Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Book: A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A-
For: Book Club
From: I bought it.

Sadly, I've come to the end of this series, at least the end of the books that currently exist. (Is there more to come? I think so, but I'm not totally sure.) And I must say, this particular book was my least favorite in the series. Part of that may be because Gen was hardly in it, but also because it was much more political in nature and much less relationship driven.

This one follows Sophos' point of view as his family and kingdom and existence is all in jeopardy. Now I love Sophos and all, and I actually wondered from The Thief (where he was a main part of the story) to now what was going on with him. He was hardly mentioned. But at the same time, the best parts of this book were once again when Gen appears. The bantering between him and Sophos had me laughing out a loud at times, and gosh, I so wanted more of that!

However, my brain did lots of wandering during all the political talk and maneuvering. There's also a lot of geographical description and so why oh why is there not a map in these books? All good fantasy books have a map, right? Yes, a map would have helped!

But still, I enjoyed it. The best thing about these books, besides the wonderful character of Gen, is the unique style. Sort of a detached, hands off feeling. It creates emotion and drama in an unemotional writing style. So hard to explain. But it's very different. And also, we the readers have to figure a lot of stuff out on our own, there's not a lot of explanation for us. Which means there's many "OH!! I get it now!" moments. It's a great example of the whole "show don't tell" mantra.

Anyway, I'm going to miss Gen... a lot. I may just have to start over and read The Thief again. I would love to read that one again knowing what I know now about it all. I think I'd get a big kick out it!

And in case you're curious, after reading all four books this summer, I think my favorite would have to be second one, The Queen of Attolia. I think because there was much unbelievable stuff going on in that one, and  it was more about relationships and tortured souls and surprises galore. Yeah, I think maybe I'll have to read that one again too!

In the end, I'm glad we decided to read this series for our book club's summer assignment. I hope the rest of the club members have had (or are having) fun with them. I'm really looking forward to our discussion coming up in just a month!


  1. I read all these books this summer as well and I totally miss Gen. He is my new literary crush!

  2. Glad to hear you liked this one too. I think the quietness stems in part from Sophos character. I felt like the book very closely mirrored his own personality. Which is very cool in my opinion.

  3. I need to read this one.

    You bring up some great points that I totally agree with....
    Yes, the writing is wonderful and very difficult to explain because you right in that it is an "unemotional writing style" that does evoke emotion. Interesting.

    Also, the thing that is real cool about these books is that they do make you think. They are cleverly written. I agree...they are great examples of the "show don't tell" mantra!!

    My favorite of the three that I read...that is a tough one. I go back and forth between The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. They both had me gasping at the clever writing.

    Re-reading The Thief is a fantastic idea. I think it would be cool to read it knowing what we know now. I think I would see things in a different light...I think it would be interesting.

    This is a fantastic series. My 11-year old daughter read them along with me, and she loved them as well. I am hoping to get my reviews of the three books up soon...waiting on my daughter's part.

  4. Jana: Yes! Mine too! Love him to pieces.

    Michelle: I agree. Sophos is cool and really like him too. As I said, what I'd really love to see more of is the two of them bantering and teasing each other. Great stuff.

    Ibeeeg: I wonder if my daughter (who is also 11) would enjoy them? We'll have to give it a try.



Related Posts with Thumbnails