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The Queen’s Thief series — Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

If there’s something I adore in a young adult novel, it’s a misunderstood hero. Well, that and great world-building—oh, and perhaps a romantic sub-plot with a wickedly awesome heroine. And maybe throw in a jaw-dropping twist, just for good measure? Fortunately, this series has it all.

I polished this sThe Thief - book covereries off in about two weeks because I simply could not stop reading! The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner is semi-historical fiction with a touch of fantasy featuring the fictional neighbouring kingdoms of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia. There are four books: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings. Each of these covers the political machinations of the kingdoms and their leaders from a slightly different perspective but all center around the wild card of aThe Queen of Attolia - book cover main character, Gen.

Gen is one in a long line of gentleman thieves/con artists. These types of characters tend to be attractive, wildly cocky, scheming little monsters on the wrong side of the law (at least some of the time) with tragic pasts and family histories. They tend to have international reputations for wickedness, but their brutal sarcasm hides an inner vulnerability. Because of this, they tend to attract one or two solid best friends but are hated by everyone else who can’t see beyond their prickly facades. They prefer to avoid violence but when it comes to it, they are experts with weapons. They have expensive tastes, and they often get caught and are imprisoned—as we find Gen has been at the beginning of the first novel.

Turner dThe King of Attolia - book coveroes foreshadowing like nobody’s business. I can’t help but think that one of the ways in which she shows us how far this world expands is by keeping the narrative very small, at least in the first book. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling did this well at the beginning—in a way that, for example, the first book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare did not: one extraordinary thing at a time, please.A Conspiracy of Kings - book cover

For the majority of The Thief, there are just five characters in a kind of buddy road trip narrative, very like a condensed version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit—a leader, three helpers, one small and unenthusiastic thief, an uncertain treasure, danger plaguing their every step. And then once you’re comfortable with the setup, Turner adds a new complication. It’s just wildly well done, and by the end of it, I was gasping for more everything, but specifically more of that fantastic main character.

There are rumors that Megan Whalen Turner is working on fifth and sixth books for the series, and I hope those rumors are true!


Staff Blogger


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