When his small mountains country goes to war with the powerful nation of Attolia, Eugenides the thief is faced with his greatest challenge. He must steal a man, he must steal a queen, and he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph-as well as his greatest loss-can only come if he succeeds in capturing something the Queen of Attolia may have sacrificed long ago.Buy on Amazon | Goodreads
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this second book except that everyone told me it was amazing and way better than the first book. I liked the first book! But only after I read it twice. So obviously with The Queen of Attolia I was expecting immediate love equivalent to a dragon’s horde of gold.
I DID love it! And it WAS amazing!
But it was amazing partly because it built off the first book. If I’d just skipped The Thief and gone straight to this one, no way would I have been as emotionally wrecked as I was while reading Queen. (Just a tip for those who’re thinking of reading this series.) My love for the characters from the first book is what made Queen such a powerful read for me, see!
Speaking of emotionally wrecked: this book KILLED ME DEAD. It is SO amazing and the progression of the storyline so powerful and the writing so perfectly balanced between concise and flowy-beautiful and and and. I can’t handle it. SO GOOD.
I was surprised at how much I liked the romance! It’s definitely not hearts and flowers, considering how Attolia is such a cold-hearted villain. But that isn’t all she is. I liked that we got to see more of what’s behind the mask.
However, the fact that View Spoiler »a) Gen is scared of her and b) she fricking cut off his hand and « Hide Spoiler c) she can’t trust anyone makes for a very interesting relationship. They love each other, but is that enough? Especially when EVERYONE ELSE doesn’t trust her or like her or LIKE OR TRUST HER WITH View Spoiler »GEN BECAUSE THEY LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND DON’T WANT HIM HURT AND OMG I’M DYING FOR LOVE OF THIS BOOK SEND HELP « Hide Spoiler
I also liked the fact that we got to see a bit more about Attolia-the-country. The contrast between Gen’s country and Attolia was interesting, but I never felt like we actually got to know the people of Attolia. All the nobles are jerks, but what about the regular people? Are they jerks as well?
We saw so much of the Gen’s people and how his society worked in The Thief that the lack of the same for Attolia was strange. But I think partly that was because the queen is so isolated from the general populace and we’re seeing them through her POV, which would explain the stunted descriptions of her kingdom.
Anyone else catch shades of Diana Wynne Jones’ Dalemark quartet in this book? Most particularly in the interference of the gods in the life of their followers and the warring countries and so on?
Anyway, hip-hip-hooray for love being the catalyst but not the entirety of the reason for Attolia’s character development! I love it when there’s tons of emotionally-satisfying plot developments, especially when it’s balanced with physical movement. There’s war in this book, and it’s not pretty or even that heroic, but it’s there. I was more blown away by the emotional stuff, but the fighting is important, too, as it’s tied up with romance/friendship/familial love.
It will be a long and difficult process towards turning Attolia into someone I might like– though I do actually admire her! Which was unexpected considering the many terrible things she’s done– and I look forward to reading the third book and seeing what happens.
Read: April 30-May 1, 2014