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Megan Whalen Turner (born 1965) is an American author of fantasy fiction for young adults. She received her BA with honors in English language and literature from the University of Chicago in 1987.[1] She is best known for The Queen's Thief series of novels. The first book in the series, The Thief, won a Newbery Honor award. The second and third books in the series are The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. The fourth, A Conspiracy of Kings, will be published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2010. She has also published a collection of short stories, Instead of Three Wishes. Additional work includes the short story, "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box," published in a collection called Firebirds, edited by Sharyn November. "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" was selected for The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. She has also written two uncollected short stories, "Thief!" and "Eddis," which are set in the world of The Queen's Thief.

Her husband is the cognitive scientist Mark Turner. They have three sons.[2]

Paperback of Instead of Three Wishes.



  • 1995 Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories
  • 2003 Firebirds (contribution)

The Queen's Thief


  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ 4

1. Official Website:



External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Megan Whalen Turner (born 1965) is an American fantasy fiction author. Her series, the Queen's Thief series, includes The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia (2006) She also has a book of short stories, Instead of Three Wishes (1995).


The Thief

Cover of the second edition of The Thief released in the United States.
Eugenides: I can steal anything.

Eugenides: I would be famous.
Magus: Oh, you're already that, Gen.

Magus: (Giving Gen an ugly look) ...No one's going hungry so that you can eat."
Eugenides: I don't see why not. I'm a lot more important that anyone else here."'

Eugenides: (narrating) Ambiades, I realized, was the kind of person who liked to put people in a hierarchy, and he wanted me to understand that I was at the bottom of his. He was supposed to treat me politely in spite of my subservient position, and I was supposed to be grateful. For my part, I wanted Ambiades to understand that I considered myself a hierarchy of one.

Eugenides: (To Attolia) You are more beautiful, Your Majesty… But she is more kind.

Magus: Gen, you viper

Eugenides: (narrating) If you want to keep something safe from thieves, hide it carefully and keep a close watch over it.

The Queen of Attolia

File:2nd edition of QoA.jpg
Cover of the second edition of The Queen of Attolia released in the United States.
Moira: Be cautious...Do not offend the gods.

Oxe Harbrea Sacrus Vax Dragga Onus Savonus Sophos At Ere

Eugenides: I'll be your minister...
Eddis: Of the excequer? You'd rob me blind.
Eugenides: I would never steal from you.
Eddis: Oh? Where is my tourmaline necklace? Where are my missing earrings?
Eugenides: That necklace was hideous. It was the only way to keep you from wearing it.
Eddis: My earrings?
Eugenides: What earrings?

Eugenides: How could you come once a week to talk about the weather and not mention a war?"
Eddis: Will you sit down and stop shouting?
Eugenides: I'll stop shouting. I won't sit down. I might need to throw more inkpots.

Eugenides: It matters, because I can't do anything more for this country, and it matters, because I only have one hand and it isn't even the right one!

Eugenides: I can't steal things without two hands. That's why she cut one off.
Eddis: There are a lot of things that a person with two hands couldn't steal.
Eugenides: So?
Eddis: Surely if it's impossible to steal them with two hands, it's no more impossible to steal them with one. Steal peace, Eugenides. Steal me some time.

Magus: Eugenides.
Eugenides: Yes.
Magus: What have you done?
Eugenides: Not much yet. I remain fairly limited in my physical activities. (Pause) I had to send someone else to light the fuses.
Magus: Fuses?
Eugenides: In the powder magazines of your warships.
Magus: Powder magazines?
Eugenides: You sound like the chorus in a play.
Magus: And the play is a tragedy, I suppose?
Eugenides: A farce.

Eugenides: (twisting a metaphorical knife point into the Magus's back) You said I should do something.
Magus: I did?
Eugenides: As you were leaving, after your extremely edifying visit in the spring. You said ‘You could still do something.’ Your exact words.
Magus: (shouting) I meant talk your queen into surrendering, not destroy our navy in its own harbor!

Eugenides: I didn't come to Sounis to blow up His Majesty's warships. I told you someone else had to do that.
Magus: What did you come for if not to murder my king?
Eugenides: I came to steal his magus.
Magus: You can't.
Eugenides: I can steal anything, even with one hand...Think of it as stealing not you but the king's faith in you.
Magus: And what happens to me without the king's faith?
Eugenides: If you're smart, you leave Sounis. Quickly.

Eugenides: From shadow queen to puppet queen in one rule. That's very impressive. When he rules your country, and tells you he loves you, I hope you believe him. At least that's one lie I didn't tell you.

Attolia: And now we wait.
Nahuseresh: Wait for what?
Attolia: Hmm? Good heavens, I don't know. Eddis produces such lovely threats when her Thief is concerned.

Attolia: Nahuseresh, if there is one thing a woman understands, it is the nature of gifts. They are bribes when threats do not avail...The problem with bribes, Nahuseresh, is that after your money is gone, threats still do not avail.

Attolia: They are mice, Nahuseresh, hiding in their mouseholes, hoping their own familiar cat will come home to drive you away. At least when I hang people from castle walls, it is because they are traitors, not because they drive hard bargains. You seem willing to hang anyone who is displeasing to you. How kind of you to show my barons that if I am a hard ruler to cross, you are a worse one to serve. I must thank you for that as well as your emperor's gold. They will be most mousy and well behaved for months.

Nahuseresh: (upon observing Teleus lying in wait with a crossbow) Treachery.
Attolia: Diplomacy. In my own name.

Nahuseresh: You don't understand your weakness, if you think the greater nations will protect you. We will see how much longer you rule your backwater, Your Majesty. You will soon enough discover the limits of your resources.
Attolia: Will I? I think you underestimate me sill, Nahuseresh. While we are being forthright with each other, I admit I find it tedious.

Attolia: (Of Eugenides' father) He had to be forcibly dissuaded from strangling his son.
Eddis: (seriously) So have we all from time to time.

Attolia: (Of Eugenides) He looks...quite guileless.
Eddis: Oh, yes. I'm always willing to forgive him anything - until he wakes up.

Eugenides: She's like a prisoner inside stone walls, and every day the walls get a little thicker, the doorways a little narrower.
Eddis: And?
Eugenides: Well, it's a challenge.

Phresine: Least said, soonest mended isn't the advice for every occasion.

Attolia: He lies to you?
Eddis: Constantly. He lies to himself. If Eugenides talked in his sleep, he'd lie then, too.
Attolia: And you can't tell?
Eddis: (pausing) I sometimes believe his lies are truth, but I have never mistaken his truth for a lie.

Eddis: You must choose now... You don't have to marry him, but if you choose to marry him, you have to believe him. You have to believe him, because he's going to have you entire palace up in arms and your court in chaos and every member of it from the barons to the boot cleaners coming to you for his blood, and you are going to have to deal with it.
Attolia: You make him sound like more trouble than he's worth.
Eddis: No. Never more than he is worth.

He could tell her he loved her. He ached to shout it out loud for the gods and everyone to hear. Little good it would do. Better to trust in the moon's promises than in the word of the Thief of Eddis. He was famous in three countries for his lies.

The Goddess: Nothing mortals make lasts; nothing the gods make endures forever.

The King of Attolia

File:KoA cover image small.jpg
Cover of the second edition of The King of Attolia released in the United States.
Attolia: I could hang you.
Eugenides:You missed your chance for that.

Hilarion: Who knows but that you will get up to find that the world has inverted itself yet again?

Phresine: A story? What makes you think I can tell stories?
Eugenides: Insight. Go on.

"...her queen danced like a flame in the wind, and the mercurial king like the weight at the center of the earth..."

Relius: I had not pictured you for a fishwife.
Attolia: Lo, the transforming power of love.

Eugenides: (To Costis) Will you serve me and my god?...Then come out knowing that you'll never die of a fall unless the god himself drops you.

Instead of Three Wishes

Marguerite: Is it a true story, Aunt Charlotte?
Aunt Charlotte: I've told you my story. What you believe is up to you.

Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits

Selene: What are they?
Mechemel: Wishes. You've got three. Just make a wish and burn a card. (sneering at her) It doesn't require a college education.
Selene: Thanks, but no, thanks. (narrating to herself) She'd read about people who were offered three wishes my malevolent spirits. No matter what they wished, something terrible happened. She looked carefully at the man. Behind the nice suit and tie, he was just as she though a malevolent spirit might appear.
Mechemel: What do you mean, 'Thanks, but no, thanks'? They are perfectly good wishes, I assure you.

Mechemel: The jam is from my mother's pantry.
Selene: Oh, does your mother live far from here?
Mechemel: Not far... as the crow flies.

Instead of Three Wishes

The Foreman: The factory doesn't like to hear too much talk about things it doesn't believe in. Contrary to what you may have heard, the factory has never found a single problem caused by ghosts. So if you meet any ectoplasmic spirits up there in the high crane, I suggest you be polite and they'll probably be polite right back. You're up there alone for fourteen hours a day, and you might find it's nice to have someone to talk to.

Edwina: And we never get any older. Richie and Alex will always be ten. My sister and Robert will always be newlyweds. Angela will always be two. And I will always be the only one with no one my age to talk to.
John: You have me to talk to.
Edwina: You aren't afraid to talk to ghosts?
John: Not at all.

Edwina: Mother said she couldn't guess what was worse, to be a two-year-old with a cold forever or to live with a two-year-old with a cold forever.

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