Photo taken by Ian Villar
Checkers is one of the moderators of Sounis, the LiveJournal community for Megan Whalen Turner fans. I found Sounis shortly after I discovered the series. I was delighted to find a community, where everyone was just as
obsessed fascinated about the series as I was. I lurked for a bit but eventually decided to start posting and commenting because everyone is so nice and friendly over there. Before I started this blog, I mostly got the recommendations for the books that I read from Sounis. Queen’s Thief fans need something to tide us over while we’re waiting for the next book to be released. Here’s Checkers with a list of recommended titles that will appeal to readers who fell in love with Megan Whalen Turner’s writing.
Every now and then, we’re fortunate enough to read a book that sticks with us for a long time. They touch our hearts, delight and surprise us, and make us feel emotionally invested. It doesn’t happen very often. The first books I felt that way about were two I read during a summer of classics-reading. I must have been about 10, and the books were Heidi and Black Beauty. I can still remember how those books made me feel — I ached for the characters, and wanted so badly for things to turn out all right for them.
When we find these favorites, we reread them, memorize them, dream about them. Usually, these books have characters so compelling, so wonderful, that we become — at least a little — obsessed with them.
Then, there are characters that do all that, AND make us want to draw pictures of them, dress in costumes like them, write about them. Create songs about. Build legos of. Name pets after. Celebrate on license plates.
Oh, it’s you, Eugenides.
Recognize that line? If so, have I got a fan site for you.
If you’ve read Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, and find yourself reluctant to leave Eugenides and his world, come and visit the LiveJournal site called Sounis. If you immediately identified that line above from the end of The Thief, you’re sure to fit in. Sounis is a friendly community of fans who have read and loved the series. It’s great to make those connections, because the first thing said by most people, when they arrive at the site, is “I love these books and want to talk about them, but I don’t know anyone else who has read them!”
Here’s my theory on that. Megan’s books are hard. They’re full of layers and demand a lot of a reader. Oh sure, anyone can read them, but it’s tougher to “get” them. It’s easy to miss the subtleties the first — or second —time around. Rereading and discussion have helped us make sense of all the twisty meanings, and analyze details we might have missed. However, in addition to being a little obsessed, fans of Megan’s books are also smart. They’re up to this kind of challenge.
That’s because another thing members of Sounis share is a love of great books—complex books with a lot of heart. Over the years there have been dozens of discussions about what everyone has been reading. What’s remarkable is how similar their tastes are. Are you waiting impatiently for the next book in the Queen’s Thief series? Chances are, you’ll like these books, too. All these books, series, and authors have been recommended frequently by Megan or by the folks at the Sounis site (with a few of my own favorites sneaked in, too). If you like the Queen’s Thief books, you’ll probably recognize some of your own favorites here, too. Feel free to leave comments about other titles or series you think we’d all like, while we wait very impatiently for the next book about Eugenides. Then head over to Sounis to introduce yourself.
The Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud
Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill
Diana Wynne Jones’ books, especially Howl’s Moving Castle (watch for a tribute line found in both The Thief and The King of Attolia)
Cindy Pon’s books
C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series
Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles (an adult series—every time you think things can’t get any grimmer, they do. But, oh Lymond!)
Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs
Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Elizabeth Marie Pope’s books
Elizabeth Wein’s books
Frances Burney’s Journals and Letters
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Georgette Heyer’s books
Graceling and sequels by Kristin Cashore
Green Knowe books by L. M. Boston
Holly Black’s books
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Joan Aiken’s books
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
Maggie Stiefvater’s books
Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling (also an adult series)
The Pagan Chronicles by Catherine Jinks
Patricia A. McKillip’s books
Patricia Wrede’s books
Robin McKinley’s books
Rosemary Sutcliff’s books, especially The Eagle of the Ninth (watch for a familiar piece of jewelry)
Shannon Hale’s books
Sherwood Smith’s books
Some of the Kinder Planets by Tim Wynne-Jones
Squire’s Tales series by Gerald Morris
Susan Cooper’s books
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillippa Pearce
The Vorkosigian Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles will steal your heart, but his adventures are written for adults, not kids)
Thank you, Checkers! Why am I not surprised that I’ve read (or at least heard about) most of the books in this list? 🙂 If you’re on Goodreads, Sounis has a spin-off group over there with bookshelves filled with recommendations. Also, feel free to vote on this Goodreads list of recommendations. What are some other suggestions that you can add to Checkers list? Feel free to recommend books that you think fellow Queen’s Thief fans will enjoy!