The King of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner I liked this one so much more than I liked The Queen of Attolia! You can read my review here to see my thoughts of that one before digging into this one if you'd like.

One reason this is my favorite of the 3 is because Eugenides is so present. I'm a fan of his, even though I still feel like I'm missing something. I like stories that I don't have to work quite so hard to figure out. Don't get me wrong, I like having a book that makes me work, but for whatever reason, these ones made me work too hard. Which made me feel stupid, which annoyed me, lol. "It isn't an easy thing to give your loyalty to someone you don't know, especially when that person chooses to reveal nothing of himself." I totally understand Telius. Except the part where his showing the soldiers that he knew how to soldier earned their loyalty, and to be referred to as a king of kings. How did that undo all the work he put into making them all believe him to be useless? What changed for him to make him decide to take an actual role in the duties he knew he would have as king? "Today she had yielded the sovereignty of her country to Eugenides, who had given up everything he had ever hoped for, to be her king." What was it that he had always hoped for, because I still have no idea. I hate it when I feel like I'm missing something.

I really liked that his relationship with Attolia seemed real finally. Although even that took a while to be seen: "When breakfast was over, the king stepped around the table and bent to kiss his wife's cheek. This assertion of ownership, the queen endured like stone." Of course after reading that I was right back where I was with the last book about wondering what the hell it was that so many others could see that I couldn't. Aris (and why did his name constantly have to flux between the shorter and longer versions?!) said exactly my feelings about it actually.

"Who wouldn't want to be married to the woman who cut off his right hand?" Costis looked up, startled. "Everyone talks as if it's a brilliant revenge," said Aris, "but I'd rather cut my own throat than marry her, and she hasn't chopped any pieces off me.
"I thought--"
"I was her loyal guard? I am. I would march into the mouth of hell for her."..."But I am not blind Costis. I feel about her the same way every member of the Guard feels. She's ruthless."
He leaned forward, pointing a finger in Costis's face. "And it is a good thing she is, because she wouldn't be queen if she weren't. She is brilliant and beautiful and terrifying. It's a fine way to feel about your queen, not your wife," he added.
Costis blinked.
"There isn't one womanly bone in her body, and you cannot believe any man in his right mind would want to marry her. If the Thief had wanted to be her husband, he would have forced the issue of heirs. He hasn't, has he?"...
...
What kind of man, he wondered, referred to himself as "safely dead"?


I felt pretty vindicated when I read through this passage because it was exactly how I had been thinking, and felt so cheated by in the last book. However, slowly but surely we get to see her change, and get to see her being an actual person who has feelings. She even makes jokes and laughs in this one, which was almost frustrating since it was quite the departure from the queen we knew before. She had a name. She was Irene. He'd never thought of her having any name except Attolia, but of course she was a person as well as a queen.
It was nice though to see an actual relationship instead of just a sudden admission of love from nowhere.

So even though I still had frustrations with the story, in the end I had to admit that I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was relieved that I had very little to see regarding troop movements this time, and even laughed out loud at a few points. Costis apologizing for being born was great. I don't plan on reading the next in the series because even though I liked Sophos, I like Eugenides more and would miss his presence too much.

I'm too tired to wrote anymore though, so I'll leave this as is for now. All in all, I'm glad I read this series, and would recommend this to those who are fans of this genre.