Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

A Conspiracy of Kings tells the story of Sophos, who we first meet in The Thief.  Sophos is the reluctant heir to the kingdom of Sounis, a duty he feels he'll never be able to fulfill, especially since no one else thinks he will either.  But, after some interesting experiences, he returns to his friends seeking help for his kingdom.  Instead, he'll find intrigue and conspiracy every place he turns.

A Conspiracy of Kings

Today's review is a buddy review I did with Melissa of Book Nut. Thanks for the fun, Melissa! Be sure to stop by her blog and enjoy her answers to my questions. And, here is what she asked me about the book:

So, what did you think?
I'll answer this one in the way I normally do reviews:

Things I Liked:
I love the complex plot! At first, things don't seem to be going in a particular direction, but then, near the end, come all of these twists and revelations! I think Turner is a master of the unexpected endings! When I reached the end, I wanted to start all over again and see if I could pick up on some of the nuances and foreshadowing. The characters are so much fun - I love Sophos and how he changes over time. He's not confident in himself through most of the book, but he has this strength of will that requires him not to give up. Another good addition to the Queen's Thief series.

Things I Didn't Like:
It was a very slow beginning for me. I kept finding my mind wandering (which is probably more because of the busyness of my life right now than the book's slowness). However, I knew that Turner would not disappoint and I was right. I admit I didn't enjoy it as much as the others, but it was still an excellent book.

Did you reread the other books in the Queen's Thief series before you started this one? Do you think that affected your reading of the book?
I really wanted to reread the other books first, but I ended up being really crunched for time with books I had checked out from the library.  I think if I'd had the time to reread them first, I might have been more into the story.  I definitely would have remembered the characters better as well.  It would have been extremely beneficial for my remembering how certain characters act and just in general to refresh my memory of the previous stories and places.  I think it's best to read them fairly close together.

What did you think of Sophos as a character (versus, say, Gen)?

Like I mentioned above, I really liked Sophos, mostly because he was so modest and self-deprecating.  I also thought it was funny that he would often think about what Gen would say or do in a certain situation.  It was obvious he wanted to be more like Gen, but he's so different from him.

Speaking of Gen, did you miss him, or did his role here work for you?
I did miss Gen.  I wanted to see more of him, though I thought it was good to see him from Sophos' view.  I liked the part he had to play in the story, though. 

Did the plot work for you? Why/why not?
For the most part, yes.  As I mentioned above, sometimes I had a hard time paying attention to the set up at the first.  But, I liked watching how things unfolded.  I think the reluctant king role is fairly common, but I thought the way she showed him coming to terms with his position and how it worked out was unique. (Trying to be vague not to spoil anything.)

And what did you think of the narrative style, switching between first and third person?
I didn't think much of the style.  I liked the first person when I figured out what the purpose of it was (basically he's telling his story).  But, I think having some twists at the end is easier when you write in third person.  It didn't bother me, but I didn't love it either.  

Be sure to read Melissa's thoughts on A Conspiracy of Kings at Book Nut.


Read the first three books in the Queen's Thief series: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia
Reminded me a little of Crown Duel and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
s-factor: none
that I recall

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some violence

Overall rating: ****

Have you read any of Turner's books?  What do you think?

Listless Monday will return next week.
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Hey, thanks for playing along with me! I agree about Gen: I missed him, but it was fascinating to see him from Sophos's point of view.

  2. This is one of my favorite series! I found myself flipping back through the first three books to remember some of the history of Sophos and wished I could have read them all close together. My favorite is still The King of Attolia, but I enjoyed this one too!

  3. Melissa, thanks for inviting me! I need to reread just to get some more Gen.

    Gayle, I think I liked King a lot too. It's been too long for me to remember which was my favorite...


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