Saturday, February 5, 2011
A Conspiracy of Kings- Megan Whalen Turner
Warning: Spoilers for previous books in series.
"Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father's villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.
In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.
Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the magus—and Eddis—sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever."
Summary: I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. When I finished reading The Thief, and heard that there was going to be a book featuring Sophos, I became incredibly excited because he had become one of my favorite characters in the novel.
This book is told primarily in first person, through the point of view of Sophos, the reluctant heir to the throne who would rather read than rule a country. When he is kidnapped and forced into slavery, he quickly realizes that he enjoys for once, not having to be the disappointing son and heir to the throne that he has been for years. He almost doesn't want to try and leave.
This story is told basically in three parts, and the first part is Sophos during his time as a slave. I've read other reviews in which readers are upset that there isn't a lot of Eugenides in the story, but I think that even without his playing a large role, this story is still incredible. When Sophos and Eugenides do meet up again for the first time as Attolis and Sounis, I was temporarily disappointed by the awkward and cold exchanges between the two friends. However, as the book went on and I realized the love and friendship both still felt for each other, I loved the book all the more for it. Throughout most of the book the reader can see that Sophos looked up to Eugenides and admires him, and even though Sophos doesn't realize it at first, Eugenides cares greatly about his friend as well.
This was the first book since The Thief where I also really felt Eugenides' old personality shine through. Even though there were moments where you could really see his personality in the past two books, I greatly enjoyed reading the little bits about Eugenides in this book, especially when he talks about when he first knew that he loved Attolia.
I also really enjoyed the scenes between Eddis and Sophos in the book.
Really this book had it all. Action, excitement, secrets, friendship, and romance. I read that there are supposed to be another 2 books after this one, however Turner is known for writing books incredibly slowly. This book came out 4 years after the last one, which came out 6 years after the one before that. I don't know if I can wait that long, but at least I have something to look forward to in the years to come.
Other Recommended Books:
Alanna Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Series by Tamora Pierce
Any other series by Tamora Pierce
Farsala Trilogy by Hilari Bell
Fire and Graceling books by Kristin Cashore
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta