Monday, August 4, 2008

Eugenides series by Megan Whalen Turner

I am not sure if there is actually an appropriate name for this series, but the main character throughout is Eugenides, or Gen, so that is how I am referring to it. The books in this series are The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia.
This series is probably one of the best fantasy series that I have read in a while. Part of the reason that I loved it so much was how different it is from so much other fantasy that is out there. There is no real magic, although there is involvement of various gods and goddesses. And there is plenty of court intrigue and politics. And of course it takes place in a past world slightly different from ours.
Eugenides, Gen, is a teenager of undetermined age when the story begins in The Thief. He is let out of prison (where he found himself after bragging about something he had stolen, from the king no less) only to be used to steal a priceless artifact, one that no one has ever managed to take. Throughout the journey, Gen is a rather bumbling fool, but he is much more in control of the situation than he seems. The most wonderful thing about this book, and the series as a whole is the character of Gen. He is one of the more brilliant and likable heroes, although he is very self-effacing. In the sequels, he suffers various tragedies, and yet still remains in complete control of his destiny.
Gen is a fantastic character, but there are many other wonderful characters in this series as well. The two queens, of opposing countries, are both very realistic, very detailed characters. And the contrasts between their courts is very well drawn. This series is amazing, and highly recommended for both teens and adults, for fantasy readers and regular fiction lovers alike.

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