Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, which is an urban fantasy series about demons, magic and two brothers – Nick and Alan. She has two books due to be released this year – Team Human (co-authored with Justine Larbalestier) and Unspoken – and I’m really looking forward to reading both. I follow Sarah on her blog, Twitter and Tumblr and she’s hilarious in all of those venues. She’s been very vocal about her love of the Queen’s Thief series and I was delighted when she graciously agreed to do a guest post, in spite of her busy schedule.
THE QUEEN’S THIEF, SARAH AND BOOKPUSHING
I found the Queen’s Thief series the same way I know a lot of us find the best books: a friend recommended them to me. Specifically, my friend Holly Black.
I was twenty-three and an Irish chickadee living in England, doing a Master’s and working as a library assistant. The year before that, I’d been living in New York and working as a publishing intern, and Holly was one of many kind Americans who snatched me out of traffic and explained things like ‘We call spaghetti hoops spaghetti-Os here.’
Naturally my faith in her is implicit! So she said to me ‘You love a twisty book. You love The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. You will love Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief.’
Well, it was easy to get it! It was in the library where I worked. I picked it up off the shelf, put it in my bag, walked home and sat down on my little blue sofa, where I opened it.
A couple of hours later, I looked up from the last page of the book.
My tea was very cold. Outside the windows it was dark. Neither of those things seemed to matter very much. I gave some deep thought to what I wanted from life.
What I wanted from life was immediately to read the book again, checking from the start and at every turn that Megan Whalen Turner really had laid it out there carefully and cleverly, that I had not been cheated but had been wonderfully surprised.
So I switched on the light, and did not move from the sofa until I had read the whole thing again. It was a lovely evening. I promptly asked my loving parents for Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia for Christmas.
My love has been true ever since that day: it has only grown, since my favourite of the series (so far) is The King of Attolia. (Love, baby! And tricks with narrators. AND LOVE, ONE OF THE GREATEST FICTIONAL ROMANCES OF OUR TIME.)
I was actually on tour with Holly Black for her White Cat and my Demon’s Covenant where at a school appearance we were doing, we met a lovely girl who was a huge Megan Whalen Turner fan… we’d both acquired an advance copy of Conspiracy of Kings via nefarious means. (Okay, maybe Holly’s means weren’t nefarious, I don’t know. MINE WERE.)
LOVELY LADY: And of course the end of Conspiracy of Kings is different than in the advance copy…
HOLLY & SARAH: What! Where! WHAT! IS IT? WHERE’S THE NEAREST BOOKSHOP?
My roommate in Ireland has read chiefly what I gave her since we met in college, and one day she unwisely mentioned she wished there were more books like Harry Potter. I listened to her with a blank expression that I was later informed was slightly terrifying, and the next day brought in a pile of books by Diana Wynne Jones and murmured ‘These are better.’ ‘What, what are you doing?’ she asked. ‘Read them,’ I said, my voice still low and fervent and scary. ‘Read them…’
She resisted the Queen’s Thief series. ‘These look like high fantasy,’ she said, rebelliously. ‘Oh, they are,’ I said. ‘Gods and so forth. Greek mythology rather than English folklore stuff. Read them…’
It took me a few years to bring her around. Then she read The Thief. I was away for the weekend.
When I came back, she owned her own copies of Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia. ‘You weren’t here,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t find them! I had to do something! They’re SO GOOD!’
So we have two sets of Megan Whalen Turner books at our house. I feel this is for the best.
The moral of my story? Friends don’t let friends not read Megan Whalen Turner books.
Thank you, Sarah! Love the moral of your story. I’m sure you’ve managed to convince more readers to read the books. Queen’s Thief Week’s Thursday is all about spreading the word about the series – first with Angie’s bibliovangelizing and now Sarah with this post. Feel free to share your own book pushing stories related to Megan Whalen Turner’s books.