The Queen’s Thief Series, by Megan Whalen Turner (Audio)
So, I originally read this entire series in August 2010. And I liked them well enough. But I didn’t love them. Then, during Chachic’s Queen’s Thief week, I read this post by Angie of Angieville bibliovangelizing the series. It was then I knew that I had to reread the whole thing. Well, at least, re-experience it, because I discovered that my squee local library had all four books on audio. Done and done.
And this second time around, I was, well, enchanted. The stories came together better for me. I was caught up in this delightful world. (I even made excuses to run errands and go for drives so I could keep listening in the car.) I laughed and gasped and cried. I think Megan Whalen Turner managed to hit just about every note right:
The characters. Absolutely my favorite part of this series is the characters. Gen. Attolia. Sophis. Eddis. The magus. Costis. Everyone is dear to me, especially Gen and Sophos. They are so real. And nuanced. I’m semi-speechless about them, hence all of the periods.
The world. I’ve never been anywhere like Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis, but I feel like I have. Turner is extremely adept at bringing the reader into the story, into the world, without calling attention to the fact that we are in a fantasy world. The mechanisms, customs, geography, and gods are all set forth fully, but with ease. So you don’t feel like you’re reading a history book or tons of exposition. As an added bonus, it’s just a delightful place to be.
The plots. One of the delightful (and almost frustrating) things about this series the first time around was that I was always one step behind the plot. The characters were so much smarter than me. And I often had to struggle to keep up with them, especially Gen, and I felt almost betrayed that so much information was kept from me. But, that is where the story began to shine in the rereading (or relistening). I knew what was going to happen. But the story was almost more engaging that way. It’s so deftly plotted that I had almost as much fun seeing how the characters got to certain plot points as I did in the plot points themselves.
The writing. This pretty much goes without saying after the rest of the elements, but the writing is really strong. It’s one of my favorite kinds of writing, well done but subtle. It doesn’t call attention to itself by saying “Here I am! I’m good writing!” It lets you figure that out yourself.
This is a series that I will come back to again. I can’t wait to read them together with my daughter. You should definitely read them. And reread them. And here’s hoping there will someday be a fifth book.
Oh, and a note on the audio versions. The same narrator, Jeff Woodman, did all four books. I thought he did a fantastic job. I also thought the audiobooks were formatted well, with disc numbers announced and short track times that made it easier for me to keep track of where I was.
The Queen’s Thief Series, by Megan Whalen Turner (Audio) [rating:4]
Have you read or reviewed this book too? Feel free to jump in with your thoughts or leave a link to your review in the comments.