The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (2006)

“Tell me you won’t cut out my lying tongue, tell me you won’t blind me, you won’t drive red-hot wires into my ears.”
After one moment of gripped immobility, the queen bent to kiss the king lightly on one closed eyelid, then on the other. She said, “I love your eyes.” She kissed him on the other cheek, near the small lobe of his ear. “I love your ears, and I love” – she paused as she kissed him gently on the lips – “every single one of your ridiculous lies” (p 218).

king-of-attoliaThe people of Attolia are unwilling to accept Eugenides, formerly the Queen’s Thief from Eddis, as their new king. Not only is a foreigner, he practically stole their queen and he is decidedly unkingly. He dances with all the wrong women (meaning the girls of poorer relations), sleeps during meetings and he is a cripple.

Everyone assumes he is after the Queen’s sovereignty. Rumors abound. Who will the King make allegiances with and how will he remove the Queen’s Captain and her Master Spy? It is no secret the Queen sleeps alone. How could she possibly love a goat-footed foreigner?

But Eugenides is far from handicapped. Instead, he plots meticulously. He acts the fool, the disabled, the uninterested but all the while he listens, he spies, and he plans.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I can’t even tell you how glad I am I didn’t pick these books up sooner. If I had to wait more than a decade to continue reading Eugenides’ story (on top of the wait for Harry Potter), I might have gone mad. I just want this series to go on and on and on. Like The Ranger’s Apprentice series, I could read about the characters in The Queen’s Thief series day in and out and never tire of them.

But of course, writing this good takes time. And I will gladly wait and hope for more. And more. And more.

I haven’t squeaked and guffawed and laughed and shouted at a book this much since… probably The Monstromologist about a year and a half ago. Great stuff. On to A Conspiracy of Kings.

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