The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was told by many people that book 2 in the series is stronger than book 1. I'm not sure I agree, but I can see how it would hold a different appeal. The Queen of Attolia is a different type of book than The Thief--more "politics of the kingdoms" instead of a traveling adventure heist. The political maneuverings were interesting and the 3rd-person perspective gave things a more well-rounded feel, but still something was missing for me.
I can't quite put my finger on why I don't love these books. While I enjoy the storyline and the characters, there is something that doesn't connect with me about the writing style. The pacing is slow and steady, even when it should be exciting like an escape or a battle. And both books lacked in details so I kept feeling like I had missed something along the way. I still like the series and I will continue reading, but it could easily fall into 4 star territory and it's missing the mark so far, and almost verging into 2 stars instead.
I did enjoy Eugenides more than I did in The Thief. I felt we got more insights into him this time around and I thought she did a good job with the portrayal of his PTSD. Oddly, this made him a more likable character to me. Rather than immediately move past things after the action in the beginning, we get insights into how Eugenides is coping, or not coping with his return to Eddis. It helped me to better understand him. But I still felt a lack of insight into Attolia. I understood more about Eddis than I did about her. I needed more information to truly accept the ending from both Eugenides and Attolia's perspective. It felt a bit like, "Surprise! Here's all of the things you didn't know. The End. Read book 3 to find out what you missed in book 2!"
I know it sounds like I hate the series, but I really don't. I like it, and the books are well-written, but something is lacking. Maybe I will feel differently about book 3.
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