By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making.
Then he drags a naive young guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging respect. Though struggling against his fate, the newly crowned king is much more than he appears. Soon the corrupt Attolian court will learn that its subtle and dangerous intrigue is no match for Eugenides.
Readers who fell for The Thief and grieved over his devastating loss in The Queen of Attolia will devour this account of how the "goat-footed, throne-stealing interloper" grows into his crown. The erstwhile Thief and newly crowned king chafes under his status as a homebody, even if the home in question is an opulent palace. Accustomed to a life of stealthy maneuvering, Eugenides is now shadowed everywhere by his armed Guard and a mostly malevolent audience of courtiers, many actively trying to sabotage his reign in retaliation for Gen having "stolen" their Queen in a politically convenient marriage. The backdrop continues to track the intricate relationships among the small, faux-Mediterranean nations of Attolia, Eddis and Sounis, and the menacing Mede empire, but the action here-including an assassination attempt-takes place within the palace walls. The plot turns on political intrigue, hidden motives, ploys and counterploys, as Gen slyly consolidates his power while solidifying his marriage to Irene. Turner assumes readers' familiarity with the vast canvas on which she's working, making this book best suited to those who read the first two, and who are familiar with the ample detail she has woven into this complex tapestry. Although some readers may ache for the old snide and sneaky Gen, they will likely understand why there is no theft involved in the prize he wins here. Gen has grown up and, this time, he earns his kingly respect. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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June 11, 2007
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