The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner

Ms. Turner published The Thief (reviewed here) in 1996; in 2000 she published a sequel, pilule this novel. The third one, physician The King of Attolia, mind came out in 2006. Apparently it takes her a while to write novels, but considering how many awards she’s won, they’re worth the wait. The Thief was a Newbery Honor book in 1997, The King of Attolia was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award in 2007 (the YA version of the Nebula Awards); this volume was named to several ‘best of’ lists.

In any case, the books are set in a pseudo-Grecian world; one with clocks and guns, but also olive trees and gods and goddesses in a pantheon. Eddis, Sounis, and Attolia are three smallish countries located next to each other (Sounis, Eddis, then Attolia) on a peninsula. Eugenides (more often Gen in The Thief) is the Queen’s Thief of Eddis; he is also the Queen of Eddis’s cousin. (The rulers of the respective countries are referred to by the names of their countries, rather than their given names.) The three countries are having diplomatic issues; these are made worse when the Queen of Attolia discovers that Eugenides has broken into her residence and catches him. She throws him into a dungeon, which precipitates a near war; he is eventually returned to his family and country, a bit worse for wear. Eddis is quite fond of her cousin, and diplomacy between the countries wears thin. Eugenides falls into a depression regarding the whole situation, but eventually it comes to a point where he must either solve the problem he helped create, or let a major war start. Continue reading The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner