Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2006   ISBN: 978-0060835774

Eugenides is no longer the Thief of Eddis. Now, thanks to his own machinations and those of the queen of Eddis, he is married to the Queen of Attolia. He is a king and he now appreciates how frustrating it is to be a royal personage. Of course, his situation is rather complicated because the people of Attolia don't want him there. His own servants go out of their way to make his life difficult, putting sand in his food, ruining his clothes, and doing everything that they can to make him feel unwelcome.

One day Costis, a member of the Queen's Guard, strikes the king. Instead of having the young man imprisoned or banished, the king decides to have Costis serve him. Costis is furious that he has to follow the king around, a man whom he despises and whom he thinks is a half-wit, but he has no choice. Costis soon discovers that life in the palace is very complicated. The kingdom needs the king to be strong, and yet he refuses to do what is needed. Instead, he behaves like a fool and appears to be incapable of acting like a true king.

However, over time, Costis discovers that the former Thief of Eddis is not what he seems. He may be missing a hand, but he is not helpless. It may seem that he does not know what is going on around him, but in fact he knows about every intrigue and plan that is brewing. Costis reluctantly begins to have some respect for his young master, and he realizes that it is a mistake to underestimate the King of Attolia.

In this third title in the Thief of Eddis series, Megan Whalen Turner takes her readers on yet another roller coaster ride adventure. This time there is less action, but the political maneuverings that take place in the Attolian court are just as dangerous as those that take place on a battlefield. Readers who have followed Eugenides' adventures will be delighted to see how this mercurial character comes into his own, and how he deals with a new set of very demanding challenges.

With beautifully crafted characters and an obvious appreciation for the dangers of political life, the author gives her readers a great deal to think about.