Return of the Thief

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. (Queen’s Thief: Bk. 6). Oct. 2020. 480p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062874474.
Gr 9 Up–After being born with the infirmity that runs through his family and earning the nickname “monstrous” as a baby, Pheris Mostrus Erondites has grown up aware of his own limitations and vulnerabilities, from his bad leg and arm as well as his inability to communicate verbally. Pheris is as surprised as anyone when he is named Baron Erondites’s heir and sent to the Attolian court to serve as an attendant to the king of Attolia, Eugenides. Years of fear and caution have taught Pheris how to play the fool and hide in plain sight, but even he can’t escape Eugenides’s notice as the Little Peninsula prepares for war. As the newly appointed high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis, Eugenides has united the three countries but that does not mean their people are ready—or willing—to fight the invading Mede empire. Pheris observes and recounts everything for readers as political maneuvers, personal dramas, and his grandfather’s schemes unfold while creating an unlikely place for himself in the palace and in the hearts of some of its residents. With war looming, Eugenides has to work harder than ever to protect everyone he loves and make sure he does not offend the gods who have taken an interest in both the Little Peninsula and him since his early years as the Queen’s Thief. A direct sequel to Thick as Thieves, this novel will be most rewarding to readers of the entire series with the resolution of many character arcs and nods to multiple events across the overlapping time lines of the previous books. The society is divided along class lines and race is largely undescribed.
VERDICT As intricately plotted as it is utterly satisfying, this series finale has everything readers could hope for from a conclusion 20 years in the making.

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