This book was, without question, maddening! (In that oh, so fabulous way that makes you want to throw it across the room and then read all night until you reach the end sort of way!)
Gen! I will never figure the guy out! Just when I think what's going on - I so don't! Twists and turns and it was all just lovely, lovely, lovely!!
**Sort of spoilerish** First off, many kudos to Megan Whalen Turner for creating a character, making us HATE her, and then... a mere 200 or so pages later, making us love her completly! How she does this, I still do not know! Ohhhh I hated the Queen of Attolia so much. First, for just being a meany...and for what she does to Gen, and then for fraternizing with the sleazy Mede character. But by the end I though she was the coolest, sneakiest, cleaverest, (are these even words?) most sympathetic character of the book. You feel bad for her. And you really WANT her to be happy and loved.
And Gen. I still don't get him. But I don't care, he's great and unpredictable, and FUNNY!
Okay, spoilers for sure now - sometimes I try to avoid them, but well, I'm not going to anymore. So the part I most loved what the part near the end when Attolia and Eddis agree that the gods betrated Gen. And then Gen goes along to a room and makes an alter and questions the gods as to why they did this to him. And they tell him not to question why and he just yells that he demands to know, and he has a right to know. And then one of the goddesses comes to him and says basically, "What would you give to have your hand back?" She says she can't do it, but if she could, would he give up Attolia, or have her lost to the Mede? And Gen is forced to say that no, he wouldn't. Seriously, I got chills at this part. I just thought it was really powerful to think about how this completly horrible thing happened to Gen, but in the end, it is this horrible thing that eventually plays a part in him gaining something even better. And the fact that this finds its way into a kids book just makes me even more impressed.