/* this controls the hidden synopsis ----------------------- */ /* this ends the hidden synopsis script -------------------- */ /* drop-down menu script ---------------------------------*/ /* end of drop-down menu script ---------------------------------*/
Megan Whalen Turner
Greenwillow. 2020.
Buy the book
Book 1
The Thief
Book 2
The Queen of Attolia
Book 3
The King of Attolia
Book 4
A Conspiracy of Kings
Book 5
Thick As Thieves
Book 6
Return of the Thief
back to Books
Return of the Thief


Toggle the synopsis. But, beware, if you haven't read Books 1-5, this may reveal more about the plot than you care to know.

starred review Return of the Thief [Queen’s Thief] by Megan Whalen Turner. Middle School, High School Greenwillow 480 pp. g 10/20 978-0-06287-447-4 $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-06287-448-1 $12.99 Pheris, the heretofore-unknown heir of the traitorous Baron Erondites, is sent to be raised in the Attolian court. Possessing a keen intellect, Pheris has nevertheless had to play the fool in order to survive; his cerebral palsy–like physical disabilities have led others to underestimate him, so it’s easy to continue the charade. An astute judge of character, Eugenides sees past his appearance, treating him with kindness, respect, and trust. The high king will need all the help he can get, human and divine, as he quells an insurrection in Attolia; preserves the fragile alliance between the peninsular kingdoms; deals with an overwhelming invasion by the Mede empire; and bears the strain it all places on his personal relationships. Turner, true to form, tantalizingly pulls readers in by forcing them to draw their own inferences about character and motivation from dialogue and exposition. The tightly crafted plot produces a series of dramatic climaxes, followed by a slow and satisfying denouement that has an elegiac quality. “I stared into the faces of the dead as I passed. Their skin as pale and as hard as stone, their blood black, and the dew gathered on their hair and eyelashes anointed them like sacred oil.” As readers bid farewell to this acclaimed series (beginning with 1996’s The Thief, rev. 11/96) and its beloved cast of characters, it’s clear that this concluding volume serves as the keystone, inextricably linking the preceding entries together in surprising yet inevitable ways; it’s a bravura performance by one of our finest writers. –Jonathan Hunt

starred review 480p. (Queen’s Thief: Bk. 6) HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2020. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062874474. POP Gr 9 Up. After being born with the infirmity that runs through his family and earning the nickname “monstrous” as a baby, Pheris Mostrus Erondites has grown up aware of his own limitations and vulnerabilities, from his bad leg and arm as well as his inability to communicate verbally. Pheris is as surprised as anyone when he is named Baron Erondites’s heir and sent to the Attolian court to serve as an attendant to the king of Attolia, Eugenides. Years of fear and caution have taught Pheris how to play the fool and hide in plain sight, but even he can’t escape Eugenides’s notice as the Little Peninsula prepares for war. As the newly appointed high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis, Eugenides has united the three countries but that does not mean their people are ready—or willing—to fight the invading Mede empire. Pheris observes and recounts everything for readers as political maneuvers, personal dramas, and his grandfather’s schemes unfold while creating an unlikely place for himself in the palace and in the hearts of some of its residents. With war looming, Eugenides has to work harder than ever to protect everyone he loves and make sure he does not offend the gods who have taken an interest in both the Little Peninsula and him since his early years as the Queen’s Thief. A direct sequel to Thick as Thieves, this novel will be most rewarding to readers of the entire series with the resolution of many character arcs and nods to multiple events across the overlapping time lines of the previous books. The society is divided along class lines and race is largely undescribed. VERDICT As intricately plotted as it is utterly satisfying, this series finale has everything readers could hope for from a conclusion 20 years in the making. –Emma Carbone, Brooklyn P.L

starred review  The final installment of the adventures of incorrigible Thief (later king) Eugenides commences during the events of the previous book (Thick as Thieves, BCCB 5/17), this time from the perspective of Pheris, the disabled young heir to the disgraced Baron Erondites, as he adjusts to Attolian palace life as one of the king’s attendants. The long-brewing Mede invasion is imminent, and the countries of the Little Peninsula, united under Eugenides as high king, muster their resources and allies to preserve their sovereignty. Even as his narrative focuses on the titular Thief, Pheris proves a compelling character in his own right; though his family views him as damaged and disposable, his intelligence, judgment, and hard-won loyalty play key roles in events. Other characters from previous books have their own roles to play: Attolia, Costis, Kamet, Eddis, Sounis, and others (to say nothing of Eugenides himself, pushed here to the limits of his ingenuity) only grow in complexity as their actions and relationships come under greater illumination. This is a narrative bound together by many kinds of love, and readers weary of grimdark fantasy would do well to note that while war is at its center, Turner’s signature shock factor is information, not gory death. Her great gift for combining point of view and plot in exquisite, impeccably timed reveals is on full display: a multitude of subtle twists reconfigure not just this book but the ones that came before it. Fans will be sorry to see Gen’s adventures come to an end, but it’s a satisfying one, and they’ll want to revisit the other volumes armed with new, deeper understanding of the Thief and his world. The volume includes a short story, character list, and a touch of Paul O. Zelinsky in the form of a map and an interior spread. FHK

                                                        Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

In the triumphal final volume of the Queen’s Thief series, more than 20 years after the publication of The Thief, Turner sticks her landing with aplomb. Dissent from within threatens to undo the delicate union of nations Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis under Eugenides, former Thief of Eddis. As the emperor of the massive Mede empire begins a full-scale invasion, the countries marshal their resources to defend a crucial territory, testing the allied nations’ bond. Narrator Pheris, an often mistreated nonverbal child, born “with the infirmity that ran in my family,” becomes Eugenides’s attendant. Through cautious, wily Pheris’s adept observations (“the less people want to see you, the easier it becomes to be invisible in plain sight”), Turner highlights Eugenides’s actions, personality—sometimes kind, often calculatingly brutal—and knack for the unexpected reversal. Building to a succession of stirring climactic scenes that twine long-standing thematic and narrative arcs, Turner offers a fulfilling conclusion that rewards knowledge of the previous books. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2009-2020 Megan Whalen Turner. All rights reserved.