Steph Su's Reviews > The Queen of Attolia

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
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May 22, 12

bookshelves: own
Read from January 27 to February 11, 2012

Perhaps because I found The Thief so fun and heartfelt, and was enthralled by numerous others’ lavish praises on the sequels, that I had extremely high expectations for THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA. It pains me to say that I didn’t like THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA as much as I did The Thief, but it’s still a good read in fantasy literature that will appeal across age ranges.

THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA is altogether different from The Thief. It’s told in third-person instead of first. Eugenides seems older; the events and the premise of this book are a lot darker, dipping into the disturbing at times. THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA focuses a lot on the political tensions between the kingdoms, to the point where long sections of the book are dedicated entirely to dry accounts of political and military events. While I go gaga for books that are smart, yet interesting to read, I couldn’t help but feel that all that information could have been presented to readers in a more engaging way.

Maybe this decision to report war news in such a dry way was a deliberate decision on Turner’s part. In any case, it also affected by connections I had with the characters. Which is to say, I felt that the characters saw me, but instead of coming over to chat, decided to head to another room on the other side of the soundproof glass, where they continued to be aloof and secretive and unfriendly. Not quite how I wish to interact with characters.

As for the romance…eh. Well. It’s not as if there weren’t hints as to what would happen, and the turning point was kind of cute in a romantic-movie-swoon kind of way, but the characters’ aloofness throughout the story up to that point took away from the impact of that scene, at least for me. I hope they’ll be good for one another, even though I can’t quite see how that will happen from the rest of the book, but hey, it would go beyond my realm as reviewer to question the decisions of the characters and author, so I’ll just leave them to do their thing.

THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA didn’t sweep me off my feet as The Thief did, but perhaps I was in the wrong mindset when I read this book (ten years too late, perhaps?). I’ll still continue with the series, though, since it’s gotten so many rave reviews from every reviewer I respect. Perhaps, however, by toning down my expectations, I will get more out of my reading experiences.
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Reading Progress

01/27/2012 page 55
15.0% "That was barbarous! :(" 4 comments
02/07/2012 page 112
31.0% "Okay, things are picking up now!"
02/09/2012 page 200
55.0% "I want to like Attolia more, but GARRRRRR. Not yet, not yet." 3 comments
02/11/2012 page 252
70.0% "Oh my gosh!! *swoon*"
02/11/2012 page 319
88.0% "D'awww."
02/11/2012 page 362
100.0% "Kind of a bizarre ending, but I do appreciate how things came together."

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Emy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emy Shin Glad to see you liked THE THIEF and are reading this. This series is my favorite ever.


Chachic AWW Steph, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much as you expected!


Steph Su Chachic wrote: "AWW Steph, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much as you expected!"

I'm sorry too! I wanted to love it. But I'm still going to read on.


Chachic That's okay, we can't all love the same books even if we do have similar tastes. I'm glad you're still willing to read the rest of the series. :)


Aerin Uh-oh, Steph. We agree on something! Your description of the soundproof glass is spot on, and poetic to boot.


Steph Su Aerin wrote: "Uh-oh, Steph. We agree on something! Your description of the soundproof glass is spot on, and poetic to boot."

Did you read The King of Attolia? I liked that one a LOT more than Queen: the "soundproof glass" narrative works for that book!


Aerin Just finished it, not three minutes ago! Def. better than Queen; still not super enchanted with Turner's style but I think it's a preference thing.


Belle The soundproof glass, YES! Perfect description. I felt so disconnected from the characters.


Steph Su Belle wrote: "The soundproof glass, YES! Perfect description. I felt so disconnected from the characters."

And yet it was that very disconnect that worked for me in the third book of this series. Extraordinary how Turner can make it work then! I haven't read the fourth book yet, but this was definitely the weakest one so far, by far.


Belle Steph Su wrote: "Belle wrote: "The soundproof glass, YES! Perfect description. I felt so disconnected from the characters."

And yet it was that very disconnect that worked for me in the third book of this series. ..."

That's good to know, because I was kind of unsure about reading the third book. I'm glad to hear you liked it more!


Steph Su Belle wrote: "Steph Su wrote: "Belle wrote: "The soundproof glass, YES! Perfect description. I felt so disconnected from the characters."

And yet it was that very disconnect that worked for me in the third book..."


I hope you read the third one! It's a different beast than The Thief, but just as good, in a different way. :)


Belle Steph Su wrote: "Belle wrote: "Steph Su wrote: "Belle wrote: "The soundproof glass, YES! Perfect description. I felt so disconnected from the characters."

And yet it was that very disconnect that worked for me in ..."


I just started it. It's interesting so far.


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