Sophos, heir to the throne of Sounis, once disappeared off the face of the planet. For some time Attolia and Eugenides pondered what happened to him…...moreSophos, heir to the throne of Sounis, once disappeared off the face of the planet. For some time Attolia and Eugenides pondered what happened to him… Was he dead? Was he in hiding? Did he disappear on purpose? What happened to the heir of Sounis?
In the newest book in Turner’s spectacular “Queen’s Thief” series readers and fans find out what happened to the innocent and naïve Sophos. Kidnapped by slave traders Sophos accepts the help of a former acquaintance, Berrone, and lands himself as hired help on the grand estate of Baron Hanaktos, her father. Known as Zec, but called Bunny, Sophos toils in obscurity not knowing the entire time that he has inherited the throne of Sounis from his uncle, who has recently died of illness. This is just the beginning of a splendid adventure that takes Sophos from boy to man in a fabulous follow up to Turner’s “King of Attolia”.
It’s interesting to shift to Sophos as narrator, after so many books of his absence. Sophos was always the innocent, the just, the one who believed in the good of everyone. Now we see Sophos as he comes into his own, gains a set of legs and a backbone, plants his feet and uses his voice in the political world of turmoil and strife that underscores all of Turner’s books. Sophos, who was merely just a sweet voice on the sidelines in previous entries, now solidifies into a character worth noting. If I sound belittling of him from previous books I apologize. That’s not my intent. I’m just in awe of how much experience changes who we are as human beings and this idea is crystallized her into literary form with the re-invention of “The King of Sounis”. I always liked reading Sophos, he was the lightest part of “The Thief”… now he’s a force… a wonder. A marvelous character. I can almost see why this book is billed as a companion rather than a direct sequel in the series…the previous books have been about Eugenides, on how he is perceived by all the players surrounding him… on how he develops. With this book Eugenides takes back stage while Sophos strides proudly forward. It’s as if Gen gave up the stage, to further enforce the metaphor, and in doing so took a bow and receded into the background. The interesting bit of that notion though is that Sophos spends the entire time impersonating his impressions of Eugenides from the first book. It’s delightful how Turner brought that around full circle.
Does this hurt the plot? The series…or in fact my undying love for these books? Upon reflection, absolutely not. Do I want the focus back on Gen, absolutely yes, however it is refreshing to see another player so well formed in the scope of these books…now if Turner would only engage the war and get over the preliminaries, that would be good, though I am pleased to see how well she has developed the plot thus far concerning the impending war. Turner, I am counting on you to make this happen. Preferably in the next few years…please!!!
"He dreamed of my library." Marvelous book. (less)
I realize that I probably should have read this book several years ago when it was shiny and new. However, I read it today...the whole book...all 533...more
I realize that I probably should have read this book several years ago when it was shiny and new. However, I read it today...the whole book...all 533 pages...all 284 beautiful illustrations. Yep.
For the record, this is one of those books that everyone has told me I needed to read, so today I finally decided it was time. The story follows young Hugo as he scrounges for food, steals, and sets the clocks in the Parisian train station. He is obsessed with this notebook of his father that details a variety of clockwork mechanisms. When he finds an actual automaton that is drawn within the pages Hugo's journey begins to get really intriguing.
I think the illustrations in this book are beautiful. However, I did feel a disconnect with the actual story itself. This book took a while for me to warm up to and I think this is directly caused by the fact that it is told in pictures and in text but is very unlike traditional sequential art. It's a little too "one or the other and not both" for me. That, and the aforementioned hype leading up to my read, had me expecting something over the moon. While it's good I did not love it like I probably should have. What I did like about it was that this book is a giant love song to both old films and Paris and, in that, it definitely succeeds. Plus, the ending is quite touching.
I read this book for the first time four years ago. Since then I have handsold over 300 of the first book, "The Thief" and over a 100 of the sequels t...moreI read this book for the first time four years ago. Since then I have handsold over 300 of the first book, "The Thief" and over a 100 of the sequels to customers. It's a tremendous book.
Four years later with the impending release looming of the fourth book "A Conspiracy of Kings" I decided it was time for a reread. This is a double edged sword at times in the world of books. A book that hits you so immensely at one time may not impact you as much a second time. I'm thrilled to say that this is not the case with Megan Whalen Turner's masterpiece, "The Thief".
So what makes it so great? For one thing it's tremendously written. The plot intrigue and character development is dynamic and sharp. For another thing it's about one of the greatest characters and literary inventions ever to grace the pages of a work of fantasy. Eugenides is a force, a marvel, a comic genius, a tragic clown. He is Iago and Pagliacci and Steerpike all rolled into one, yet he retains a completely likeable, quiet kind of demeanor...even though he is all ego.
Since I read this book I have developed what I call a love of the "Eugenides" character... In short, a character who is proud, and unabashedly cocky about his abilities. However, even though he is very aware of his flaws and his own limitations he figures out ways to work within those limitations, and flaunts them as if they are skills. Eugenides capitalizes off of everything he is, even if it is a con in a series of pros. He also realizes that those around him can be used as tools, even his greatest friends. Whenever I encounter this character in any work of fiction I'm immediately charmed by them. I'm not sure why that is because encountering this level of arrogance in a person usually turns me off. However, Eugenides is so well balanced that he circumvents dislike and speeds right to admiration in the hearts of the readers.
Four years later and this book still amazes me. I treasure it like few others. I'm all smiles today after the reread and hope that the sequels hold up as well. Simply amazing. Still.(less)
I've forgotten how astounding these books are. Wow. I am agog. I am amazed. I am flabbergasted and gobsmacked and all sorts of other profoundly wowed...moreI've forgotten how astounding these books are. Wow. I am agog. I am amazed. I am flabbergasted and gobsmacked and all sorts of other profoundly wowed adjectives that imply zealous approval. All things told, I am happy that the book held up to a reread. Wow. Profoundly wowed.
It's interesting to me, upon a second reading, to follow Eugenides as he wades through so many impacting things but knowing what is going to happen. Not only does he deal with (spoiler) the loss of his hand from the brutal Queen of Attolia, but he also deals with his own depression following the incident... possible addictions to narcotics... possible addictions to alcohol....anger, fear, resentment... growing into a man while his father watches and is unable to do anything to help... an ongoing war that he is the seed of... his growing admiration for a woman who is all wrong for him... political schemings and machinations... the burgeoning fervor of faith in gods that is newly acquired...etc. etc. etc. We see Eugenides become a man but we see him drug by his ankles behind a cart going full tilt into manhood. We see him struggle every step of the way. And we love him that much more for it.
Besides that we watch the intrigue and political angst clashing between three nations and one interfering guest. Such strife, such drama... if the history books were only written like this than everyone would be captivated. I've always told people that the strength in Turner's writing is her ability to write between the lines, but there's something to be said about constructing such a fabulous solid foundation to begin with. Again. Wow. and wow again.
I only hope this book holds up to more rereads. I don't think I'll ever have it far from my bookshelf. It's become, for me, a modern classic of court intrigue. (less)
This is the book I like less, but upon a reread I figured out exactly why that is. Each of the books thus far in Turner’s “Queen’s Thief” series have...moreThis is the book I like less, but upon a reread I figured out exactly why that is. Each of the books thus far in Turner’s “Queen’s Thief” series have been about perception. Every book is about how the character Eugenides is perceived.
In the first book (which is largely an adventure book, a “King Solomon’s Mines”, if you will) Eugenides narrates the story in first person and this allows us the window to see how other people percieve him while he is carrying this enormous secret…that he is a very important political person and not just and ragtag street urchin.
In the second book it’s political scheming. It’s Machiavellian. It’s “The Prince”. It also switched the narration to third person and we get a different opportunity to observe Gen… but it’s through the eyes of the two queens, the Mede ambassador, and the King of Sounis. Each of these characters becomes the country personified, and with that choice of writing Turner has summed up very eloquently how a nation perceives Eugenides’ actions throughout the course of the brink of war and peace.
The third book is very different in tone. It’s a quieter book, it builds up slower. As an example I read the first 150 pages of this book in 3 days and the latter 250 practically overnight. There is a very clear turning point in which the book becomes spectacular but prior to that it’s all court sessions and eye rolling about Eugenides from the members of his court, who loathe him. It doesn’t help that Eugenides spends a good portion of this time playing the fool to look inept to his court. The narration in this book is, once again, third person, but the perceptions concentrate largely from a character named Costis. Costis becomes Eugenides guard and sees every nuance of his day to day activity. Costis also despises the new King of Attolia. We experience every iota of disgust, every eye roll, every joke at Gen’s expense, every bit of Costis’ begrudge of Eugenides’ ruling his nation.
And that’s the part that semi turns me off of this book. I don’t want to hate Eugenides. I can’t. He’s one of the finest inventions in literature whom I have read to date. I can’t hate him. It’s akin to hating myself. Since Turner spends 150+ pages illustrating how much everyone hates him it makes it slow going to get into this book. The payoff of watching Gen bowl over everyone in court makes is worth it, but the beginning is hard to stomach. Everyone underestimates him and believes him to be weak and a fool. This is proven quite wrong when Eugenides systematically begins to ferret out the defactors and malice slingers… however, it’s still hard in the initial build up. I don’t want to hate Eugenides. I’m hoping I don’t have to for book four.
Overall rating, a 4.5. I understand why Turner wrote the beginning as such. That doesn’t make me like that part of the book. (less)
*This review contains an alarming amount of Vampire puns and such. Please forgive me. It just kinda happened.
Ciara Griffin used to con people for mon...more*This review contains an alarming amount of Vampire puns and such. Please forgive me. It just kinda happened.
Ciara Griffin used to con people for money. Now in business school she applies at a failing local radio station, WMMP, for a marketing internship. She gets more than she bargains for when she learns that the DJ's at the station are all Vampires. When Humans get turned to Vampires they get stuck in their generation/time period that the change occurred. This is great for running a radio station where the Vamps can specialize musically and pop culturally within their own sets. The downside is that it makes the Vamps a bit OCD about other things in their Un-lives.
Ciara decides to turn around the station's abysmal financial situation by turning their undead status into a marketing campaign... thus breathing life (as it were) into the re-vamed (har-har) station WVMP, the lifeblood of rock 'n' roll. This proves a brilliant strategy as shining a spotlight on the truth seems to be the best way to hide the Vamps in question. But when a more dangerous (And secretive) contingent of the Vampire underworld catches wind of the plot suddenly everyone's life is at stake, including the non-humans... especially Ciara.
Quirky. Fun. Very readable. My biggest complaint was that many of the Vamps are, unfortunately, very one dimensional. Smith-Ready seemed to flesh out only one or two main characters -Ciara, Shane, David - and the rest of the concentration was focused on plot rather than side characters. I wanted more out of them then what I got. Hopefully this will get corrected as the series progresses because they all have the potential to be amazing. Still this oversight in writing did not turn me off of the overall concept to stop reading, or not pick up the sequels. It's "Victor/Victoria" meets "Empire Records".
Sidenote: I wish the main love interest wasn't the 90's grunge guy, as it reminded me too much of boys I lusted after and involved myself with in high school (class of 96, oh yes!). But the romance is very sweet and nice and I enjoy the story surrounding it very much. (less)
The sequel to Smith-Ready's fun and quirky "Wicked Game" starts out with a bang. Someone is pirating the air on WVMP's frequency. It doesn't take long...moreThe sequel to Smith-Ready's fun and quirky "Wicked Game" starts out with a bang. Someone is pirating the air on WVMP's frequency. It doesn't take long for Ciara and co. to figure out that it's only during Regina's sets, or any songs with female vocalists. They must do something before they lose all of their sponsorships. Enter a emo-loving musical journalist from Rolling Stone named Jeremy, a sexual tension plotline between David/Shane/Ciara, and enough turns and twists to wreck a car on and you have one fun read...except for the fact that it was (for me) about 45 pages too long. Seriously. I was ready for it to end... and then another raid happened.... and then another plot shocker... and then yet more splining (Sim City reference. Squee!) .
I skimmed through the last 40+ pages. I had to. I was just done...not with the series, oh nonono... and not with Smith-Ready by any means... but there was a point tonight where I just decided the book was over and I didn't want to read it anymore... Vampire dogs notwithstanding, of course. Looking forward to the next one though. It's too much fun not to check out again. (less)
I love the WVMP books by Jeri Smith-Ready. They make me happy. Last night I picked up Bring on the Night... and I just finished it. They're fun, they'...more I love the WVMP books by Jeri Smith-Ready. They make me happy. Last night I picked up Bring on the Night... and I just finished it. They're fun, they're quick. They are a hell of a read.
I think I liked this one the best so far. Smith-Ready always manages to tell very inventive stories, but in this one she has surpassed herself. In the town of Sherwood, Ohio there is a fatal outbreak of a very extreme bout of chicken pox. At the same time Ciara and company encounter the walking dead, zombies!
The story gets really tasty from there. Lots of character developments that made me squeal aloud, lots of surprises. It won't mean much if you haven't read Wicked Game or Bad to the Bone but it made me very happy.
...and playlists!! I love it when authors include playlists to their books. Jeri Smith-Ready and Rachel Caine do this with their books. Music nerd that I am, I always compile them from what I have in my I-tunes. Interesting to note, I was reading a very good sex scene in this book when Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams came on in the playlist.
Kinda Hot. Not gonna lie. I was into it.
(Why yes, I do blog with this mouth. Frequently.)
Suffice it to say I liked this book. A lot. I want the next one. Badly. A year off? Bugger. A whole year will reduce me to a shuddering pile of want. It's a pity really.
5 of 5 stars. This really is the best WVMP book so far.