The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner:
The Thief, Greenwillow Books, 1996
The Queen of Attolia, Greenwillow Books, 2000
The King of Attolia, Greenwillow Books, 2006
A Conspiracy of Kings, Greenwillow Books, 2010
“Thief!”, Disney Adventures, August 2000 (prequel short story)
I fell in love with this series in 2013. By “fell in love” I mean I slammed headlong into the series, became an utter fangirl, and never looked back. From my blog (25 June 2013):
I have read The Thief itself twice already, and the ending at least six times, probably more. (I initially got it from the library perhaps four weeks ago.) I read The Queen of Attolia once but skimmed through it again multiple times. And reread the ending several times. Because.
Saturday I got the third book. (I laughed so hard several times Mom thought I’d do myself injury.)
This appears to be how many readers are affected. Fans are diehards ... and even named the series “Queen’s Thief” and it’s stuck.
I got my dad to read it—Dad loves historical fiction, and something inspired by Byzantine and Greek civilization is just up his alley. Not just The Thief (which won the Newbery, among other accolades), but the entire series. Now my dad is a fan, and we have had many fine discussions about them. Then we lobbied for my mother to read them. Mom demurred—she dislikes first-person narratives, she said—but then stampeded through Book 1. She sped through the rest too.
There are, alas, only four books as of this writing. When this sees print, the long-awaited fifth book will appear; it has been over six years since A Conspiracy of Kings was published. Thick as Thieves is most eagerly awaited.
I own them all. (Soon I expect to own book five, too.) I reread the entire series frequently.
Eugenides—aka Gen, the eponymous thief—is an acquired taste: snarky, clever, too intelligent. One of the very best unreliable narrators around. If you like Lois McMaster Bujold, I can almost guarantee you’ll like the Queen’s Thief books’ character-driven writing. Gen, like Miles Vorkosigan, is easier to read about than to live with. I can see why everyone who loves Gen wants to wring his neck, and yet they still love him.
In interviews, Turner admits to being a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, and so you may guess what her taste in endings is like. And if you love Howl—then yes, he and Gen could easily be friends. (Not twins, thank the Great Maker.) Or cousins. Yeah, cousins.
Anne Zanoni lives in Lansing, Michigan, in a constant state of mad energy, whirling around a myriad of projects and passions. Garrulously.