Friday, December 7, 2012

A Reading Indulgence & A Must Read Series

This week I indulged in something that I rarely allow myself to do anymore. I've been reading one series together, without any breaks between the books. Since I started blogging, I've had so much to read that I've had to break up series over time. But reading books one right after another is my most favorite way to experience a series. 

I love the momentum of getting immersed in a fictional world and story, and seeing characters grow and change right before my eyes. It is a very different experience for me than reading a series with year-long breaks in the middle. I'm always afraid that I'll not be able to recapture the magic of the world I've entered if I wait too long between books. Though I have found that if the series and characters are good enough, this does not happen. 

The downside to reading a series all at once is that it's hard for me to separate out and reflect on the novels individually. However, it does give me a grander sense of the cumulative story, and works extremely well in series with books that build on each other. 

ENTER the series I read this week: 
The Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. 

I have a stack of books that I should be reading, but this week I decided to pick up a book from my SERIES I MUST READ list. I only put series on this list that are complete or already several books deep, and after many trusted people have raved about them. Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen's Thief series is definitely at the top of that list. 

I started over the weekend with The Thief, read right through The Queen of Attolia and just finished book 3 The King of Attolia. Guys, these books keep getting better and better. Once I began reading, I couldn't stop. 

I plan on writing reviews of this series, but I just wanted to take a short break from my reading to tell you how much I love them. On a basic level, the Queen's Thief is a historical fantasy* series about a thief named Eugenides (yoo-JEN-ə-deez), though really that explanation doesn't do these books justice at all. The landscape and culture of the world in which Eugenides lives has Greek influences, but the author has taken time to develop the society, mythology and politics uniquely and thoroughly. As you read further into the series, the books get more complex and there is a huge amount of strategy involved in the development of the plot. 

I'm serious when I say these books get BETTER as they progress. I thought the first one started slowly, but someone encouraged me to KEEP READING, and I'm very glad that I did. Book three is the best yet. Each book is a completed story, but they also build on each other and incorporate characters spread between several nations. Even minor details can be important later on in the series. I love when that happens. 

The Queen's Thief is one of those series that is classified as Young Adult but isn't really. Eugenides starts of young in the first book, but he grows up as the series progresses and faces issues and problems that are very complex and relatable to all ages. That isn't to say that young adults won't enjoy the books, but it is a plea not to overlook them if you aren't one anymore! Any lover of fantasy, adventure, intrigue or a good story will love this series. 

Even though there are already four books published, more are coming! Waiting for the latter books doesn't worry me about this series, and I'm sure I'll be picking each up as soon as it releases. Do yourself a favor and pick up The Thief if you haven't already - and start reading NOW.

Have you read The Queen's Thief series?

Do you prefer to read series books all together or break them up?

What books are on your SERIES I MUST READ list?

*I am the worst at categorizing series, so please forgive me if I labeled this one wrong. These books take place in a landscape and culture that feels very much like it came from Greek, Roman and Persian history, but everything in this world has been made up. 


  1. I loved this series too! I've read the first three, and I definitely agree that book three was the best. So glad to see you enjoyed them as well.

    1. I enjoyed them so much, Natalie! I'm having trouble breaking away from this world. But I'm also not sure I want to read the fourth book just yet. I don't want the experience to be over. Thankfully there's at least 2 more books to come. But there is such a long wait between books that there's several years to go before the fifth one will be released.

  2. So glad you wrote this post, LJ! So like you mentioned, I picked up the first book in the series and when it didn't grab me right away I ended up putting it aside. Next thing I know, 6 weeks had gone by, I'm limited out on my renew's at the library, and I had to return it unread (I HATE doing that.) I wish I had had someone to encourage me to see it through.

    I think next year one of my reading resolutions will be to pick up that book (or series) that my good blogger friends have been raving about and get reading. This series will be one on that list as will Ash's beloved Chemical Garden Series. Any other suggestions from you I should add to the list?

    1. I totally understand, Heather. There is a lot of background history, culture and mythology in the first one. But it really does get better and way more complex! And everything builds, so I look at book 1 as the foundation. A lot of information and people come back around in later books. I hope you give these a try sometime!

      That is a great resolution! I'd also recommend Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series, did you try those? Have you read the Soul Screamer series? That is one that I've been wanting to read, though I think it's 6 books long or so.

    2. I actually have Unearthly sitting on my shelf and a copy of the first book in the Soul Screamers series is on it's way to me through Paperback Swap! Great minds, Lauren. Great minds:)

  3. Eep, awesome post! I'm SO glad you enjoyed this series so much, Lauren! I'm off to reply to all the tweets I missed and your wonderful e-mail as well! I can't WAIT for your reviews! :D

    1. I did, Keertana! And it's been so fun to discuss them with you and Heidi as well. Thanks for encouraging me to keep going. You were so right in the third one being the best!

  4. This is a series that I want to read as well and I feel pretty sure that I'll love it to pieces.

    You know how I love to read - most often, NOT back-to-back. I have to breathe after finishing a book, particularly if I love it. I want to sit on the story for a while, and the more I love the story, the longer I want to wait. For example, I'm still riding on the waves of Daughter of the Forest and even The Name of the Wind - I actually think about them sometimes and I don't want to cloud those amazing book-thoughts with yet another book on that particular series. I know that sounds so odd, but I just feel like I'm clearing away beauty to make room for more beauty or something like that. It's a quirk.

    Then there are some that I GULP. The Iron Fey series, for example. The Chemical Garden Trilogy. I don't know what it was about these that was different, but I was starving for more of the story and HAD to have the next books RIGHT BESIDE ME so I could pick them up seconds after finishing the previous one. Not a joke. On the re-reads, I will read them slowly (like I normally do) because I most likely missed some great details.

    I plan to read the Unearthly series and the Lumatere Chronicles, of course. And I want to finish the Jessica Darling books, but I HAVE to read those slow because Jessica and Marcus SLAY me. And I want to read the Delirium trilogy when it comes out - I feel like I've waited forever for those books. And the Mara Dyer books when they're done. The Shift series by Jeri Smith-Ready. The Summer Series by Jenny Han (contemp month woohoo!) I could really go on and on, but I'll just stop here.

    Oh, I'm going to pretend that I never started the Cassandra Clare books when those series are finished and start them over. The cliffhangers became too much and I had to stop and I've been out of the Shadowhunting world for far too long.

    1. Oh Asheley, this is DEFINITELY a series for you. I'm starting to feel panicky for your sake because I want you to read this one AND MM's Lumatere Chronicles SO BADLY. But that's a lot of books for you to make it through. The series are different but definitely amazing fantasy and you will LOVE them. The Queen's Thief series gets better and more complex as it goes, so I think it works well to read it in a larger chunk. Also these books aren't as long as some fantasy.

      So many books to read! I want to read Jessica Darling as well, but I'll probably go swiftly through those. Delirium I'm going to reevaluate when the series is complete and someone tells me whether I can handle it. Mara Dyer and Shift I LOVE. Oh and Cassandra Clare!!!! I'd love to re-read all of her books. It's funny, I haven't worried too much about those cliffies. Maybe because I was prepared?

    2. PLEASE do not panic for my sake. ALWAYS recommend to me. I can handle it! The only "negative" (which isn't a negative) is that I can't read them all at the same time. I will read as long as God lets my eyes see. So don't panic for me, friend! Keep telling me these books to read, PLEASE.

      Jessica Darling, I waited so long. I've read the first two and I want to continue the series, but interestingly I almost want to re-read the first two before I go on because they were so good but also hair-pulling frustrating. So FUN. I wonder if they have audio? I need to check on that. But if you read them, let me know and we can read/discuss together but they are SOOOO discussable and FUN. I know I already said fun. I read them both hungrily. But I'm scared to start #3 because I'm weird.

      Same with me and Delirium, but you better BELIEVE that after waiting all this time I'm getting to it when the third book is out. I feel like I've waited forever. About the Clare books, I just think I LOVE the characters SO MUCH that the cliffhangers cause almost physical pain to me. Gosh I am a dork. Because THEY ARE NOT REAL. They are not real.

  5. I just bought The Thief. Who knows when I will get to it but I must find time. Thanks for being a book pusher. :-)

    1. YAY! If you don't fall in love with the first one, it gets better an better! But I hope you enjoy.

  6. Yay! The Queen's Thief series is one of my favorite series ever. I read The Thief years and years ago and loved it. I expected it to be a standalone and was super surprised to find The Queen of Attolia. And then a few years after that The King of Attolia released. I actually was aware of A Conspiracy of Kings' existence before publication. It's definitely a series that I push on friends left and right and I'm glad that it is getting exposure through book blogs.

    Of the four books released so far, my favorite is (and probably always will be) The Queen of Attolia. In this book Megan Whalen Turner did things that I never imagined any author could do to her characters, and yet she made her characters so realistic that I was able to understand why things happened the way they did and also forgive them for their flaws. That's powerful writing, in my opinion.

    For the most part I do read series in a row. If I like the world enough, I don't want to leave it! I find myself able to distinguish between books if I do write up a review of each one separately. You should definitely read A Conspiracy of Kings now! :)

    As an additional note, I understand why you'd call this historical fantasy, but I think of the series as simply fantasy. For me, historical fantasy is set in a very specific historical time period.


    Best series EVER!

    Please tell me you've read the fourth book by now?

  8. If the books in the series are all OUT, I prefer to read them together. I've been dying to read this series. I like how it's not straight up YA, and the covers are simply gorgeous. I've only heard amazing things about Megan Whalen Turner. I can't wait to give this series a shot.

  9. I've been meaning to check out this series! It sounds like one that I'd definitely enjoy, and I think that I'd definitely want to read them back to back if I can (which is what I try to do in most cases!). It's a lot more fun for me to be able to go from one book to the next to the next (and the next if that applies), rather than wait for long periods in between :)


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