Vinaya's Reviews > A Conspiracy of Kings

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
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Jan 26, 11

Recommended to Vinaya by: Tatiana G.
Read from January 25 to 26, 2011

Sophos, woo hoo! *pumps fist in air*. So I'm done with The Queen's Thief series, and the fact that I raced through all four books in roughly two and a half days should tell you how much I loved 'em. The last installment is a sort-off spinoff tale from the story of Gen, the Queen's Thief, and revolves around Sophos, whom we last saw in The Thief as the heir of Sounis. In A Conspiracy of Kings, Sophos' uncle has died and Sophos is now the king of Sounis, but his country is in the middle of a civil war, the Medes are interfering and his closest friend is turning into a stranger. How will this shy academic deal with pressures of being king?

Brilliantly, of course! I've had a soft spot for Sophos since the first book, with his idealistic, somewhat naive outlook on life, his friendliness and his kindness. Turner builds the character of Sophos brilliantly. He never veers from the person he was born to be. He is idealistic and hates violence, but he knows his duty and is willing to do it. Becoming king does not suddenly harden him, or make him fearless or motivate him to start treating people with less insight. I love the fact that Turner allows him to be weak, without ever making him cowardly or unlikeable. Even when he is displaying a sort of apathy, wishing to continue his existence as a slave instead of returning to the pressures of his life, it is because he feels that his country needed a better king. He spends a lot of time trying fruitlessly to avert bloodshed in his claim for the throne. And through it all, he remains likeable.

Turner seamlessly switches between first person and third person narratives. Usually the disruption tends to annoy me, but this time, after the initial jolt, I was too absorbed in the story to care about who was telling it! I actually got a better glimpse of the Queen of Attolia's character in this book than I did in the King of Attolia, strangely enough. The scenes between her and Gen, as recounted by Sophos, show a more tender side to her than the third-person narrative of Costis in the third book. All my favourite characters were present in this book, and I totally lapped it up. And Eddis was a total rockstar! There were several scenes in the book that made me smile, or even laugh out loud. Turner's gift for storytelling holds strong in this fourth installment of the series.

So why only four stars? This may be pure personal prejudice, but I felt like Sophos waffled just a little too much in the middle of the book. Sure, he is caught and imprisoned in the rebel baron's house during his return from Attolia, but it was too easy to be anything other than pre-planned. SO I felt like Turner made too much of an effort during Sophos' first person narrative to keep an air of mystery over what the grand finale was going to be. He just went on and on about how he was scared/angry/anxious, etc, but not one word about how he had a secret plan, and hell, everybody knew he had one, so it was unnatural for him not to think of it at all!

But minor gripes aside, this is still one hell of a book, although I reiterate my stand that the most mind-blowing book of the series thus far has been The Queen of Attolia, but since I love Sophos, I'm going to cheer this book loudly as well!
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message 1: by Yui (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yui Great review! May I just point out that this isn't the last installment? *silence*
*coughs* I'm sorry. Please don't unfriend me for my carelessly delivered info. I very nearly deleted this whole comment but I am relying on the brilliance of M.W.T. to save our newly found interaction on GR. :-D If this is other than Turner I wouldn't dare mention this and just let you go on believing this is the last book happily but I think you can handle it as each and every other M.W.T fan does. Yes, there'll be another book. At least 2 more I think and it will probably take 10yrs to publish them all. The 2nd took 6yrs to and the 3rd 4 yrs to publish. I've been a fan of The Thief since it first came out and it's been a really long wait but not frustrating or disappointing unlike some. (I'm looking at you L.J. Smith) I hope the next book will be Gen VS. Nahusaresh already. ^-^


Vinaya Yes, YUI, i wentand looked up MWT's profile and found out that there are more books coming. I'm not dying of impatience, however, because she wraps each of her books up neatly, so you don't feel dissatisfied in the end, and you're content to wait for however long the next book takes. You're like a hyper bunny, lol! I'm not going to unfriend you, so chill! :)


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