[[quoteright:217:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Queen_of_Attolia.jpg]]

->''"Steal peace, Eugenides. Steal me some time."''

A series of AlternateHistory-cum-{{Mythopoeia}} novels by Megan Whalen Turner detailing the adventures of TheHero, MagnificentBastard, GentlemanThief, [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]], and ImpossibleThief Gen—full name Eugenides.

The series is full of thievery, politics, war, royalty, gods, goddesses, legends, love, adventure, clever schemes, and more.

The first book is ''The Thief''. It is followed by ''The Queen of Attolia'', ''The King of Attolia'', and ''A Conspiracy of Kings''. A [[WordOfGod fifth book and sixth book]] have been confirmed but not yet given a title.
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!!Contains examples of:

* ActionGirl: Eddis.
* AfraidOfBlood: Played with. The stoic queen of Attolia normally won't even flinch at the sight of blood, but when [[spoiler:her husband is bleeding]]? Cue {{Fainting}}.
* AintTooProudToBeg: Poor [[spoiler:Eugenides]]. Can you blame him?
** Sejanus, too. That's a hard fall.
** [[spoiler: Relius.]]
-> "Do you want me to beg? I will. I have. You know the words. Please, please don't hurt me anymore."
* AirVentPassageway: Variation - they're not quite air ducts, but Attolia's palace is run with hypocausts, a series of small tunnels built to funnel smoke to provide heat in the winter, but Eugenides has better uses for them. To keep up the modern air duct parallel, it's outright mentioned that the only reason he can fit into them is because he's so small.
* AllMythsAreTrue: With the old gods of Eddis, this certainly seems to be the case.
* AlternateHistory: The universe of the books is basically Greece/Turkey if there were no Roman Empire nor Christianity and some form of the Persian Empire still exists.
* AnArmAndALeg: [[spoiler:Attolia cuts off Eugenides’ right hand]] at the beginning of ''The Queen of Attolia''.
* ArrangedMarriage: Attolia's first marriage was arranged to a [[{{Jerkass}} truly slimy jerk]] who was only interested in her throne. So she poisoned him.
* AssInAmbassador: You're setting a really great impression there, Nahuseresh, what with the insulting [[spoiler:and executing Attolia's loyal nobles behind her back]] and all.
** Anybody Medean ever, if we judge by the continuing trend in the fourth book.
* AuthorAppeal: Ms. Turner is a self-admitted ''huge'' fan of Greek mythology.
* AuthorityEqualsAssKicking: Most of the royals can hold their own in a fight in some way, most notably ''the entire Eddisian royal family''.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: Averted. With [[spoiler:Eugenides]], we never actually see the coronation.
** Played completely straight with [[spoiler:Sophos in]] ''[[spoiler:A Conspiracy of Kings]]''.
* {{Badass}}: It'd be easier to list who ''isn't'' badass than to list who ''is''.
* BadassArmy: The Eddisian army. There's a remark in the books along the lines of how "they have nothing better to do all winter but perfect their crafts and train for war."
* BadassBack: Eugenides when fighting opponents not at his skill level. Very few opponents ''are'' at his skill level.
* BadassBoast: Many. (Often by Eugenides, naturally.)
---> "I can steal anything."
---> "I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT!"
* BadassBookworm: The Magus of Sounis was a soldier before becoming a scholar and is still very good at it. Eugenides can apply, too.
* BadLiar: Everyone's onto you, Nahuseresh, you idiot. Same goes for you, Sejanus.
** Sophos is a horrible liar, but he actually manages [[BewareTheNiceOnes to turn this to his advantage]].
* BalanceOfPower: Eddis maintains the balance of power between Sounis and Attolia by acting as a barrier between the two against invasion. Of course, that means either country (particularly Sounis) would like to get control of the other, and Eddis is in the way...
* BareHandedBladeBlock: Gen can do this, though it's a lot easier with wooden swords.
* BattleInTheRain: In ''The Queen of Attolia''.
* BawdySong: Does a song called "The King's Wedding Night" need any more elaboration?
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: You did want fame and glory, Gen...
** Gen actually has to watch out for this trope for more than simply narrative reasons: the various gods keep a close eye on him and careless invocations can often receive an answer.
* BerserkButton: Eugenides pressed Costis's and got punched in the face for it.
* BetaCouple: [[spoiler:Sophos and Helen]].
* BigBrotherIsWatching: In Attolia especially, but also in Sounis and to a lesser degree in Eddis. Attolia has spies who spy on her spies who spy on her spies who spy on her spymaster.
* BigDamnHeroes: Inverted when the Medes rush to the rescue of Attolia, because...
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Mede Empire are decidedly the Bad Guys, and do it only because getting troops on land in support of a local "ally" gives them enough pretext to invade without violating their other treaties.
%%* BlueBlood
* BreakTheCutie: Eugenides is broken ''viciously''. Sophos doesn't get it exactly easy, either.
* BrokenBird: Irene.
* BroughtDownToNormal: Subverted. After [[spoiler:getting his hand cut off]] early in the second book, Eugenides sinks into a deep depression, believing he's now useless ([[spoiler:because what can be stolen with only one hand]])? [[TookALevelInBadass He's not]].
* BullyingADragon: Let's play a lot of childish pranks on [[spoiler: Eugenides, King of Attolia]]. [[SarcasmMode What could possibly go wrong?]]
* BunnyEarsLawyer: The king of [[spoiler:Attolia]] is petulant, whiny, slumps in his throne like a printer's apprentice, dresses in colors that would suit a canary, and generally behaves without an ounce of royal dignity. [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Don't let that fool you]].
* CallBack: ''So much'' in the fourth book.
** In the third book, Eugenides uses [[spoiler: a call back to the prayers Attolia heard him making when she had him imprisoned to keep her from executing her captain of the guard for failing in his duties—at protecting Eugenides.]]
* CeilingCling: "The Conspiracy Room," a small, odd room that's almost always empty because it's poorly suited to most purposes and so tends to be used by people who don't want to be overheard. It also has high ceilings that are really great for, say, a former Thief to lurk in the shadows.
* ChangingOfTheGuard: While Eugenides is a highly prominent character in each book and his character has by no means completed its development, the spotlight shifts to the queen of Attolia in the second book, Costis Ormentiedes of the Attolian Queen's Guard in the third book, and Sophos, the heir of Sounis, in the fourth.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Gun]]: These turn up everywhere. Sometimes literally, as demonstrated when Sophos [[TookALevelInBadass Takes A Level In Badass]] in ''A Conspiracy of Kings''.
* TheChessmaster: Eugenides most notably, though the Queen of Attolia, the Queen of Eddis, the Magus of Sounis (the king's advisor) and the Mede ambassador Nahuseresh all have shades of this. Some are more successful than others.
* TheChewToy: Costis, thy pain and humiliation are an unceasing source of amusement to thy fans. [[spoiler: Eugenides spends almost the entirety of book three screwing around with Costis as part of a XanatosGambit.]]
%%* ComesGreatResponsibility
* ConsummateLiar: Eugenides.
* ConspiracyKitchenSink: Sort of. Plus the GambitPileup, minus the hordes of associated {{Conspiracy Theorist}}s.
* ContinuityNod: Lots, especially in ''A Conspiracy of Kings'' where Sophos is regularly thinking back to Eugenides's actions in the very first book and trying to imitate them.
* CosmicPlaything: Eugenides gets jerked around by the gods quite a bit, doesn't he?
* CrazyPrepared: Good God, Eugenides.
* CuffsOffRubWrists: Averted with Gen at the very beginning of the series. Several months of jailtime does ''not'' do your wrists any favors.
** The condition of his wrists is made rather worse that at the beginning of his sentence, he would regularly slip the cuffs off and have to jam them back on every time a guard came by.
*** On their first stop, Pol, the guy who basically amounts to Gen's parole officer, has a look at his wrists. One of them just needs time and maybe a little salve to heal; the other has little pockets of infection deep enough that Pol needs to lance them ''with his knife''.
* DanceOfRomance: A truly awesome scene in ''The King of Attolia''.
* DarkerAndEdgier: One of the few complaints about the second book is that it's much, much darker in ways that are not necessarily healthy or child-friendly.
** The author has said herself that she gets nervous whenever people say they read ''The Thief'' to their kids, because she’s “afraid they’ll say 'And we’re going to read ''Queen'' next!'"
* DeadpanSnarker: The queen of Attolia.
** The queen of Eddis is a bit prone to this, too. As is Eugenides, especially in the first book, though later on he drops part of the Deadpan for an extra helping of Snarker.
* DefrostingIceQueen: A big part of the main plot of ''The Queen of Attolia'', and shows up quite a bit in ''King'', too.
* DiplomaticImpunity: Let a Mede ambassador into your country at your own risk. He'll try to bribe your nobles, sneak soldiers into your country, and make you his puppet, all while being very polite to your face. And you can't do anything because making a bad move against an ambassador is an act of war.
** Subverted in ''A Conspiracy of Kings'' [[spoiler:by Sophos.]]
---> [[spoiler:"You ''shot'' the ambassador?”]]
---> [[spoiler:"You gave me the gun."]]
* TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed: The [[spoiler:reclusive Mede emperor]] suffers from something called "tethys lesions." Fans speculate it's a fictional name for syphilis. Alternately, leprosy.
* TheDogBitesBack: Gen's revival in ''The Queen of Attolia'' is this through and through.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: A lot of it by Eugenides and Eddisian soldiers in ''The Queen of Attolia''.
* DumbIsGood: Most of the characters, good and bad, are very, very smart. However, there is one notable exception. In the fourth book, Sophos is saved by [[spoiler:the BigBad's idiot daughter, Berrone. She helps Sophos escape from his kidnappers and hides him as a slave. She didn't even recognize him, she just couldn't bear to see anyone that badly treated. Berrone is a total sweetheart and a well-known soft touch, which means that everyone likes her ''and'' everyone takes advantage of her]].
* EarWorm (an in-universe example): "The King's Wedding Night," apparently. Even dog-loyal, humorless Costis finds himself absently humming the tune.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In ''The Queen of Attolia'' and ''A Conspiracy of Kings''.
* TheEmpire: The Medes, whose ambition to take the Peninsula overshadows every book.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: In-story example with Attolia. We the readers already know the queen, but for her barons, her claiming the throne definitely led them to figure out this was no puppet queen they were dealing with.
* EverybodyKnewAlready: The first TomatoSurprise at the end of the first book turns out to be a surprise only to Sophos, and the readers, much to Gen’s disappointment. The magus, Pol, and Attolia at the least had all figured it out beforehand.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Several examples. Eugenides is the name of the god of thieves, and [[spoiler:many of the Thieves of Eddis are named after him]]. Thus it's both a name and a title. In addition, all of the royalty in the three countries take state names derived from the name of their countries (Eddis Helen, Attolia Irene, Attolis [[spoiler:Eugenides]]... Sounis's real name is never mentioned, but in the next book it's like to be Sounis [[spoiler:Sophos]]. If Sounis ever got his way and married Eddis, she would be Sounia.)
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Gen's hair is long enough to braid in ''The Thief'', but gets cut early in ''The Queen of Attolia'' and remains short thereafter.
* TheExtremistWasRight: Having been made Queen through an arranged marriage and lacking allies at court, Attolia's ruthless actions were necessary to gain authority to govern the country. While not approving of Attolia's methods, Eddis [[JerkassHasAPoint admits that such measures were necessary given Irene's situation.]]
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Ambiades, in the first book.]]
* FantasticDrug: Quinalums, used by priests and priestesses to induce trances and visions.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: The three main kingdoms are some sort of alternate Mediterranean-Byzantium.
* FantasyGunControl: Averted; there are primitive flintlock weapons.
** Guns turn out to be extremely important to the endgame in ''A Conspiracy of Kings''.
* FantasyPantheon: And a very active one, at that. Comes, of course, with such [[OhMyGods curses]] as, "Gods damn, ''gods'' damn!”
** But they’re extremely careful which gods they swear by (at least in Eddis, where the population seems generally to be made up of more true believers and fewer skeptics as compared with Attolia and Sounis).
* FindersRulers: Hamiathes’ Gift, which gives its possessor claim to the throne of Eddis.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: The end of ''The Thief'' reveals that [[spoiler:Eugenides is the Thief of Eddis, in service to the Queen of Eddis, and part of the Eddisian royal family]] and has been [[spoiler:screwing with EVERYONE (and does it on a regular basis)]]. There are three books that follow. Try explaining to a friend why they should read this series without somehow spoiling them. ''You can't.''
** In addition, ''do not'' buy ''The Queen of Attolia'' and ''The King of Attolia'' at the same time; not only does the back cover spoil the fact that [[spoiler: Euginides becomes king of Attolia]] (which can be guessed by the GenreSavvy reader), but it also mentions that [[spoiler: he is in love with the queen, who had absolutely zero redeeming qualities in the first book.]]
* FirstPersonSmartass: As if ''The Thief'' could be described any other way, when it's narrated from Gen's point of view?
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The books are full of it, as a reread after knowing the TwistEnding shows. For instance, in the first chapter we have "He wanted to know my name. I said, "Gen." He wasn't interested in the rest."
---> "She may be a fiend from hell to make me feel this way."
** Probably most notably, Gen's entire conversation with the Magus before he steals [[StealthPun peace]].
* FourStarBadass: Eddis's Minister of War.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Gen (choleric), Eddis (sanguine), Attolia (melancholic), Sophos (phlegmatic)
* GallowsHumor: Eugenides and [[spoiler:Attolia]]'s banter sometimes takes this form.
--> '''Gen:''' The day you stop fussing, I'll know to start sleeping with ''two'' knives under my pillow.
--> '''[[spoiler:Attolia]]:''' Don't be ridiculous. (Implying that no amount of knives would save him)
** There are also several jokes throughout the books referring to [[spoiler:Attolia's]] method of disposing of her first husband by poisoning his wine; she actually defuses him from blowing up on a particularly unwise courtier by offering him her wine goblet, provoking a laugh.
* GambitIndex:
** [[spoiler: Eugenides pulls off something in the index every book.]]
** BatmanGambit: The main plot in ''The King of Attolia''.
** GambitPileup since he's hardly the only one trying. The trope is so prevalent throughout the series, and the plans so complicated, that is possible to read the books multiple times and make new discoveries of mini "Gambits" acts that seemed innocuous every time you read.
** GambitRoulette: There are many plans, many planners, and all of them complicated.
** XanatosSpeedChess: They all change as necessary.
* GentlemanSnarker: Irene, especially in ''The King of Attolia''. Gen is elevated to this from a straight DeadpanSnarker in the same book, too.
* GentlemanThief: Eugenides, to some extent. He's petulant and whiny, but he's also very [[spoiler:regal]].
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Played with, though the queen of Attolia, who despite a very unpleasant reputation, is a competent ruler and she has a FreudianExcuse for some of her behavior. Not to mention that her barons wait like a pack of hounds for the day she slips up. So in fact she's doing whatever needs to be done for the good of her country, which is no easy task in a sexist government.
* GovernmentProcedural: Among the main characters, we have the sovereigns of three different nations, the brother to the heir of a fourth, and a number of advisors to said rulers.
* GracefulLoser: Sejanus loses with style and honor. (If only because his brother’s life is threatened if he does otherwise.)
* GreyAndGreyMorality: Hooooo boy. A major theme of the books is that strong rulers, even ones who want to be TheGoodKing, ''have'' to be willing to make sacrifices and intimidate their enemies if they don't want to be usurped or turned into a PuppetKing.
* GuileHero: Eugenides. Basically everything he ever does shows how terrifyingly brilliant and cunning he is.
** Also, Attolia and the Magus. Eddis, Gen's father, and even Sophos have their moments.
* GildedCage: Eugenides captures the Magus in the second book and has him housed in a pleasant lodge in the country, where he he is cared for/guarded by Eddisian soldiers.
* GunboatDiplomacy: [[spoiler:The fabulous unified rout of the Medes by the combined Attolian and Eddisian forces]] at the end of ''The Queen of Attolia''.
* HairyHammerspace: One of the reasons Gen likes his hair long. [[spoiler:And what enables most of the climactic plot twists of ''The Thief''.]]
* HandicappedBadass: [[spoiler:Eugenides]] after the opening chapters of ''The Queen of Attolia'', depending on how you look at it. It’s clear that early on, Attolia and even [[spoiler:Gen himself]] consider the loss of his hand a crippling handicap ([[spoiler:“What can a thief steal with only one hand?”]]), but if anything, it ultimately helps him on the road to becoming much more awesome than anyone (except maybe Eddis) would have expected.
* HappilyMarried: There are some rough spots, but ''The King of Attolia'' is one long exercise in {{Squee}}.
* HeelRealization:
--->[[spoiler: ''[Attolia] wondered when she had sunk so low that she had begun torturing boys.'']]
* HeroicBastard: Played with in the first book, Gen lampshades and disputes the trope, telling his noble companions that although they might assume otherwise, his parents were married, and his sisters have also made respectable marriages. [[spoiler: Since it's later revealed that he's not actually lower class, it's not quite a subversion of the trope.]]
---> ‘''My sisters are even married, and honest housewives to boot!' At least they were mostly honest.''
* HeroicBSOD / HeroicRROD: After suffering [[IncrediblyLamePun firsthand]] the cruelty of the woman he's in love with, Gen is very thoroughly broken.
%%* HeroicFantasy
* [[HesBack He's Back]]: And [[spoiler:blowing up Sounis's navy]]!
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Teleus and Relius.
* HiddenDepths: Most notably Irene.
* TheHighQueen: Eddis.
** YMMV on that one; she is universally well-loved and respected, but neither beautiful nor extremely distant.
** It could arguably be said to apply to Attolia, since she is extremely beautiful and distant, and her subjects demonstrate an obdurate loyalty to for her, even if she is not a paragon of goodness.
* HonorBeforeReason: Costis Ormentiedes is the poster boy of this trope.
* HookHand: [[spoiler: Eugenides has one of these]] from the second book onward. It is razor-sharp, so it can be used for combat. He also uses it to make one of his many serious points in ''The King of Attolia''.
* HyperAwareness: Eugenides, of course.
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: Eugenides doesn't have a good relationship with his cousins, but after [[spoiler: his maiming]] in the second book, they all jump at the call to lead Eddisian reprisals (including those who were the worst bullies to him), and several of them die heroically in combat.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Attolia's cruelties were all to keep her country stable and in the hands of someone who wanted the country to prosper.
* ImpossibleThief: Among the things Eugenides steals: peace, a [[spoiler:queen]], and ''[[spoiler:three entire countries]]''.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Ambiades
* InSpiteOfANail: Despite the very different path of history, the books seem to be set around 1500 and a lot of technology from that period or even later are present: printed books, wristwatches, guns, stained glass windows, etc. There's also a mention of a plague a few decades previously, which might be similar in setting to the Black Death.
* IronicEcho: "Diplomacy, in my emperor's name." Later followed by, "Diplomacy, in my own name."
* IShouldWriteABookAboutThis: ''The Thief'', at [[spoiler:Eddis's]] encouragement.
** Also, later, Sophis narrating his adventures in ''A Conspiracy Of Kings''.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[spoiler: Sejanus]], of all people.
** And Eugenides himself, for that matter. "Famous in three countries" for being a ConsummateLiar, a [[TheSnarkKnight chronic snarker]] who always has something acidic to say, and a constant complainer, but really a good guy underneath.
* JerkassGods: "Stop whining?" ''Really?''
* JumpedAtTheCall: Gen. It's his dreams of greatness that set the whole first book rolling.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Nahuseresh]] stirs up an ugly three-way war, buys Attolia's barons against her, kills the barons he can't corrupt, [[spoiler:incites Attolia into cutting off Gen's hand]], and does pretty much everything he can to take Attolia's country from her. And then gets away scot free in the end.
* KickTheDog: Attolia [[spoiler:cutting off Gen's hand]], although the ramifications the act has on her conscience deconstruct the trope and make her more sympathetic. Played completely straight with Nahuseresh, though, who is a [[MagnificentBastard giant bastard]].
* KidsAreCruel: Gen's cousins held his head in a water cache and wouldn't let him out until he agreed to spit insults about his family.
* TheKingdom: Three kingdoms: Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis.
* KissingCousins: Subverted. Half the world thinks Gen and [[spoiler:Eddis]] are lovers. [[LikeBrotherAndSister They think it's funny.]]
** Pretty much the entire Eddisian court counts on some level. They're all related in some capacity, so there are priests whose entire duty consists of sorting out family trees to figure out who can marry whom.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Costis.
* {{Kuudere}}: Attolia.
* LeapOfFaith: Thieves traditionally fall to their deaths. Every time Eugenides jumps, no matter how small the distance, he puts himself in his god's hands. Luckily, Eugenides (the god) has few enough true worshippers that he pays very close attention to his followers. Unluckily, he's also fickle.
* TheLegendOfChekhov: All the storytelling about the old gods in the first book is pretty much subtle foreshadowing.
* LetsGetDangerous:
** Eugenides does this [[OnceAnEpisode once per book]], it seems.
** Attolia reveals to [[spoiler:her Mede ambassador]] that she is not to be played for a fool.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Eugenides and Helen.
* LittleMissBadass: Sophos' sister Ina.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Eugenides, towards [[spoiler:the Queen of Attolia]].
** Viciously deconstructed, as well. Gen may have been entranced [[spoiler:with Attolia]] when he first met/saw her, but he didn't really love her until he got to know '''her''' [[spoiler:(and not "Attolia") whether it's through information obtained from the magus or just out-and-out spying on her]].
-->[[spoiler:Calf love doesn't usually survive amputation, your majesty.]]
* LowFantasy: Although it's in the SciFiGhetto in terms of where it's shelved in libraries and bookstores, there's really no fantasy at all besides the fact it's set in a different universe. [[spoiler: And the highly active pantheon.]]
* MacGuffin: Hamiathes's Gift in the first book. [[spoiler: Only then it saved Gen's life, so...]]
* MadeASlave: [[spoiler:Sophos]] in ''[[spoiler:A Conspiracy of Kings]]''. Unusually, he describes himself as much happier in the simple life as a slave than he had been before.
* MartialPacifist: Eugenides is somewhere between this and a TechnicalPacifist. He hates the idea of killing and doesn't really even like physical combat, and often finds himself in the position of TheSoCalledCoward, but is a very skilled fighter, and will kill when absolutely necessary.
* TheMasochismTango: Gen loves the extremely ruthless [[spoiler: Queen of Attolia even after she has his hand chopped off]]
* MeaningfulName: Eugenides is the name of the Eddisian god of thieves.
** Eugenides also means "well-born"
** The Queen of Attolia [[spoiler:is named Irene, meaning peace. Especially poignant when Eugenides steals her away after Eddis asked him to ''steal peace''.]]
** Overlapping with PredictiveName and NamedAfterSomebodyFamous, there is a physician named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen Galen]] and the leader of an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabasis_(Xenophon) expeditionary force]] named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophon Xenophon]].
* ModestRoyalty: Eddis.
* MrExposition: A few of the characters take turns standing in for this role in ''The Thief'' when narrating the myths and legends of Eddis's old gods.
* MuggingTheMonster: Sejanus spends the course of half of ''King Of Attolia'' screwing around with Gen in every way he can muster, from constant hassles to minor pranks to even an assassination attempt, because he thinks Gen is weak and won't do anything about it. [[spoiler:Over the course of about two pages, Gen finally points out to him that he's given Gen all the legal pretext he needs to obliterate his noble house's bloodline and destroy one of the Crown's biggest threats.]]
%%* MyCountryRightOrWrong
%%* MyMasterRightOrWrong
%%* {{Mythopoeia}}
* NarrativeProfanityFilter: Used in the books to filter out the harsher language (although some swearing is left uncensored). One line from ''A Conspiracy of Kings'' [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] the use of the trope by adding in characterization of the main narrator:
-->I screamed at them every curse I ever practiced when I was alone, trying to imitate the Thief of Eddis, but I doubt I sounded anything but hysterical.
* NecessaryFail: When Eugenides in a rage demands that the gods explain [[spoiler:why they betrayed his movements to Attolia, the goddess points out that had he not lost his hand, he would not now be marrying Attolia]].
* NoHeroToHisValet: While no one who knows him doubts he's one of the most capable people in the universe, Eugenides' cousins, father, wife, gods, and even his LawfulStupid ''bodyguard'' all put up with his supreme petulance only for so long before threatening to sit on him.
* NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught: Gen ''lives'' off of this.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Gen loves to live by this.
** Also Attolia in her interactions with Nahuseresh.
* OddCouple: Costis and Aristogiton
* OfficialCouple: Eugenides and [[spoiler: Irene]].
** Later on, also Helen and [[spoiler:Sophos]].
* OhMyGods: Characters frequently swear by an assortment of gods, with or without specific names. And then sometimes they just invoke their patron god, leading to conversations like this:
--> '''Costis''': Oh, my god.
--> '''Gen''': O ''my'' god. You want to call on the god appropriate to the occasion. After all, your god would probably be Miras, light and arrows and all that sort of thing, whereas my god is a god of balance and, of course, preservation of Thieves...
* OneDegreeOfSeparation: Everyone in Eddis is apparently related to everybody else. It's so egregious that they have special priests whose job it is to track the genealogies and figure out who can marry whom. TruthInTelevision for a small mountain country, of course.
* PalsWithJesus: Eugenides is noted for not only talking to his gods, but for having them ''talk back''.
** Sometimes for minor things, too: “Stop whining" and "Go to bed."
%%* PeaceConference
* PintsizedPowerhouse: Eugenides is fairly small and more than fairly deadly.
* PlayingBothSides: The Mede Empire.
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Most memorably Teleus in ''The King of Attolia'', but it shows up a few other times, just less directly.
* PointOfView: The first book is from Gen's first person perspective, the second is more third person omniscient [[UnreliableNarrator while deliberately omitting certain key pieces of information that completely alter the interpretation of the text in hindsight]], and the third is almost exclusively third person limited from Costis's POV. The fourth book alternates between Sophos telling the story in first person [[spoiler: to Eddis]], and third person omniscient.
* TheProfessor: The Magus of Sounis, who also doubles as an impossibly CoolTeacher for Sophos and Ambiades.
* TheQuest: Book one, to find Hamiathes's Gift.
* QuipToBlack: Not what you were expecting, Magus?
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Early in ''The King of Attolia''.
* ReligionIsMagic: Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how you interpret Hamiathes's Gift. Its king-making power might be just as true as the rest of its legend, or the Gift might be just a symbol.
* ReluctantRuler: [[spoiler:Eugenides]] as king of [[spoiler:Attolia]].
** [[spoiler:Sophos]] gets this treatment in ''The Thief'', too, though it’s more Reluctant Heir since his uncle is still the reigning king. [[spoiler:Sophos]] would much rather live out a leisurely scholar’s life than inherit [[spoiler:Sounis]].
* ReluctantWarrior: Eugenides, who hates to kill people. Despite being quite good at it.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Every monarch in the books is completely competent at managing his or her kingdom and much of the Eddisian royal family is engaged in government/military work in some way.
* RulingCouple: [[spoiler:Eugenides]] and Irene.
* SacredHospitality
* [[ScrewThisIndexIHaveTropes Screw The Rules, I'm Eugenides!]]
-->''"I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT!"''
--> (Another character discusses the above statement) "And a certain accompanying responsibility." And he can't, in fact.
* SecondHandStorytelling: The bulk of ''A Conspiracy of Kings'' is Sophos narrating the events to [[spoiler:the queen of Eddis]].
** Also, the first book is strongly implied to be [[spoiler:a copy of the book the Gen wrote to explain his story of the search for Hamiathes’ Gift to his queen.]]
* SheIsTheKing: Helen, ruling as Eddis. Normally, a woman would reign under the title Eddia. This is sort of hinted at in the series proper, but actually explained in the short story (aptly titled) “Eddis":
--> “My Queen,” said Xanthe, “you are Eddia.”
--> Knowing the consternation it would cause, and knowing she would overcome it, Helen said, “No, I am Eddis. The gods have told me so.”
* SherlockScan: Eugenides, Attolia
* ShoutOut: To Creator/RosemarySutcliff and Creator/DianaWynneJones in the first book. And DWJ again in the fourth.
** The refrain of characters saying, "so, so, so" is from Jones.
** The ring Gen picks up in Aracthus's temple is identical to the one handed down in Sutcliff's [[Literature/TheDolphinRing Dolphin Ring]] series.
** Costis's "two inches in the right place" refers to Sutcliff's ''Literature/FrontierWolf'' or ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'', if not to the Roman source, Vegetius's ''De rei militari''.
* TheSpymaster: Relius, officially. Though several characters fit this trope despite not acting in any official capacity. There are characters who fit this trope even though ''it's literally their job to have other people do it for them''.
* StalkerWithACrush: [[spoiler:Eugenides]], though it’s played sympathetically towards him. Attolia was understandably put out, though it [[DefrostingTheIceQueen turned out to be good for both of them]].
* TheStrategist: Attolia.
* StreetUrchin: Gen in the first book [[spoiler: is disguised as one, but he's actually closer to being a prince.]]
* StupidEvil: Completely ignoring Attolia's competency on the grounds that she's a woman was an incredibly idiotic thing to do, Nahuseresh.
** And then his Sounisian counterpart made the ''same'' mistake in ''A Conspiracy of Kings'', regarding Eddis.
* SuccessionCrisis: Attolia seems to go through one once every couple of generations.
** One of the central conflicts of ''A Conspiracy of Kings.''
* ThemeNaming: Amusingly subverted for irony: the [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask beautiful, ruthless]] queen of Attolia is named Irene (meaning ''peace''), while the kind, mannish, and ugly (or at least unattractive) queen of Eddis is named Helen (after "the woman who launched a thousand ships”). Both queens [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this in the second book.
** But Helen is as beloved by her people as much as any queen, no matter how beautiful, can wish for. If Eddis had any ships they would gladly be launched for her.
* TomatoSurprise: Once in ''The Thief'', once in ''The Queen of Attolia'', and if you hadn't read the other books before ''The King of Attolia'', there's one then, too.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Eddis and Attolia, respectively.
* TookALevelInBadass - [[spoiler:Eugenides]] comes back from his brutal torture and amputation colder, harder, more ruthless, and [[UpToEleven way more badass]] than before.
** In the fourth book, [[spoiler:Sophos]] doesn't take ''a'' level in badass, he takes ''several''. Then he rips them to pieces with his bare hands, gnaws on them, and uses them as fuel with which to fire ''even more badass''.
* TranquilFury: The queen of Attolia.
* TricksterMentor: [[spoiler:Eugenides]] serves this role for Costis in the third book.
* TurnOutLikeHisFather
-->''"Like many men, I have two grandfathers. One of them was Eddis.”''
* UnderestimatingBadassery: The entire populace of Attolia, including the people ''who should know better'' (I'm looking at you, Teleus), underestimates Gen. [[spoiler: He shows them.]]
** See also the listing under StupidEvil.
* UnexpectedSuccessor: The princess Irene was a minor member of the royal household until her brother unexpectedly died falling from his horse. A year later her father followed and she was crowned queen of Attolia.
** Also, the princess Helen. Having two older brothers and one younger one, she wasn't likely to inherit until all of three of them died of plague. When her father died months later, she became the crowned queen of Eddis.
* UnreliableNarrator: Gen pretty much never says anything untrue in ''The Thief'', but still manages to give other characters and the reader a completely false impression of himself. As a case in point, he defends the respectability of his family, noting that his father was a professional soldier and his sisters made good marriages[[spoiler: …however, he doesn't mention that his father is Eddis’ Minister of War and his sisters are princesses]]. Just a small detail. Despite the later books being third-person, they're ''still'' unreliable. [[spoiler: Hmm, mysterious narrator, no need to mention how Gen ''really'' feels about Attolia, is there? Even though it ''drastically'' changes how all of it looks?]]
* ViewersAreGeniuses: While everything that's important to the plot is explained sooner or later (usually later), many significant details are up to the reader to interpret, or in fact notice at all. Unlike most examples of this trope, no outside knowledge is necessary for full appreciation of the story. The only outside knowledge that ''could'' help a reader tease out the plot twists beforehand only exists in-universe. For example, Gen's careless use of the phrase "Be blessed in your endeavors" reveals [[spoiler: his Eddisian origins,]] but you'd have to be a citizen of one of the three kingdoms to notice.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Attolia.
* TheXOfY: All the titles after the first book. Well, and A X of Y.
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