Islaeria's Reviews > The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
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's review
Aug 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: reread

It's ok if you don't understand it the first time. This book deserves a second and third reading.
This book was filled with clever little plots and humorous situations-but not overly so.

I must admit that I didn't like this book the first time I read it. I didn't understand it. I didn't understand why the author put in so many little details and I didn't understand what was happening. I wondered "Why was Gen the main character? Who the heck is this Costis? Why won't Gen take control?".

The second time I read it, it was incredibly frustrating. The character that I loved (Gen) was treated as a fool and usurper. It was very clear to me, the reader, that Attolia needed him and it was incredibly frustrating to read about the other characters and not Gen. There were little nuggets that pulled at me, that made me feel like "This is it. This is an incredible thing happening, even if I don't understand why". These nuggets made me keep reading. An example is when Gen gets rid of Sillanus. The way he does it, the feeling that the bystanders get when they watch him, and the utter unfolding of it all made me feel as if I had just read something akin to seeing a sun rise. Leading up to that moment was chapters of Gen being a fool and slowly becoming revealed as the king he truly is. When he was finally revealed, I cried.

This book leads up to two climaxes. It does it in a way that makes you fall in love with the characters, even the ones that seem like asses. I read it multiple times and each time I read it I notice little things that I didn't notice before. These little descriptions and dialogues are what give the characters their roundness and make them alive. The little moments lead up to big moments that you don't see coming and a new-found love for a character and a new appreciation for the subtlety of it all.

All in all, this was an exceptionally good read, even though I had to read it twice. I truly recommend that you do and that you pay close attention to the motivations behind the "good" and the "bad" guys.
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