Yes, I know. It's not technically a book; it's a series. To which I reply: "Pssshhhaw!"
I can't precisely remember why I first decided to read this series. I have a vague memory of picking up The Queen of Attolia (the old edition, with the creepy hand cover), noticing it was the second in a series, and putting it back on the library shelf. Some way or the other, I read The Thief, an adventurous story of (as Ghost Wryter points out) an acerbic, gifted thief who is forced to steal the treasure of immortality from the gods' temple.
I had no idea what to make of it. It was-- funny, certainly, and rather profound if I looked at it the right way and squinted. It had freaky pacing and was like nothing I'd ever read. I decided to reserve my opinion and read the next book in the series, The Queen of Attolia. Then, of course, I had to read The King of Attolia, which might even have been better, and then A Conspiracy of Kings, which I didn't like as much as the others since it wasn't about the titular thief.
To fully explain the genius that is Megan Whalen Turner, I have to explain my mental vision of her. I picture Mrs. Turner as a hermit who lives in a solitary hut on the edge of an ocean. She has never read fiction before, but one day while contemplating the shadow of leaves on stone, she had a vision of a likable, quick-witted thief. She decided to record this vision as a novel, which she mailed to a publisher on a whim. Because she has never read fiction, her books are completely unlike anything else on the market these days. She has no idea her books have any following at all-- she's a bit hazy on the fact that they're published-- but, ever so slooowly, she plunks out subsequent novels on her typewriter and mails them to the publisher in between her daily sessions of meditation and yoga.
At least, that's how I explain her brilliance. In truth, she's a hip, cool lady with kids who lives somewhere in the great Midwest and has probably read fiction before, considering she has an advanced degree in literature. So I'm at a loss of how she does it, but I try very hard to emulate it.
What can I say about the Queen's Thief series that hasn't been said already? In truth, very little. It is one of those rare series that can have you, in the space of a page, laughing your heart out-- then falling into shocked silence. It is stunning. And, as libraries begin to shuffle it from children's fiction to young adult, I hope it will gain the popularity it deserves.
So why, you may ask, is it only number nine? I have no idea. That's the way the cards fell. Yes, it probably deserves higher-- but to be fair, everything from here up is pretty much tied for first. And since Mrs. Turner has announced that she is writing two sequels, which we can expect, oh, sometime in the next twenty years, I'm savoring rereads until then.
Reminder: Comment on any of the favorite books posts to be entered in the favorite book giveaway! Entries are capped at one per post, but comment to your heart's content. : ) Feel free to tell me some of your favorite books! And as for tomorrow's hint... (consults notebook)... it's about a young boy with an unlikely destiny who, with the help of newfound friends, must defeat the Dark Lord. (Haha. I know I'm being mean. That describes virtually every fantasy book ever.)