As a series with a name like “The Queen’s Thief”, it would be natural to assume that each book will be another exploit by Eugenides, with a decently similar setup and just a bit episodic.


The Queen of Attolia is very much a sequel to The Thief, but it doesn’t adhere to the same format at all. In fact, the second book moves from all first-person Eugenides to third-person with… I think, three viewpoint characters. This is an important and necessary change for the story being told. More importantly, the plot is not some small series-confined thing, but involves major changes, and larger events happening. Also, the tone is a bit darker: Eugenides loses his right hand at the beginning of the book, and is still trying to deal with the loss for the rest of the book.

It’s a very good book, and yes, better than the first one. There is one small complaint: The excellent Greek-medieval world conjured by the first book isn’t quite so prominent this time. It’s there, and it is even more fleshed out here, but you don’t quite get the same feeling of place in much of this book. Or maybe I’m just more used to it this time around, as there’s a lot of details here; maybe its just that they’re just about all in the service of the plot, which is very tightly done.