Elise (TheBookishActress)'s Reviews > The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
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“Are you badly hurt?”
“Hideously,” said the king, without sounding injured at all. “I am disemboweled. My insides may in an instant become my outsides as I stand here before you.”

Attolis, the new king of Attolia, is a pawn. He is lazy, unloved by his wife, and there to be a victim, unaware of the political machinations of his court. At least, that’s what his guard thinks of him; they love their queen, of course, but do not love their king. This includes Costis, his newly appointed guard, who hates him. With a clever point of view shift to a new character, this book is a clever and eerie ride.

This series feels so classic, like something everyone would’ve been obsessed with ten years ago. I hope people will still obssess over it now.

So what do people always praise about this series? Because item #1 is the plotting, and item #2 is the character work. I second both.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why the plotting of this series is so great, and it’s because Megan Whalen Turner is so good at planting and payoff. If a plot element shows up in the beginning of the book, it will be become a part of the book further on; within the world, with political elements, with character elements. Element after element is used for plot twists and it is always so satisfying and compelling.

And perhaps even more importantly, the character work here is fucking incredible. Gen is a fantastic mastermind. Costis is an impressively likable character, especially as he’s just shown up. Gen and Irene are one of the most endearing couples I have ever read about. Also, I absolutely love and adore the dialogue. It’s glorious and adds so much to these characters.

So why only four stars? You know, this has gotten the hype of being the best book in this series, and I have to admit, I’m not sure it lived up to that. One of my absolute favorite parts of The Queen of Attolia was the development of Irene; her slow character arc, the growing relationship between her and Gen. This book… lacked Irene. Okay, she’s there plenty, but I LOVE her and she was not in this book enough. Costis is a really interesting character and I really loved the growing relationship between him and Gen, but I admit, I was disappointed by the overall smaller scale of the plot twists and the action.

I do really like that this series is becoming primarily the story of small but powerful players within a very large world, but the shift was surprising, especially as the narrator, Costis, drives very little of the plot. It’s an interesting plot device, but as a result, I found myself losing focus on action within the middle. But this worked pretty well, because we’re so invested in the characters involved in the action.

And when it comes down to it, I really enjoyed this. It’s such a fun classic fantasy; I feel reminded of old Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce in the best way. It is a fantastic read and I cannot wait to get to the next book.

here are my other series thoughts:
book one - ★★★☆☆
book two - ★★★★★
book three - ★★★★☆
book four - ★★★★☆
book five - ★★★★★
book six - TBD

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Quotes Elise Liked

Megan Whalen Turner
“Are you badly hurt?"
"Hideously," said the king, without sounding injured at all. "I am disemboweled. My insides may in an instant become my outsides as I stand here before you.”
Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner
“The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day.”
Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner
“Will there be poppy juice in it?"
Phresine shook her head.
"Good. My wife and I agreed that only my wine was to be poisoned.”
Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

Megan Whalen Turner
“One of us might be assassinated and then my heir will be king. Don't give up hope just because chances are slim."
"For the assassination or the heir, your majesty?”
Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia


Reading Progress

April 29, 2018 – Shelved
April 29, 2018 – Shelved as: tbr-faves
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: i-read-audiobooks
June 23, 2018 – Started Reading
June 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 23, 2018 –
45.0% "super good, super intriguing, not much happening yet?"
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: ze-read-in-2018
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: books-released-2000-2015
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-characters
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-relationships
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: genre-high-fantasy
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: genre-series-books
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: what-kind-of-hype-hype-hype
July 23, 2018 – Shelved as: this-fucking-plot-twist
July 23, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Tucker (new)

Tucker good luck


message 2: by Stas (new)

Stas GOOD LUCK


Crowinator If you don't love this I don't know what to do. I may riot too. This is my favorite one of the series. (c:


Elise (TheBookishActress) Crowinator wrote: "If you don't love this I don't know what to do. I may riot too. This is my favorite one of the series. (c:"

so far i'm into it!!


message 5: by Tucker (new)

Tucker Yay! i am glad you enjoyed it


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ This one is my favorite book in the entire series. It's where I fell in love with Gen and Irene.


Elise (TheBookishActress) Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "This one is my favorite book in the entire series. It's where I fell in love with Gen and Irene."

I think I might have liked books two and three about equally, but I LOVE Gen and Irene. they make for such a power couple.


Susan K I love them all. She is such a master writer. I am glad I started reading when she was on the 4th book... it would have been awful to have to wait for them to originally be published!!


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Susan yeah oh my god, there’s so long between each book!! I can’t wait to read books four and five 😋


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ OMG HOW DID I MISS YOU READING THIS ONE OMG (OKAY PROBABLY BECAUSE I'M NEVER HERE BUT EHHHHHH)

GEN!!!! IRENE!!! They're everything and this book made me evil smile soooooooo much <33


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Alienor they’re the BEST and I love them so much.


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