Saturday, February 11, 2006

Thieves, Queens and Kings

O.K. -- I want to talk about the new book from Meghan Whalen Turner, which has finally come out, more than 5 years since her last book. But first, you need to read the The Thief and its sequel The Queen of Attolia.

Go, ahead, I'll wait.

What do you mean, no?

Oh, fine! Without giving too much away, The Thief is the story of Gen, a skilled thief who is pulled from the dungeons of the King of Sounis to retrieve a magical and mystic jewel from a remote temple. Aside from a wonderful adventure plot, the The Thief has a fantastic twist ending. It even won a Newbery Honor Medal, but don't hold that against it.

Gen's story is continued in The Queen of Attolia. Gen often boasts that he can steal anything, slipping through the palace of the beautiful but cruel Queen at will. When he falters and is caught, he must pay a dear price. Now, with three kingdoms at war, Gen must back up his boasting, and steal peace, before enemies from without devour his home .

The latest book in the series is The King of Attolia. The newly crowned King of Attolia is unhappy. Although his marriage was politically convenient, his true goal was take Irene, the queen, as his wife. Now he spends his days surrounded by hostile courtiers and angry soldiers who think him a fool. He must eliminate those who threaten his queen and truly reign as the king -- even if he doesn't want to.

These are great books with a unique Greek-type setting. Although these books are technically fantasy, these aren't the typical wizards, dragons and pretty girls on horses type of fantasy. In fact, I often give Turner's books to kids who tell me they don't like fantasy, but have to read one for school or something. Give these books a try, and you too will start complaining that Turner doesn't write fast enough .

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