The Queen of Attolia

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The Queen of Attolia
First paperback edition (HarperTrophy, 2001), artwork by Rene Milot[1]
Author Megan Whalen Turner
Cover artist Walter Gaffney-Kessell[1]
Country United States
Series Queen's Thief[1]
Genre Young-adult fantasy
Publisher Greenwillow Books/ William Morrow and Company[1]
Publication date
April 2000
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 280 pp. (first ed.)[1]
ISBN 0-688-17423-X
OCLC 48189446
LC Class PZ7.T85565 Qu[2]
Preceded by The Thief
Followed by The King of Attolia

The Queen of Attolia is a young adult fantasy novel by Megan Whalen Turner, published by the Greenwillow Books imprint of William Morrow in 2000 (later, of HarperCollins). It is the second novel in the Queen's Thief series that Turner inaugurated with The Thief in 1996.[1]


The books are set in a Byzantine-like imaginary landscape, reminiscent of ancient Greece and other territories around the Mediterranean. The action takes place in the countries of Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis. The characters’ names are also Greek, and references are made to actual Greek authors, but this is fantasy, not historical fiction. The gods of Turner's pantheon, ruled by the Great Goddess Hephestia, are her own, and her world possesses such items as guns, pocket watches, printed books and stained glass windows.

Plot summary[edit]

Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, has been caught spying on the Queen of Attolia. He expects to be hanged, but the Queen instead resorts to an ancient traditional custom – she has his right hand struck off with a sword. This shocking act sets the plot in motion.

Maimed and broken-hearted, the Thief returns to Eddis and wallows in a deep depression. Attolia, an apparently heartless ruler, secretly regrets her action, but must live with the consequences of it. The countries of Eddis and Attolia are soon at war, with neighboring Sounis playing both sides. Also manipulating the situation is Attolia’s ambassador from the Mede Empire, Nahuseresh, who pays extravagant attention to the beautiful Queen of Attolia while serving his own agenda. As Attolia juggles her overattentive ambassador, the rebellious barons who do not believe a woman can rule alone, and a bloody, costly war, the reader begins to understand what has made her into the Queen – and the person – she is.

Meanwhile, a visit from the magus of Sounis awakens Eugenides to the fact that his country is at war. His cousin, the Queen of Eddis, may lose her throne and her country. Eugenides is forced to grow up and become more than just a boy hero and a clever trickster. He remakes himself into a new kind of hero – and a new kind of Thief. As in The Thief, the gods play an important role, there are stories within stories, and the clever plot holds more than one surprise.


The Queen of Attolia received starred reviews from the Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly, as well as favorable reviews in other review publications.


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Queen of Attolia title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2015-11-03. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ "The queen of Attolia" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved 2015-11-03.

External links[edit]