Reviews for Queen of Attolia
Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 April 2000
Gr. 5^-8. Gen, the likable, slippery rogue of The Thief (1997), is back gliding easily through the secret passages and back rooms of the queen of Attolia's palace. This time, to his amazement and dismay, he is caught because Attolia's guards seem to know his escape route as well as he does. Badly beaten and flung into a dank dungeon, he awaits his fate. Meanwhile, the queen of Eddis cuts off the flow of water to Attolia, demanding the safe return of her thief. When Gen is returned alive but minus his right hand, the queen of Eddis releases the water but orders her border troops to confiscate the goods of the next 10 Attolian traders. Thus, war escalates between the two kingdoms, egged on by the unctuous, manipulative Mede ambassador to the Attolian court, whose nation covets both Attolia and Eddis. There's a great deal of political maneuvering and battling as well as individual angst on the part of the two queens and Gen, until Gen finally emerges from his self-imposed isolation to take part in resolving the conflict--by stealing the queen of Attolia herself. Turner maintains her well-created world and believable characterizations in a tale (once again including only the slightest touch of magic) that is best suited to readers of the earlier book. ((Reviewed April 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
Those readers already attached to Gen from [cf2]The Thief[cf1] may suffer with him through his painful recovery (the ruthless Queen of Attolia has his hand chopped off) but will never doubt it; newcomers will soon be engaged by this complex young man as they follow him through the fictional Mediterranean landscape, stage for a complicated web of political intrigue, military strategy, and star-crossed love. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2000 #4
A tense opening plunges the reader into a harrowing escape scene, as the Thief slips through secret passages and races desperately across the countryside-where both hero and reader are slammed to a sudden and unexpected halt in the darkness. Already we sense, from this first chapter, that Eugenides is a master of stealth maneuvering and should have evaded his pursuers-but something has gone horribly wrong. In the shocking scene that follows, Eugenides's hand is chopped off by order of the ruthless Queen of Attolia, and the maimed Thief is sent home to Eddis as a cruel message. Those readers already attached to Gen from The Thief may suffer with him through his painful recovery but will never doubt it; newcomers will soon be engaged by this complex young man as they follow him through the fictional Mediterranean landscape, brilliantly drafted by Turner in the previous novel and here recalled as stage for a complicated web of political intrigue, military strategy, and star-crossed love. In order to save his country from ruin and takeover, Eugenides must return to Attolia and attempt to steal his greatest prize yet, the cruel queen herself, while still battling his profound fear, rage, and the predilections of his heart. The intricate relationships between the three small nations of Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis-and the powerful Mede empire that would swallow them all-demand ample concentration, but the highly developed imaginary world is fully realized and as palpable as the Eddisian gods and goddesses who play a substantive role in shaping Eugenides's fate. The intense read is thoroughly involving and wholly satisfying on all fronts, as the novel's pacing quickens to a dramatic political climax, then slows appropriately for the more intimate conclusion. l.a. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Magazine.
Kirkus Reviews 2000 March #2
In this intense, intelligent sequel to The Thief (1996, Newbery Honor), war breaks out among three Balkanesque countries, engendering a series of crafty maneuvers and terrifying, high-stakes gambles. The uneasy balance between mountainous Eddis and larger neighbors Attolia and Sounis tips when Eugenides, the Queen of Eddis's official Thief, is captured by the ruthless young Queen of Attolia, and has his right hand struck off. Reprisals escalate, until Eddis is attacked on two sides and, ominously, troop ships from the huge Mede Empire approach. Turner creates a complex web of intrigue, hidden motives, feints, and counterfeints, focusing on the Queen of Attolia, who while playing a dangerous diplomatic game with the scheming Mede Ambassador, has been driven to the ragged edge of sanity by the bloody-mindedness required to hold power in her turbulent country, and on Eugenides, whose deep-seated love for her struggles with stark terror after what she has done to him. Events move to a tight climax as the Ambassador seizes on a pretext to land his troops, and under his very nose the queens of Eddis and Attolia form an alliance to drive them back into the sea. Readers will be spellbound, not only by the plot's ingenious twists and turns, but by the powerful webs of humor and sorrow, differences and commonalities, love and loyalty that bind this memorable cast together. (Fiction. 11-15) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 May #1
This spellbinder of a sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning The Thief is every bit as devilishly well plotted and grandly conceived. As it opens, Eugenides the thief has fallen into the clutches of the queen of Attolia, who still seethes from his besting of her (relayed in The Thief). Unwilling to execute him, lest she start a war with the queen of Eddis (Eugenides's cousin and ruler), she orders his hand cut off. The drama is high, and the action grows only more engrossing. As Eugenides tries to reconcile himself to the amputation, war breaks out, involving Attolia, Eddis and Sounis, tiny countries modeled on ancient Greece and other Mediterranean nations. For the most part, Turner eschews battle scenes, although she executes these with flair. Instead, she emphasizes strategy, with brilliant, ever-deceptive Eugenides a match for Odysseus in his wiliness and daring, perpetually catching readers by surprise. When, fairly late in the novel, Eugenides decides that he must wed the fearsome queen of Attolia in order to achieve a more lasting peace and that he loves her it requires a certain leap of faith to accept that his terror of her coexists with desire. But Turner's storytelling is so sure that readers will want to go along with her and discover whatever it is that Eugenides will do next. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2000 May
Gr 6-10-This sequel to The Thief (Greenwillow, 1996) begins promisingly enough. Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, is caught spying on the Queen of Attolia. She orders his right hand cut off and sends him home fever-ridden and near death. However, Attolia's decision not to hang the Thief comes back to haunt her. Aside from the young man's personal travails, the story involves several kingdoms, all trying to gain ascendancy in the territory, and willing to go to war to do so. It is here that the exciting plot slows to a crawl, with lengthy and tedious descriptions of battle plans and strategic maneuverings. What evolves, very slowly, is a plan for Eugenides to steal the Queen of Attolia and take her to Eddis. It almost works; meanwhile, readers learn that Eugenides is hopelessly in love with her. His rival for her affections is a foreign minister of a kingdom that plans to conquer the entire area. However, Attolia sees through the ambassador's ruse and makes short work of him. It is the question of whether she can possibly return Eugenides's affections that will keep readers turning the pages. Attolia is the ultimate strong-willed, self-sufficient young woman. Eugenides is less strong and self-assured than he was in The Thief, which is understandable given his ordeal. His obsession with Attolia is less believable. He knows her mostly from distant observations and she is responsible for his dismemberment. In the end, this is a story of love and war in which love wins out. It is sure to find readers among admirers of the first book.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2000 August
How can you be a one-handed thief? That's what Eugenides, the royal Thief of Eddis, wonders when the Queen of Attolia orders his hand cut off-after he survives the first brutal, fevered months. Long after he is out of mortal danger, however, Genstill has to find the answer to his question and to regain his confidence and his ability to laugh. He struggles with himself against a backdrop of war-the countries of Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis all fight externally as Gen wages his internalbattles. Back in Attolia, the young queen who maimed Gen fights with herself too, tortured by the fact that she tortured a boy, even as she battles corrupt courtiers and sends armies to attack neighboring countries. This book is as much her story asit is Gen's. A stand-alone sequel to the Newbery Honor book The Thief (Greenwillow, 1996/VOYA June 1997), featuring several of the same characters, this rich, layered tale is immensely satisfying. The setting draws on the ancient Mediterranean world, but thecountries and the pantheon are Turner's own. Complex characters and a complicated and sinuous plot, and references to gods and goddesses and their stories all enrich the novel, making the reader want to reread for all the details and resonancesmissed on the first go-round. This is a story to savor, one of those books a reader will race through to find out what happens, at the same time never wanting it to end.-Rebecca Barnhouse. Copyright 2000 Voya Reviews