There are many things to love about Megan Whalen Turner's books. For starters, there's her lovingly built world, which draws heavily on ancient Greece and Rome. There are her twisty-turny plots, which deal with the fates of nations and surprise you at every page turn. There are her grand themes, about love and fate and the terrible choices a king or queen must make. But for me, the thing that keeps bringing me back, and actually drove me to purchase my own copies of all four books, is Eugenides. He's the star of three books, The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia, and a major character in another, A Conspiracy of Kings.
Eugenides of Eddis is a thief, a liar, and a scoundrel. You really can't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. And yet, you can trust him.
You know that even though you have no idea what he's going to do next, it's going be amazing. Probably baffling and infuriating and a little crazy, but amazing. He's witty, sarcastic, and quick on his feet. Yet, just when you think he's a snarky one-note character, he does something that reveals his vulnerable side - but only for an instant, and then his armor's back in place.
And remember how I said you can't trust a word that comes out of his mouth? Well . . . sometimes you can. It's just that you never know exactly which words those are. Part of the fun of reading about Eugenides is gambling on which words you can trust, and seeing if you're right or not.
- Maureen K.