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Megan Whalen Turner

MeganWhalenTurner(1965- )
Megan Whalen Turner is the author of short stories and novels. She has won the LA Times Book Award for Young Adult LIterature, a Boston Globe/ Horn Book Honor and a Newbery Honor. She won the Mythopoeic Award and was twice shortlisted for the Andre Norton Award.


A chat with Megan Whalen Turner (Giveaway!)

Megan Whalen Turner writes both short stories and novels. She is best known for her popular QUEEN’S THIEF young adult fantasy series. Her first novel in this series, The Thief, was a 1997 Newbery Honor Book. The final book in this series, Return of the Thief, comes out today (I loved it!). One random commenter will win a Kindle or Audible copy of one of the books of the QUEEN's THIEF series (you pick). 

Tadiana Jones: I’ve loved the QUEEN’S THIEF series for many years, ever since one of my kids brought it home from his elementary school library and shared it with me (or m... Read More

The Thief: A delightful mythic fantasy

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

“I can steal anything.” With that boast, Gen sets into action a course of events that could affect kingdoms. When he boasts that he can steal the King’s Seal, and then delivers on his promise, he is arrested and thrown into prison, where he languishes until the King’s Magus approaches him with an offer: freedom if he can steal Hamiathes’s Gift, a legendary stone that carries with it the right to rule the kingdom of Eddis.

Megan Whalen Turner writes a delightful mythic fantasy that takes the reader on a secret journey through a country whose culture and religion are loosely based on Ancient Greece. Turner’s land appeals to all the senses; The stench of the prisons, the heat of the sun, and the splendid views of ancient olive tree fields come off the page and play like a movie in the reader’s mind. The landscape, both physically and spiritually, is a vibrant part of the story.
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The Queen of Attolia: Darker, more psychological

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Eugenides ends The Thief in triumph, but within the first chapter of this sequel, he is back in the prisons of the Queen of Attolia, where he loses his hand to the executioner’s axe, while the Queen looks on impassively. Forced to deal with the rest of his life as the Queen’s Thief of Eddis, with only one hand, he bitterly retreats to his rooms in seclusion, leaving Eddis without his skills just as the peninsula erupts in warfare, from both within and without.

With a title like The Queen of Attolia, you know that she is going to be a major character, and most of the book is spent in political maneuvering between the queens of Attolia and Eddis, but I was unprepared for the role that she takes on towards the end of this book. I found the backstory behind this development highly unbelievable. If you want to know why, highlight the fol... Read More

The King of Attolia: Recommended with a caveat

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Gen is now The King of Attolia, married to the woman who he has loved since childhood, who also ordered his hand cut off when he was caught snooping around the castle. At the end of the last book, The Queen of Attolia, he offered to marry the Queen to seal a peace treaty between her country and his native Eddis, keeping secret from almost everyone that he has been in love with her since his youth. Now he is king of a country that considers him an enemy, and his marriage a political sham rather than a love match.

The King of Attolia is told from the point of view of Costas, a soldier in the Guard who is assigned to be an attendant to the new king. He starts out considering Gen a weak, lazy, inadequate excuse for a monarch, and slowly comes to see that the king is putting on a front to draw out his enemies so that... Read More

A Conspiracy of Kings: Weighty YA

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Eugenides is now the respected, if not loved, King of Attolia. When his childhood friend improbably becomes King of Sounis, Attolia’s neighboring country and historical adversary, Eugenides has to choose between loyalty to his new country, his queen, his homeland and his friend. Is there any way to balance the competing claims on his heart and his conscience?

This fourth book in THE THIEF series by Megan Whalen Turner brings it back to his former brilliance. The character of Gen and his friend Sophos, returning from the first book, are portraits of conflicting desires drawn with a fine-pointed pen, and inked in with exquisite detail. The magus is back in full form, and we learn even more about Eddis, which fleshes out the background details of the lives of more than one of the characters.

While the fourth book in a series, A... Read More

“Thief:” Gen’s childhood escapades

“Thief!” by Megan Whalen Turner

Readers who (like me) are fond of Megan Whalen Turner’s THE QUEEN’S THIEF fantasy series, and who mourn the length of time between publication of her novels, can ease their pain just a little with the short story “Thief!,” originally published in August 2000 in Disney Adventures Magazine and now posted on her website. “Thief!” is a prequel to The Thief, the first book in this series. It’s a brief adventure in the life of young Gen, who begins to develop his thieving abilities at a young age. As readers of the series are aware, Gen’s childhood was marked by frequent run-ins with his numerous co... Read More

Thick as Thieves: The theft of a slave

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Note: This review contains some spoilers for the second book in the QUEEN'S THIEF series, The Queen of Attolia.

In Thick as Thieves (2017), the long-awaited fifth book in Megan Whalen Turner’s QUEEN’S THIEF series, the setting shifts away from the peninsula where Eddis, Attolia and Sounis are, to another country in this world, the Mede Empire, which has long been nursing not-so-secret plans to conquer and annex the peninsula. Kamet is a valuable secretary and slave to Nahuseresh, former Mede ambassador to Attolia and nephew to the Mede emperor. After an escape from Attolia when Nahuseresh’s political intriguing there backfired on him, as was related in... Read More

Return of the Thief: Political intrigue and unforgettable characters

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Megan Whalen Turner’s QUEEN’S THIEF young adult fantasy series, a masterwork of twisting plots, deceptive plans, and occasional divine interventions from the first book to the last, winds to a close with Return of the Thief (2020), twenty-four years after the publication of The Thief. Return of the Thief introduces us to a new narrator, Pheris, oldest grandson and nominally the heir of Baron Erondites, Eugenides’s powerful enemy from The King of Attolia. (Alert readers, however, will recognize Pheris from a few brief scenes in Read More

The FIREBIRDS Anthologies: Excellent short fiction for young adults

The FIREBIRDS anthologies edited by Sharyn November

Firebirds is the first of the three FIREBIRD anthologies edited by Sharyn November. Some people don’t like short stories, especially in anthologies where you are reading several different authors. I, however, almost always have a volume of short stories on my bedside table. Even if I manage to get no other reading done during a hectic day, it is a way for me to finish a whole story in 15-20 minutes. In an age where many authors seem incapable of writing anything other than multi-novel epics, it is a treasure to be able to enjoy a whole tale in one sitting.

Many collections of fantasy short stories are a compilation of hit or miss attempts to match a loosely defined theme for the volume. The Firebird Anthologies far exceed the industry standard. They are edited by Shar... Read More