Flashback April 2006

What I reviewed in April 2006:

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. From my review: “Costis is a loyal guard to his Queen, the Queen of Attolia. Like most loyal Attolians, he is angry that The Thief of Eddis has manipulated his way into becoming the husband of the Queen and is now the King of Attolia. The King is nothing more than hick from Eddis, and a thief to boot. He kidnapped the Queen to force her into marriage! And when Costis cannot bear it any more, he punches the King. He has punched the King in the mouth. Costis expects disgrace; he expects his family to lose everything; he expects to die. But the King lets Costis live. And Costis finds out that he has a thing or two to learn about the King of Attolia. . . . For those of us who know Gen, part of the delight is in knowing how wrong Costis is, and the wonderful anticipation of waiting for the reveal. For once, we are on Gen’s side, we “know” what to expect, we are part of the tricks and strategy. Or are we? Gen still has a few surprises up his sleeve, and even the person who thinks he knows Gen may discover that he or she doesn’t know the King of Attolia. . . .  The Queen cut off Gen’s hand; and now they are married. And it may be wrong, but I adore these two together. The balance of power, of love, of politics, of loyalty, is, gosh darn it I think I’ve run out of adjectives!, anyway, the love story is touching and raw and weird.

Sebastian’s Roller Skates by Joan de Deu Prats, illustrated by Francesc Rovira. Originally published in Spain. From my review: “Sebastian is a shy little boy, who won’t speak up for any reason; not to say hello; not to tell the barber that he doesn’t like his haircut; not to make friends with the girl in class. Then one day he finds a pair of roller skates.”

May Day by Jess Lourey. From my review: “Mira James, a twenty-something grad student, leaves Minneapolis for a part time job in a library in rural Battle Lake. She’s barely settled in when she finds a dead body in the stacks. It’s a little bit mystery, a little bit chick-lit, a little bit fish out of water, a little bit small town story, and a lot of fun.

Duck & Goose by Tad Hills. From my review: “As is obvious to any age reader, the round object with orange, red, and yellow spots is not an egg. It is a ball. So from the first, the reader is actively engaged in the story because they know something that Duck and Goose do not.”

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Sequel to The Thief. From my review: “Eugenides, The Thief of Eddis, returns. In The Thief, he stole Hamiathes’s Gift; and the Queen of Attolia was not happy. Gen — Eugenides — had outwitted her. Escaped her. Eugenides is well known now; but he cannot stop being the Thief, including spying in Attolia and taunting the Queen by leaving trinkets by her bed. As she sleeps. The message is clear: The Thief of Eddis can enter the palace of the Queen of Attolia and not be caught. Except …. He can be caught. And is caught. And the Queen of Attolia considers what manner of death… how to set an example… as the Queen of Eddis offers ransom and threatens action, in exchange for the return of her Thief. The Queen of Attolia decides to let Eugenides live; but does inflict a price. The traditional punishment for a thief. Cut off his hand. Eugenides is returned to Eddis, a broken man. The Queen of Eddis does not take the mutilation of her thief lightly; and now Eddis is at war with not only Attolia, but also neighboring Sounis. And all the while the faraway country of Mede watches, and plots, hoping to take over all three countries.”

I’m A Pill Bug by Yukihisa Tokuda, illustrated by Kiyoshi Takahasi. From my review: “A non-fiction book about the pill bug. The book begins with asking the reader, what am I? “A ball? No, not a ball.” And since I had just finished Duck & Goose, which involves mistaking a ball for an egg, I was very amused.”

Learning To Fly by Sebastian Meschenmoser. From my review: “The human narrator explains: “Last night, I found a penguin. He told me he’d been flying. But . . . penguins can’t fly.” And so begins the story of the man who befriends the penguin and the penguin who tries to take flight. This book, translated from the German, is delightful. I love some of the sentences: “He looked so heartbroken that I believed him.”

The Sword of Straw by Amanda Hemingway. From my review: “When Nathan, 13, dreams, he goes to other worlds and universes. Literally; go check his bed and you’d find it empty. He sometimes goes to sleep in clothes because showing up somewhere else in pajamas? Awkward. The previous year, dreaming had taken him to worlds where he found the Grail, and brought it back to his quasi uncle/mentor Bartlemy Goodman, a mysterious, older than older magician. Bartlemy is one of the good guys; and as Bartlemy relates the tale of the Sword of Straw, Nathan dreams of a dying city with a wounded king. Ready or not, another adventure is about to begin.

2 thoughts on “Flashback April 2006

  1. You’ve added three books to my list and they’re ones that I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. This is why I love this series so much. Books added to my list: May Day, Learning to Fly, and The Sword of Straw. I read your full review for The Sword of Straw and, while the plot is intriguing, it was your description of the humor made it so appealing. Add clever, dry humor into the mix and I’m in (plus a Joss reference doesn’t hurt as a selling point).


    1. Eliza, thank you so much! I love looking back at what I read, and also knowing that others are also taking a look at books from past years.


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