Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Conspiracy of Kings - Megan Whalen Turner

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Greenwillow Books

Rating: 7
Readability: 7
Impact: 3

Read it Again: Maybe, but I'll read the other books in the series again first.
Recommend it:
I certainly highly recommend the Attolia series!

What to Expect

The fourth book of the remarkable Attolia series.
A Conspiracy of Kings does not match up to its series- The Thief (a Newberry Honor Book for 1997), The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. While it has plenty of the intrigue it relies more heavily on plot and plot twists then it's character development.

Compared to the other three books it isn't anything amazing, but if you didn't have the expectations, it would certainly be a decent page-turner.

My Squib

I thought the plot of this book was good, however, sometimes she sacrificed clarity and character for plot's sake.

I did not feel like the plot was propelled by the characters. Where as the surprises in the earlier books made sense when one went back and looked at the character's clues, Conspiracy of Kings left me pretty befuddled. The characters did not weave and propel the plot forward as much as the plot hurried them along.
Did we not know the real Sounis or was the real Sounis forced into a already crafted plot?

The writing style was certainly not as polished as her last three books. I didn't like that she changed the voice back in forth in places. (Sometimes Eddis is "I" and sometimes Sophos is "I" and sometimes it is omniscient.) It just wasn't as cohesive and satisfying.

Of course I wouldn't have minded hearing more about Gen and Attolia, but I learned to deal with Sophos/Sounis and even to start liking him. :-) I thought her character development and change with him was a good effort...even if the idea of a ruler being forced to act like one is a little old.

Over all, I really enjoyed the book.
I just feel like because she has two totally amazing books and one very good one, she didn't work as hard at touching this one up...and of course no character can be as interesting and complex as Gen.

I think there is a lot to learn from Megan Whelen Turner's writing. She really is a genius. The Queen of Attolia and The Thief are truly masterpieces. The King of Attolia is close...very close. To bad Conspiracy of Kings is so far behind.

All that said, I was disappointed, but I did truly enjoy the book and I can say I'm looking forward to the next one. I'd rather her take the 6 years it took for her second book though and have it be as ingenious.

If you read it, tell me what you thought!

From the Book

"The king of Attolia was passing through his city, on his way to the port to greet ambassadors newly arrived from distant parts of the world.
The king was a newcomer and a foreigner, king only by virtue of political marriage to the queen of Attolia and still unfamiliar to most Attolians. They massed along the Sacred Way to see him for themselves, as well as to cheer their queen, who rode beside him in the open coach.

One member of the crowd, a young man with a broken nose, a lip twisted by scar tissue, and dirty clothes that combined to suggest a person of violent and criminal habits, had a particular need to get close."


Jubilant Wife said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one who was befuddled! There wasn't as much character developement, and especially Sounis... I wished everyone would quit treating him like a child. What did you think about the whole, Gen Attolia and Eddis keeping Sounis in the dark about so much?

Miss Pickwickian said...

I thought that fact could have been okay if she'd just explained it more. I didn't really see why or how it fit into everything...
She just had some loose ends.

Thanks for commenting. :-)
Miss Pickwickian