Posted by: deirdrea | December 17, 2009

A Conspiracy of Kings! And some other news

Hello, everybody! I hope you’ve all been well, this gray and chilly winter, and I wish you all lovely winter holidays!

I have just returned from my very first trip to Florida. I had a fantastic time, and saw the most awesome people, birds, beasts and flowers. Plus, our concert for the Lucia-fest was really beautiful! Dominique (our director) got a (VERY well deserved) standing ovation!

While in Florida, I made some new friends — look!
The Manatees' Lunch
Isn’t he beautiful? He’s a manatee, and his name is Buffet, he lives in the Sarasota Aquarium with his brother, Hugh, and a sea turtle, and, as you can see, he is very fond of Romaine Lettuce. I love him!

In other news, we received the ARC of Megan Whalen Turner’s new novel, “A Conspiracy of Kings” at our library, (YAY!) and I just finished reading it last night. So here is my completely spoiler free (I hope) review.

The cover of the ARC for Megan Whalen Turner's new novel

The cover of the ARC for Megan Whalen Turner's new novel, to be published on March 23, 2010

Megan Whalen Turner has done it again! A Conspiracy of Kings is a fast-paced, intricate adventure story, in which, once again, the plot is completely character-driven, and a thread of magic winds through the complex train of events in an entirely believable way. Here is a list of some highlights of the tale, which doesn’t (I hope!) give too much away.

I. We see ALMOST all of our favorite characters again. Especially those who rule nations (Well, I think any MTW fans would be able to tell that from the title ;-D).
2. MWT also introduces a few new characters, some of whom are beyond awesome. (Well OK, some are also exacrable, but in a good and necessary way).
3. Anyone who has read any of the promotional literature or blurbs will have gathered that the book is about Sophos. It is, and Sophos rocks!! (Incidentally, there was some talk of moustachios on some of the boards ’round about. Haters of facial hair, be at ease. Only previously bearded characters sport beards in this book — there is no new facial hair to speak of).
4. MWT’s writing has always shown great mastery of Point of View. This book is no exception. There are specific points of view, point of view shifts, deliberate breaks in the narration, shifts from narrative to dialogue — & they are all brilliant. I can guarantee, you’ll love Sophos’s narration, plus who he’s talking to.
5. Then there’s the psychology. I think you’ll be amazed at how Sophos’s situation, and his reaction to it, “fit” our modern world, too, and some of our own situations.
6. Plus, there’s the great MWT tradition of stories within stories. That’s here, too — and the stories are the best yet! I was laughing out loud!
7. And, there are dreams….waking and sleeping. But I’ll say no more about them, lest I say too much.
8. And there’s at least one “loose end.” But it is neither accidental nor annoying. The plot winds up beautifully — but I was left knowing that there was more to know, and content to wait another few years for the knowledge. ;-D

That’s it! My completely spoiler-free review! I loved the book, and I think you will, too. Of course, I did not see the final version, or the final art, which I understand will include a map. There is no map in the ARC, and I would have loved one. Which is another reason I’ll be very happy to see the published book in March.

BTW, everybody, if you’d like to find out more about Megan Whalen Turner’s books, or her fans, she has a website here:

And there’s a site for discussing her books here

That’s it for today, everyone! I hope you enjoy the photo, and the review, and I wish you very happy holidays!




  1. Great spoiler-free review, Deirdre! Do I get it next?! See you soon ) (and you should definitely cross-post this one – I love your manatee pic, too. )

  2. Yes, you definitely get it next! Then I’m sure some of us will want to do some re-reading, and after that we might have to do some kind of giveaway. (Much as I don’t want to…..)

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