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The Reading Jackalope

The Queen of Attolia

The Queen of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really like it either. A few problems. First it felt as though this book was rushed, we skipped from event to event quickly and that lead to feeling rushed. And as a result of the rushed feeling the book feels more like a prologue to a longer story rather than a novel in its own right. It’s either that or the book is a bunch of short stories that are trying to be a novel, either way the book doesn’t feel whole. Secondly, I didn’t buy the love story in the book at all. It came out of left field with absolutely no hints at all for either side having feelings for the other. There are places where angry hateful interactions can turn to love, but the characters have to actually interact for that to happen and be believable. These two shared maybe three pages of actual book time before they were falling in love with each other. Compare this to The Thief where the friendship between Gen and the Magus was slowly and believably built, and it comes off much weaker. And since the love story between Eugenides and Attolia is so sudden and unexpected, and Eugenides claims he’s loved her for ages, it rather feels as though it’s a stalkerish love. Because I’m sorry, but I have a hard time believing that real love can develop when the only real interaction you’ve had with a person is watching them from afar.

Those problems aside, I love the characters individually. And I enjoyed reading the moments of the stories where things actually happen and people interact rather than those moments where I’m being told what happens. It wasn’t bad enough to put me off reading the next book, but if that one isn’t any better I probably won’t revisit Turner.