I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review: The Thief

I am so behind in book reviews!  You can also follow me on Goodreads to find out what I'm up to.  But I may be posting several of these this week to close out the year.

The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia

all part of The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

These were given to me as a birthday gift (can't go wrong with books!) and fall in the Young Adult category.  In fact, I will be handing these off to my 11 year old after I'm done.  I think he'll love them.  I liked them, and as with most series, I liked reading them back to back.  I also just learned (thank you Goodreads) that there is a fourth in the series A Conspiracy of Kings and there are also fifth and sixth books slated for publication.

The books are sort of set in a Greece like place (she says this in one of the book club inserts) but isn't really, although you can tell there are Greek mythology bits and definitely inspiration woven into the setting, the traditions and the beliefs of the characters.  There is no real specific time also, because although you sort of think maybe a medieval time period, there are guns and other things that would be slightly out of place.  I don't mind this.  My costume history brain wants to put things into a specific time period so I can imagine what they would be wearing, but I also love the idea of  "no-time" where you can just pick all your favorite bits and combine them without fear of offending History.

The main Character is Gen, a mouthy thief, who gets himself thrown in prison with the chance to free himself by helping the King's Magus (a sort of advisory character) steal something from another realm.

In the second book, we learn more about this thief and the Queen of Attolia, a neighboring country who is at war with her neighbors and also is trying to shrug off invasion from a much larger threat via the sea.

In the Third book, we learn more about the newly crowned King of Attolia who married the Queen in an effort to unify the two kingdoms.

I can't really say much more than that without being a spoiler.
But there are a couple of good things going on here that might help you identify whether or not these books are a good fit for you:
  • Intrigue.  It is subtle, and you never feel like you are solving a mystery, but you can tell you don't have all the facts and can't quite figure out how all these pieces fit together.  The author is good at giving you a good twist before the end.
  • Fantasy.  Also subtle.  There is no magic here, but because the Gods are ever present and you get the sense they are sort of meddling in stuff, there is that sense of other-worldliness.
  • And easy read without feeling like you totally called it in.  They are good books, but don't take a lot of effort on your poor tired brain's part.  Probably why they are Young Adult.

If you liked the Princess Academy, or The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern series-also pretty awesome books), these books remind me a bit of those.
I would also totally recommend these for your pre-teen to early teen reader 10-15 years old.  Oh, and you too, because we are sophisticated women who read everything.

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