Book Review: Return of the King by Megan Whalen Turner.
Posted on January 14, 2021 at 9:31 am by Gene Ambaum
Return of the King (A Queen’s Thief Novel) by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow, 2020. 9780062874474.
This is the conclusion to a six book series that I started reading way back in library school. Every book in the series is great, though this, along with The Thief, is tied for my favorite.
Without giving anything away, these are historical fiction set in a post mythological era version of a country like Greece where gods still have great sway, and sometimes exert great influence. The Thief of Eddis, Eugenedies (Gen) is favored by his god, and he’s at the center of the books — an adventurous, boyish man who lives for perfect moments, of which there are many. (He also settles, somewhat reluctantly, into responsibility and love, and it’s amazing to go along for the ride.)
This book is narrated by the sickly, mute son of a noble family sent to court as an insult. As he comes to love Gen and to try to serve him, he becomes embroiled in the politics of the court, is educated by its spymaster, and helps prepare for the coming war. And that’s all wonderful, but Gen is still at the heart of the book, and this is a beautiful ending to the series. And it’s all the more amazing for its middle — it never drags, it’s an utter delight, and it made me laugh out loud more than once.
I always ask myself why these books continue to be marketed as YA. (Because Gen was a young adult in the first book?) They would appeal to any adult reader of historical fiction that I know, and, I bet, to more than a few romance readers. I fit into neither category but still love them, which says a lot about how great they are. Some might say the books can be read out of order, but I disagree. Start with The Thief. It’s so good.Tags