bigger inside than outside,
again, & fractal.
Here is how The Queen's Thief series is laid out: in Act I, boring slightly bad things happen. In Act II, confusion & misunderstanding rule. In Act III, the characters bust out as ultimate bad-asses. Yep; what I'm saying is that once again, Conspiracy of Kings is massively backloaded, just like the rest of these. It is exaggeratedly true to the point where it is almost comical. Not really a complaint-- just like, a truism. As Gene Wolfe loves the unreliable narrator to the point of distraction, so does Megan Whalen Turner love the Third Act. This book switches narrators again, this time to Sophos, the heir apparent of Sounis. Like The King of Attolia, the first act isn't as chock-full of bad stuff as in the first two book-- rather it labors on the minutia of every day life. In King..., we have Costis troublesome time as guard to Attolis Eugenides; in Conspiracy... we have instead Sophos' time as a slave laborer. The slavery portrayed is the domestic slavery of Greece & Rome, not the agricultural slavery of America, & it is sort of refreshing that Whalen Turner describes it in comfortable terms. Sure, it isn't great & it isn't good, but it is a life. Given the Mediterranean roots of the book, I thought it was appropriate. Also, I don't mind grinding minutia & worldbuilding-- that's my jam. I still don't see why "everyone" (read: Jenny & Marie) are so, so, soooo in love with Attolis Eugenides; I like him fine, but I like both Attolia Irene & Sounis Sophos better, in the end run (but maybe the Magus is my favorite). They are flawed without being crippled by flaws (no pun intended) & they are bad ass without having deus ex machina-like abilities. Again, the politics of this book are strong, if much more personal-- now that everyone of note is a royal, they kind of have to be. I really would like more of a peek into the Medes & the Continent; there are, what, three more books to go? So I expect that one of those wishes will be granted. I predict, though, that the Mede will land an army & that the eruption of Mount Hephestia will kill them all with hot lava. Hawt laava.