Eugenides returns to Attolia to continue to harass the queen, yet finds somehow he has been betrayed. He ends up caught and given the punishment of a thief- the loss of his right hand. As war looms on the horizon, Eugenides plays his hand at resuming his role as a thief. (sorry- I couldn’t resist the pun) He is rewarded by the end of the Queen of Attolia by getting the outcome he hoped for only to seem that it might not have been everything he wished going into the next book The King of Attolia. Eugenides now must play an even more complicated game to keep both the queens he is loyal to on their thrones.
While the second and third books were definitely darker than the first, Eugenides proves time and time again, even without his hand, he is still the best thief around. The story changes from the first- which is more of an adventure, to more of a political book focusing around the courts and their power struggles. The first book only gave a glimpse of the world it was set in, and these two dive further into the world and the conflict in it. From the first book which was written from Gen’s point of view, we now follow other people in the story. This I found intriguing, but also hard to transition into after reading The Thief. I would have preferred to stay reading along with Eugenides and seeing everything the way he was playing it, but then the third book would not have told the same story.
I actually liked these two better than the first one. Will I read the last one? Probably not, as it is a story about the character we left at the end of the first book. I was more interested in Gen’s tale.