When I scheduled the dentist appointment last fall, I clearly didn’t know this would be the day that Megan Whalen Turner’s CONSPIRACY OF KINGS would be coming out. But thanks to good flossing habits, it was a rather quick and painless appointment this morning. From there, I went directly to the bookstore. I had already read the excerpt that Harper Collins had put on-line. I had also reread THE THIEF as a way to review how things were with Sophos, Eugenides and the Magus at the end of that book.
I didn’t need to reread KING OF ATTOLIA as part of my preparation. I’m not even going to admit how many times I’ve reread that book, but it’s approaching my private LORD OF THE RINGS record. One reason for this is that I don’t like reading new books when I’m in the middle of writing one. (Naturally, I make exception for my favorites.) I’m also a student of Ms. Turner’s technique. She has great skill at laying down clues and writing scenes that hit you at the deepest level. But perhaps the truth of the matter is that I adore the way Eugenides and Costis interact. Eugenides might be a devious trickster, but Costis still manages to surprise him.
Since I’m a firm believer in not giving anything away when it comes to the Attolia books, it is a bit hard to make specific comments about CONSPIRACY. But I think that I can safely say that there are plenty of twists and surprises. The characters aren’t just three-dimensional. They’re four-dimensional because they change over time in unexpected and dramatic ways. I was totally caught up by the story.
The novel doesn’t quite rise to the level of KING OF ATTOLIA, but that book might be in my top five of all time. And yes, I’m already rereading it. It’s what I do with books that I really like. In fact, here’s part of my author bio for SUSPECT:
Kristin Wolden Nitz learned about planting clues that whisper from reading–and often rereading–hundreds of mysteries. The historical buildings, sloping vineyards and winding roads around Augusta, Missouri, gave her both the initial idea and the eerie atmosphere for SUSPECT.