FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
ABOUT THE BOOK
Deep within the palace of the Mede emperor, in an alcove off the main room of his master’s apartments,. Kamet minds his master’s business and his own. Carefully keeping the accounts, and his own counsel, Kamet has accumulated a few possessions, a little money stored in the household’s cashbox, and a significant amount of personal power. As a slave, his fate is tied to his master’s. If Nahuseresh’s fortunes improve, so will Kamet’s, and Nahuseresh has been working diligently to promote his fortunes since the debacle in Attolia.
A soldier in the shadows offers escape, but Kamet won’t sacrifice his ambition for a meager and unreliable freedom; not until a whispered warning of poison and murder destroys all of his carefully laid plans. When Kamet flees for his life, he leaves behind everything—his past, his identity, his meticulously crafted defenses—and finds himself woefully unprepared for the journey that lies ahead.
Pursued across rivers, wastelands, salt plains, snowcapped mountains, and storm-tossed seas, Kamet is dead set on regaining control of his future and protecting himself at any cost. Friendships—new and long-forgotten—beckon, lethal enemies circle, secrets accumulate, and the fragile hopes of the little kingdoms of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis hang in the balance.
Turner's Queen's Thief series is one of my all time favorites. I've found myself cheering for Eugenides since I first met him, despite all his flaws. One of the things that I've especially enjoyed about this series is the intricacy of the plot. It's been hard waiting for the last couple of books, Turner isn't the fastest writer, but I've found each book well worth waiting for. And Thick as Thieves is no different. It's fascinating to see the way each book has carefully led Eugenides and his friends to where they end up. I have also enjoyed reading as each book reveals something new about Eugenides efforts to save Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis from the Mede. While the stealing of a single slave doesn't seem like that big a thing, especially since Kamet has no intention of actually ending up in Attolia, yet Eugenides always has reasons for what he does, if one sticks around long enough to discover what they are.
When Kamet meets up with the Attolian soldier (whose identity isn't revealed until the end of the book, although those who've read the rest of the series will probably be able to guess who he is), he has no intention of going anywhere with him. After all, though he is a slave, he is in a position of power and hopes to end up with more power. But when he is informed by the one person in the household he trusts that his master has been poisoned, he knows that if he wants to live, he needs to flee. And inadvertently or maybe not so inadvertently he ends up meeting the Attolian and fleeing with him. Traveling with the Attolian proves to be dangerous as the emperor sends his personal guards after Kamet. Over and over again they come close to being captured as Kamet waits for the perfect opportunity to set out on his own. But when the opportunity to continue on his own finally arrives, it turns out that Kamet is reluctant to do so. With help from some mysterious allies, Kamet and the Attolian search for a way to get to Attolia, but Kamet has lied to the soldier and he knows his lie will eventually be discovered. And what can the king of Attolia possibly want with him, except a chance to get back at his master.
But as always, Eugenides (king of Attolia) has purposes beyond the obvious, which aren't revealed until the end with Turner's deft touch. A wonderful addition to the series that makes me anxious for the next (possibly last) book in the series.