gen's often foolish and un-king-like behavior continues to grow even as he finds himself drawn to his king in spite of himself. Costos provides the perfect foil to the complex, protean Gen.

Each installment of this series moves into a different realm of conflict and adventure. The byzantine nature of the court provides most of the tension (there is another interesting source of tension as well) in The King of Attolia: on whom does one rely, how does one survive assassination attempts, how to deal with both internal and external threats to the kingdom, personal relationships....

Gen should never be underestimated in spite of his determination to make most people do just that.

I find it very difficult to review these books without giving away spoilers, and my own preference is to discover things on my own. Suffice it to say that Megan Whalen Turner has produced a worthy third novel in this series which has become one of my all-time fantasy favorites.

Comments on my previous posts about the series have given me the encouraging news that the 4th book in the series is in the works. Yea!


  1. I always love to visit your blog and see what you're reading. Seems you find such interesting books. I'm adding book 1 in this series to my list. Probably when I open my spreadsheet, I'll find I already added it when I read your review of the first book.

  2. boy u read fast! Its my All time favourite too!!

  3. I seriously need to read this series, now! I have had the first book sitting here for weeks now and still haven't started it! Must remedy that!

  4. booklogged - Since Carl began his Once Upon a Time Challenge, this time of year has become a fantasy orgy for many of us! I'm delighted to have discovered this series which was on my wish list from last year.

    anon - I love the way Turner steps up a notch with each book! This really is a classic series with such a wonderful, unpredictable hero.

    Kailana - I've just been over to the Once Upon a Time review site, messed up my entries, but looked over a few titles that others are reading, and added a few to my list. It is so difficult to read all the books that sound good. :) Even when you have them already checked out!