Ali's Reviews > A Conspiracy of Kings

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
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Jun 16, 2010

it was amazing
Read from June 16 to 24, 2010

** spoiler alert ** As much as I loved The Thief (I've read it three times so far!), I think I have a new favorite Queen's Thief book. The Thief is a better stand-alone story, far less complicated, but I think Gen's deception and later behavior compared to how he acted in that book...slightly dampens my love of it in retrospect. However, I didn't feel like Sophos was misrepresenting himself, and even when he was forced to extremes, I felt like it stayed within what I expected of his character. Though he certainly surprised me at points! Love him even more than before. :) That last scene with the barons voting...so intense. And I really loved that they did show the friendship of Sophos and Eugenides, as I was worried about it when he kept acting so formally toward him.

This book, unlike King of Attolia, never seemed bogged down with confusing conspiracies and complexity--it was very complex, yes, with many different characters of opposing motivations, but I never lost the thread of the story or wondered what the point of a given scene was (as sometimes was the case with KoA). I felt like a lot of the series' plot threads finally started coming together. However, despite my pleasure at his friendship with Sophos, I was disappointed to feel even *more* distanced from the "The Thief" version of Gen that I had so grown to love. Only when Eddis and Sophos were talking about him did he feel like "my" Gen, yet in the scenes where he appeared, he still lacked that...essence. I don't know. And I still don't get his whole love of Attolia/Irene, no matter how many times it is explained. That will always throw me off and make me not be able to relate to Gen very well. And the ending, though perhaps necessary for the continued well-being of the countries, made me a little sad.

Sophos, on the other hand, was very believably brought from a young prince that wrung his hands at the idea of power and danger to a leader in his own right. He was still the Sophos that blushed, but he was also growing into a man and King in a way that didn't feel forced. I also appreciated the greater role of Eddis, who I have also always liked.

The only thing I will say is that I am always slightly annoyed when Megan Whalen Turner hides key details *within* a first-person narration. There was no reason for Sophos, for example, not to reveal everything he knew about the Attolians and Eddisian retreat being staged, the magus going to his father, etc. EXCEPT to hide those facts from the reader. The reader that, from Sophos' point of view, does not *exist.* He was telling an account of past events to Eddis, from what I could tell. And yet there were many times where, as when he was a "guest"/hostage in that baron's manor, there was no good reason to hide the fact that he was stalling there on purpose. It just bugs me; it makes it feel like Turner wants us to go "aha! how clever! he knew it all along" but instead I feel like she is tricking us just to hide a twist until she was ready to reveal it.

Despite that, however, this is an excellent book; I could hardly put it down. It was full of intrigue, excitement, a bit of humor, and even some lines that made me think or pause in appreciation of a turn of phrase ("gone to pear" is a particular favorite, as is the line about how discovering all the connections in the world is only creating a copy of it and coming no closer to understanding it. Perhaps not a wholly original thought, but interesting nonetheless.) Overall, I enjoyed it immensely.
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Reading Progress

06/16/2010 page 26
8.0%
06/18/2010 page 46
14.0% "...This book goes from page 46 to 79. They're missing. >_< Like, not torn out--just *not there at all.* I wonder if this is a widespread printing problem; good thing I still have the receipt."

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