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sophia_sol ([personal profile] sophia_sol) wrote2017-05-30 07:07 pm

Thick as Thieves, by Megan Whalen Turner


Megan Whalen Turner does not write fast. This is the first new book that's come out since before I got into the series. I was very worried about it not living up to expectations, since I have pretty high expectations for this series. But Thick as Thieves is a thoroughly worthy book to be added to the series and and I am relieved and delighted!

This book follows Kamet, the secretary (and slave) to the Mede ambassador who we first met a few books ago. Kamet was a very minor character when he was introduced, enough so that I didn't even remember him. (I had kind of intended to reread the whole series before the next book came out but then all of a sudden my hold on Thick as Thieves came in at the library and I had zero self-restraint to keep myself from just reading it right away, so I'm perhaps a little fuzzy on some of the details from the earlier books.)

The vast majority of Thick as Thieves is basically just an extended road trip as Kamet flees his home after his master is poisoned, in the company of an Attolian soldier (who, it's shortly clear, is Costis) tasked with bringing Kamet to the King of Attolia. It's an excellent road trip and I really enjoyed reading it, but as I got further and further along I kept thinking "this is way too straightforward for a Queen's Thief book, what's the twist, I don't see anything that could be a twist, but obviously there's going to be a twist, what's going on"

And then right on schedule yep there we go there's the twist, and of course it was that Eugenides had a Grand Plan and it was great. And then once that was cleared up I could relax on the subject of twists and enjoy the rest of what the book was doing.

In a number of ways this book is an interesting parallel of the first book - both centre on a main character who is dragged away on a long and dangerous road trip, and both involve the retellings of mythological stories that end up being personally relevant to the teller, and both are first-person narratives that are written down by that main character for the purpose of saving the tale in an archive. Ss far as I remember none of the other books have any of these three characteristics, much less all three put together. Interesting! It makes me wonder, between these three things, if there are other parallels that I'm not noticing.

Of course, a big contrast between the two books is that in the first book, Eugenides seems to be on the road trip entirely against his will but actually it's all according to his Secret Plan and he's in control of his own destiny the whole way. And in this book, Costis thinks that Kamet is along on the road trip entirely because he wants to be, when actually Kamet is in a situation where he really doesn't have any other choices and he's much less in control of his own destiny than it appears. Poor Kamet.

At any rate: I really liked this book. I got to be really fond of Kamet, and the book ending by emphasizing Kamet and Costis's friendship is a delight, and I really loved being introduced to more of the world of these books via the extended road trip. And the bits of Eugenides that showed up at the end of the book are priceless as always.

And we're seeing more of the inter-country politics beyond the Little Peninsula and I'm very interested to see where the series arc is going with all of this. Hopefully it's not SEVEN MORE YEARS before the next book!! But according to an interview I read, the next one will be the last in the series? Aaaaaaaa!

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