When I first read The Thief and its two sequels, I mentioned that I was waiting for more. And more came out… last fall, but I only just now got to it.
Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. Read by Jeff Woodman Most of this book is told in the first person, narrated by Sophos. He was in The Thief, which I apparently don’t remember as well as I thought, because I didn’t remember him at all. Other characters that I remember from the other books do come in, though – the King and Queen of Attolia and the Queen of Eddis. Sophos is a young man exiled to an island by his uncle, the King of Sounis. He never wanted to be the heir to the kingdom, and knows that he is a disappointment both to his father and to his uncle. Then he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. It is only when he learns of treason against the king that he makes up his mind to escape and try to claim his kingdom from the Mede Empire and from the rebel barons. Turner does her usual excellent job of mixing the political with real human characters. I didn’t find that the plot had that same kind of unexpected twist that I found with the first couple, though there was certainly plenty of plotting and double-crossing. There are also the workings of the gods, which in realistic fashion are never entirely clear. The narrator, Jeff Woodman, has a perfect voice for a boy coming into manhood, which works perfectly for most of the book. He shares the downfall of many male narrators, unconvincing female voices. They either sounded very young or ancient, and he made the odd choice of giving the love interest the old lady voice. Fans of Turners other books will want to make sure to read this. Newcomers might want to start at the beginning – it’s a series well worth getting into.