I adored the Queen’s Thief, and while King of Attolia was not bad –and worth the read- it let me down a little just by comparison. This books is more of a return to form in my opinion. This series by Megan Whalen Turner is one of the finest kids books at delivering political intrigue in a fantasy setting. Maybe it helps that there is very little magic (the world is grounded in real actions and consequences — usually), and it doesn't hurt that one of the main characters is a conniving, lying, well...thief. My only complaint is that it takes so long for her books to come out.
If you’re new to this series, make sure you’re start with the first book, the “Thief”, or you might ruin some surprises for yourself along the way.