Queen’s Thief #5. Author: Megan Whalen Turner.
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.
I think Thick as Thieves is either just as or very close to the writing quality of the previous books, but it’s a rather different setting, giving the story a different slant. The last two books are both very political. There’s plenty of action and snapping dialogue – but there’s also the slower build and twist of court intrigue, of scheming behind the scenes and maneuvering through red tape and enacting complicated plots through the correct channels. And, of course, the whole theme and discussion of king and queenship; the responsibility, the duties, the change. Whether or not kings have the same honor as normal people. Whether or not they are bound to the same standards, higher standards, or wholly different standards.
For most of this book the two main characters are on the run, focused on little more than survival, across a nearly barren desert. Do you see how this could be a rather different story?
There weren’t as many unexpected twists (and I did actually see the big one coming… I’m not sure if that was the purpose of the author or not. Maybe?) but +10 on world expansion, as not only is the main character from a completely different country but most of the book is also spent in a different country, and we even get to hear some of the country’s legends from the MC.
Sexual Content: Character telling a legend – man in it “gives night-queen a son” in return for escape.
Language: 4 d***
Violence: Character speaking of law – when a man is murdered, his slaves are tortured and killed. Character stabs and kills a man. Ship is accidentally set on fire, but everyone escapes. Character knocks a slave down and kicks him several times. Slave-hunter returns without the slaves but with a severed hand. Character breaks the necks of two men and clubs two more. Brief hand-to-hand fighting, one character knocked into a dry well.