I pretty much dropped everything to read this book -- the fourth in Megan Whalen Turner's "Queen's Thief" series -- the moment B&N called me to tell me it was in. I so love this series, I had to contain my giggles as I paid for it and cracked it for the first time.
I was sent the first six chapters + the prologue from the publisher, so I skimmed a bit and then dove right in, abdicating all responsibility for my family or my home. I've been waiting for this book since 2006, so sue me.
So, for those who know the series, this book focuses on Sophos, the heir of Sounis who disappeared somewhere during The Queen of Attolia, the second book. He's been having a rough time of it. Being more of a poet than a warrior, he was overmatched from the start and really never had a chance against his uncle's enemies.
But Sophos needed this. As much as his father tried to make a 'manly man' out of him, Sophos was still pampered and surrounded by servants who took care of him. Sure, he learned some sword play, and he wasn't a complete loser, but he'd much rather compose an ode than learn to defend himself on the field of battle or in a fractious court.
Well, a surprise attack and subsequent enslavement by ones own countrymen tends to change a guy.
I'm still processing this one. I don't want to give anything away here, but I will admit there were times I thought Sophos was a little more Forrest Gump than I liked. The movie Forrest Gump, who was far less interesting than the original book version, I promise you.
But that's Turner's way. Things are rarely as they seem. I figured out several of the 'surprises' but it's going back and finding the subtle foreshadowing that provides so much of the after-the-fact fun. Even though I know her style, I still got sent down the wrong path multiple times even as the answers were right in front of my face.
Truly an amazing and under-appreciated writer, Megan Whalen Turner has created a world that I go back to again and again. As I've said before, I keep the books near at hand so I can just pick one up and start reading anywhere and be entertained. Now that they're on Kindle, I can really have them at the ready.
Was this book as good as the previous -- The King of Attolia? As I said, I'm still processing, but my first instinct is 'no'. K of A was a tough act to follow, but this is by no means a failure. I didn't want to put it down for a second and that wasn't out of loyalty to one of my favorite authors. That was pure enjoyment.
There are some nice romantic moments here, and there are some hints for things that might happen later. One thing that worries me in particular, but I trust MWT not to cut my heart out. She'll make it bleed a little, but I'm pretty sure she'll leave it intact.
This is a YA book, so no sexy scenes but there is romance. Lots of political intrigue, suspense and some mild violence.
Now, I'm going back to the beginning and reading it again. :D