Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Queen of Attolia

The Queen of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2006   ISBN: 978-0060841829

One would have thought that after his last coup, Eugenides – the thief of Eddis – would be content to rest on his laurels for a while. However, Gen is a restless soul, and soon he is back in Attolia, sneaking in and out of the queen's palace with impunity. Then Eugenides gets caught and this time the queen is determined that he will not escape. Enraged by his audacity she decides to punish him – she has one of his hands cut off. Broken in spirit and sick in body, Gen is returned to the queen of Eddis barely alive.

For many months Gen struggles with sickness and depression. How can he be a thief if he only has one hand? How can he serve his queen and his country? What makes things worse is that fact that Eddis is now at war with her neighbors and Gen's skills are needed more than ever.

Haunted by his fear of what will happen to him if the Queen of Attolia catches him again, Gen dares to venture out into the world again, and he manages to make a real nuisance of himself, burning war ships and causing chaos. He should be well pleased with his achievements but he wants to do more. Which is why he decides that what he needs to do is to steal the Queen of Attolia herself.

Taking up where the award winning title The Thief left off, this rich and engrossing book explores a wide range of human emotions. Gen struggles with fear and a feeling of helplessness. He also struggles with love. The author does a masterful job getting into the minds and hearts of the characters in her story, revealing their strengths and weaknesses, and letting their successes and their failures take them in all kinds of unexpected directions. Readers will get to see that in Gen's world being a royal can be a dangerous and complicated business.