CBR13 Bingo: Landscape
Costis is one of the Attolian guards, fiercely loyal to his beloved (if fearsome) queen and skeptical and disdainful of his so-called king, the former Thief of Eddis, who through trickery and guile ended up married to their queen. Nevertheless, when he foolishly loses his temper and ends up striking the king in the face, he’s mortified and expects to be sent home in disgrace if he’s lucky, executed if he’s unlucky. Yet the strange, new young king surprises everyone, by demanding that Costis become one of his retainers, somehow the most humiliating fate of all to the soldier.
No longer a soldier, clearly the odd one out among the king’s other noble retainers, Costis is miserable. Many of his duties just involve tagging along after the king, practicing incredibly basic weapons drills with him and generally just wondering how his life took such an unfortunate turn. It’s obvious to everyone with eyes in their head that the king’s retainers despise him just as much as the soldiers and while they perform their duties, they keep showing their disrespect by bringing him inappropriate outfits, bringing him food that he’s unable to eat unaided and generally making snide remarks to the king’s face, and outright semi-treasonous remarks when they think no one is listening.
Yet the queen doesn’t seem like she’s suffering some politically advantageous marriage of convenience, and the Eddisian ambassador talks to and about the king not as if he’s the petulant, lazy, and vain young man he seems to be. Costis has begun to understand that not everything is as it appears with the former Eddisian king of Attolia and that his strange behaviour is calculated to a degree. He doesn’t realise just how much until there is an assassination attempt on the one-handed king, who despite showing only rudimentary weapons skills in the public practice sessions, takes out three assassins unassisted while left alone in the palace gardens. In the second half of the book, Costis (and most other people who had been seriously underestimating the king) comes to discover just what a clever and patient strategist Eugenides actually is.
I read the first three books in what is now known as The Queen’s Thief series back in 2012. My reviews for The Thief and The Queen of Attolia are from back then. So while this is the second time I read The King of Attolia, I don’t seem to have reviewed it the last time around. I was unable to find out who narrated the audios I listened to back in 2012, but I can say that I much preferred Steve West’s narration.
Full review on my blog.
Bingo #1: Free (Hør Her’a!), Landscape (this), Fauna (Rule of Wolves), Travel (People We Meet on Vacation), Machinery (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Bingo #2: Home (Mystic Bayou series), Libations (Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake), They She He (One Last Stop), People (Any Way the Wind Blows), Landscape (this)