The Thief (1996; Newbery Honor)
Queen of Attolia (2000)
King of Attolia
Conspiracy of Kings
Megan Whalen Turner
Mythopoeic Winner 2011 (whole series to date)*

Go. read. these. now.

You still have time before school starts. Trust me.

The Queen’s Thief Series is epic fantasy–not fantasy as in dragons, wizards, elves, and fairies, but fantasy in the sense of castles, gods/goddesses who intervene in the lives of mortals (on occasion), and a hero’s quest. The hero of these books is the very unlikely, snarky, storytelling thief named Eugenides (Gen, for short). Readers fall in love with him and hold their breath during his adventures. Turner has a real genius for crafting memorable, strong characters (both men and women), crafting amazing plot twists, and building another world. She gives us adventure, political intrigue, suspense, sword fighting, storytelling, genuine despair, and true love.

My favorite scenes are two in which Gen interacts with his “god”–the first is a statement of sovereignty which no other book can rival (except, perhaps, for The Horse and His Boy), and the second is Gen’s testing of and trusting that same sovereign care. What a picture.

In lieu of summarizing these amazing books, I’ll direct you to the same summary Turner directs you to from her website (it only includes the first three books, but you’ll get a good idea). The fifth book has yet to be published.

In lieu of creating all new questions for these books, here are discussion questions by the publisher.

Recommended for middle school and up (there is nothing “objectionable” really in them that would prohibit younger readers from reading and enjoying these, but suffice it to say that middle school kids and up will get much more out of them)

And for final fun and frivolity, when you’ve read these beauties, check out Gen’s Fakebook page