by Megan Whalen Turner
Plot Summary:By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making.
Then he drags a naive young guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging respect. Though struggling against his fate, the newly crowned king is much more than he appears. Soon the corrupt Attolian court will learn that its subtle and dangerous intrigue is no match for Eugenides.
Review:If you haven't read the first two books in this series, OMG just read it already!!! Ahem. I meant to say I can no longer contain the spoilers and it's better to pass over this review until you've read The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. I mean, really. These books are so good, just read it.
The narration switches again - this time to limited third-person omniscient with a new character - Costis. Now that Eugenides is King of Attolia, there are so many things against him, and through Costis' very biased eyes, it doesn't seem like Eugenides is bearing up too well under the pressure of court, the disdain of everyone around him, and the possibility that his wife doesn't really love him. But with two books detailing how Eugenides is pretty much always in control, I was so eager to read how he would turn things around. And this book was another clever installment of the Eugenides Is Awesome show! Even at those darkest moments when Eugenides seemed truly beaten, it was glorious to keep that belief in the character while reading, and to not be disappointed by the end. I continue to admire the way the author builds on Eugenides' character by showing the depth of his humanity and intelligence behind his wicked sense of humor and his carefully deceptive antics.
Costis as the main narrator, was also a wonderful character to get to know. He's obviously mistaken in his opinion of Eugenides, but gradually he comes to respect his king, and with that also gains the respect of the reader. His character arc is the most important in the book, and the author does a wonderful job of showcasing his growth and his estimable personality. And while we are learning more about Costis, we also learn about the smaller scale politics of Attolia which echoes what was explored in The Queen of Attolia, but now we see why the Queen is so cold and distant, and in the background what Eugenides is doing to change that. This story has layers upon layers - it's glorious!
This is another stellar installment of The Queen's Thief series - I might even say it's my favorite of the three so far - because of it's depth and it's climax - the book builds to a moment when Eugenides shows his hand, and it's a very satisfying conclusion. This series continues to be the most satisfying read I've had for awhile!