Okay, so who here remembers how exciting it was when The Thief first came out? Anyone? No? Alright, maybe not but don’t feel bad. Megan Whalen Turner’s first Queen’s Thief book came out in 1996, wayyy before YA fantasy was a thing. It’s a total classic that has inspired countless YA books of today, and it went on to win a ton of awards and even more fans. There have been three follow-ups since (The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of King), and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that a fifth,Thick as Thieves, is finally coming this May!
We get that it might seem super overwhelming to jump into such an established series, but one of the great things about these books is that you can read them in any order! According to the author herself, “they all spoil each other just a little bit.” In case you don’t want to wait, we’re offering you a very special crash course on the world Megan has crafted.
The Not-So-Little Little Peninsula
Most of the story takes place on the Little Peninsula (or, the one that looks bigger on the map so that you can see all the kingdoms and intricate details). On the Little Peninsula are our main players: the kingdoms of Attolia, Sounis, and Eddis. You should check out this gorgeous map of the Queen’s Thief world. (WE LOVE MAPS)
There are a lot of characters in these books, and the politics, adventure, and epic love involve everyone from royals to guards to citizens and thieves. However, everything seems to come back to these few people…
THE KING AND QUEEN OF ATTOLIA
These two rule the southern tip of the peninsula and are always trying to make sure that doesn’t change. What they do to each other will make you gasp, and what they do for each other is the stuff of legends. Of course, what everyone else sees is another matter entirely. The King’s guards and friends are extremely loyal to him, and while the Queen may come off as quiet and dull, you can count on her to always be secretly plotting.
THE KING OF SOUNIS
Up along the coast in Sounis, the King and his nephew/heir, Sophos, are struggling to bring their kingdom back to its former glory. They both have an interest in the Queen of Eddis, though for two *very* different reasons. Invasions, marriage, love… who’s to say what will win out?
Drawing them all together is Eugenides, the Queen of Eddis’s cousin and thief. If there’s one thing you should know about Gen, it’s that he should never be underestimated. He can steal anything. He also has a habit of breaking into the Queen of Attolia’s bedchambers, so readers should keep their eyes on those ruby earrings of hers
Of course, things would just be too easy if all these kingdoms had to worry about were each other. The biggest and most constant threat facing the peninsula are the Medes. They are rich and powerful and eager to expand their empire. One particular character to keep an eye on is Nahuseresh, the ambassador to Attolia. He’s the kind of guy who dyes his beard hair and thinks he’s the gods (yes, there are lots of them) gift to women. He has it in his head that the best course of action is to woo the Attolian queen. Yikes.
Gods and goddesses may or may not be pulling the strings behind all the drama, but it can be said for certain that, in this world, there is always more going on than what meets the eye.
Find all The Queen’s Thief books below:
(Beautiful repackaged designs of the first four books are hitting shelves on February 28th!!)
Which Queen’s Thief book is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!