of kings and queens and thieves

“This is the stupidest plan I have ever in my career participated in," Xenophon said.

"I love stupid plans," said Eugenides.


~Megan Whalen Turner, "The Queen of Attolia"


Another from this year's attempt to photograph more books. This particular book, held by a friend of mine in front of a poplar farm in Eastern Oregon, is "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner. It's the first book of four (thus far), and quite possibly my favorite series ever. They trump The Hunger Games, the Ender's Game series, The Golden Compass, and even Jaran (as a series, anyway). I stumbled into these books a few years ago, and recently reread them, finding them just as stunningly clever as the first time around.


The first book is... different, than the others. It's written in first person, from the Thief's point of view, and the remarkable thing is that despite a first person point of view, you don't really learn much about the Thief from his thoughts, but rather his actions. And the end is so surprising, so remarkable, that your entire perception of the book is suddenly and definitively changed (and for the better). That being said, after my first read through of "The Thief", I wasn't completely sold on the series. But I was SO glad that I kept going, and when I came back to this book a second time, it was so much better.


The second book, "The Queen of Attolia" is my personal favorite. Again, the twists and turns, the subtle ways we learn more and more about Eugenides (the Thief) and about the truly flawed, heroic character that he is... sigh. Makes me want to open the book up again (but I can't, as the series is now lent out to a friend).


In short, these books make me want to write, though I can hardly hope to be as witty as Turner. If you're looking for a good book or two, pick these up... I can't possibly hope to gush enough about them. Oh, and do yourself a big favor - don't read the book jacket covers. Seriously. If you want to be well and truly amazed and surprised, avoid the descriptions and just start reading.

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Taken on May 3, 2012