Really 4.5 stars*
Fallen idols and a loss of boyish optimism and innocence are the heart of this second installment in the Queen’s Thief series. Eugenides must come to terms with facing the ultimate betrayal by a loved one. Those traumatic experiences harden him, forcing him to develop his gift in new ways… for use in intrigue and political gain as well as for his own personal wellbeing.
While I did like how the events in the story unfolded—how certain scenes were constructed like mirror images to highlight similar aspects of character—I thought the story was somewhat predictable in terms of the various alliances made and the role of the gods. I also missed the Eugenides from The Thief
… his swagger and smug demeanor, not to mention those acerbic witty comments of his… like little slips of a penknife. This new Eugenides is more subdued and initially is not as confident in his skin. His wit becomes subtle, appearing in his plans and actions rather than speech. But actually, this shift in character was rather well done.
All in all, I still feel that this is one of the better ya fantasy series out there. Though slightly predicable, the writing is great: The fun being in the journey not just those final concluding moments.