Thursday, October 09, 2014

Review: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

From Goodreads: Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father's villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace. In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again. Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the Magus and Eddis, sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever. 

My Rating: 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Whereas the previous books in The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner starred Eugenides, A Conspiracy of Kings is from the perspective of Sophos. This was unexpected; and meant that at least early on, I missed Eugenides.

But, I think Turner knew exactly what was necessary to broaden the scope of political intrigue in her series. Unlike Eugenides who you know would definitely have something up his sleeve, Sophos is a more vulnerable character; and so the series shifts its focus from the sly Eugenides’ ascent to power to the growing possibility of an invasion from the Mede Empire.

Since reading The Thief, I had liked the shy and scholarly Sophos. In A Conspiracy of Kings, you get to witness the suffering he endures – being kidnapped and sold into slavery – transform him from a na├»ve and idealistic character to one who is worthy of being a king. Although Sophos does his best to remain true to himself and to avoid bloodshed, he comes to realize that violence is sometimes unavoidable as a monarch. Some things are just worth fighting for!

And it’s not as if Eugenides isn’t around to help. While he can’t do anything outright because of his position, you know he’s machinating in the background with Attolia and Eddis.

The problem now is having an excruciatingly long wait for the next book in the series as there is still no date for when the fifth book is to be released. If only Turner would write faster!

A Conspiracy of Kings was released in March 2010 by Greenwillow Books. 

Comments About the Cover: I love the older look of all the covers in The Queen’s Thief series.

6 comments:

  1. There's nothing worse (for a book lover) than reaching the end of a book we loved and finding no release date for the next installment in sight. *sobs just thinking about it* Glad this book was so successful for you though Z!!!

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  2. I love the 'older' look of the covers, too, and I've heard nothing but good things about this series. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, Z! If you're begging the author to write faster, that could only mean I need to get these books ASAP.

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  3. I have to go back and continue this series. I only read the first book but really enjoyed it. Glad this one was a winner for you. :)

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  4. I've been wanting to start this series for awhile because it gets amazing reviews and it seems like you think no less of them. Definitely have to check them out soon, I like when a long series just keeps you hooked.

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  5. I agree with you, I missed Gen taking center stage. I did ultimately come around to loving this book (it's MWT so of course I love it) but I still feel a little disappointed at spending so much time with Sophos. I like him, but I don't love him like I love the other characters. Totally agree with you on the covers too. Ugh, and completely agree on the long wait time! At least she makes the wait worthwhile.

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  6. Oh man, I really really need to get to this series sometime because you just make it sound so good! Then again, maybe I'll wait for the author to announce the fifth book...

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