The Queen of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia was an intense read, full of political intrigue, espionage, betrayal, and, yes, love. I don't know why I liked this book just as much as the first one, when most people rated it as better.

For me, Megan Whalen Turner's writing doesn't work until about halfway through the book. While at parts, I am intrigued and unable to stop reading, at other points I just want to get to the ending. It's usually around the last quarter of the book that I frantically turn pages unable to stop reading. This happened for me both in The Thief and The Queen of Attolia.

However, one thing I did enjoy more in The Queen of Attolia was the character development. Multiple POVs allow us to get in the heads of different characters, allowing for more depth and for us to become more invested in the characters. Eugenides was as interesting as ever, fluctuating between depression and random spurts of motivation. I love how he pulls himself from the pits of despair and makes something of himself, despite his (view spoiler). Attolia was masterfully portrayed as a ruthless queen, but also as an insecure ruler who will do anything to keep her country autonomous. Her character wasn't just black and white, there were many shades of grey.

The plot in this book was also a lot more intricate than in The Thief. I do have to admit that Eugenides' failings confused me to no end until they were finally explained in the end. At that point, I thought that maybe I should have guessed why on my own! Anyway, his plans were absolutely cunning, especially considering his physical state. I also loved how the war between Sounis, Attolia and Eddis was explained, with changing allies and lies fed to spies. The accompanying love story couldn't hurt either.

All in all, an enjoyable read. Can't wait to move on to The King of Attolia.