And so I was delayed in posting this. Can you wonder? I’d never sketched an adolescent boy before.
But now, meet GEN! A thief, a young convict, boastful but keen eyed, petulant yet remarkably reserved, elusive and mocking but dangerous when angered.
The Queen’s Thief series is something remarkable. Each book chooses a different perspective, a different voice to tell the tale, but at its centre is always Eugenides, the one who was named after the God of all thieves.
Book #1 introduces us to Eugenides or Gen who claims to be able to steal anything. His journey begins here and takes us through three more amazing periods of his life, all from varying perspectives. Where The Thief is told from Gen’s point of view, The Queen of Attolia places us on the shoulders of several important characters. Then in The King of Attolia we watch Gen struggle with himself as he accepts his destiny mostly from the second hand perspective of a common soldier in the palace of Attolia. A Conspiracy of kings is both the continuation of Gen’s journey and a chance for us to see his world through the tribulations and triumphs of a young friend, Sophos.
In the first four books Turner has tugged us by the hand and flown us over many parts of her world. She has pulled us deep into court intrigues and held us distant as we watched countries war. She has given us a romance that is both hard to understand and yet perfect for the man Gen is growing up to be. When I recommend this series to my friends I make sure that I warn them that it gets really going from book #2. Personally, I don’t agree. I think book #1 was splendid. It gave us the world from Gen’s view and I fell in love with him despite his very unreliable narrative because it is from here that Turner begins to give us pieces of the puzzle that is Eugenides. But The Thief was not written mostly for an adult audience as the next three books were. The Thief would appeal to ten year olds and thirty year olds alike. It wasn’t a personal journey as the others were, the first book was an adventurous quest. The beginning.
There is a short story, a sort of prequel that is free to read. In it, Gen is ten years old and he already has his priorities set. He’s a very determined young lad and not much fazes him. But he’s also lonely. He plans, he conspires, he tricks and beguiles and through it all he can trust very few people. And the few he slowly learns to take into his confidence, we learn to respect too. They deserve to be his friends.
I can’t review all the books here properly without spoiling them. Every book has something in it that begs to be discussed but also ruins the surprise for new readers. So I’ll do a spoiler post in the near future just to talk about the stories I love so much.
With this series, Turner gave us a hero we can’t forget and stories that are unexpected, heart rending and triumphant. And now we hear that in the fifth instalment (the long awaited 5th book that doesn’t even have a release date yet!) we may very well be rewarded with elephants. Gen will like that very much!