Attolia Irene (Modern Greek: Ειρήνη, Eiríni /i'rini/) is the queen of Attolia, the wife of Eugenides, and a main character in the Queen's Thief series. She is often referred to simply by her title Attolia.
Early Life Edit
Irene was born a minor princess of Attolia, the daughter of the previous king of Attolia and his second wife. When her brother was killed in a suspicious horse riding accident, she became heir. Since women were not traditionally rulers of Attolia, she was betrothed to the son of a powerful baron, and he would have become king. While she lived in his household she was given the nickname "shadow princess" by her fiance. She pretended to be stupid and shy, so that he would not suspect her of plotting against him.
Shortly before her first marriage, her father was poisoned and she became queen. At her wedding, she poisoned her groom with powdered coleus leaves. Her barons then convened to decide who her next husband would be, but Attolia ordered the Captain of the Guard to shoot the man they selected instead. She then informed her barons that the next king of Attolia would be her choice.
She spent the next years strengthening her position as queen. She increased the size of her Guard, allowed okloi as well patronoi to serve as officers in her army, and dealt ruthlessly with anyone who opposed her rule. During this time she earned the respect of her people, though her barons continued to vie for power against her.
Using intelligence supplied by Ambiades, the Attolian guard captured Eugenides, the magus, and Sophos during their journey to steal Hamiathes's Gift. Attolia came personally to speak with the prisoners and, suspecting Eugenides's true identity, approached him with an offer to become her Thief. Eugenides refused the offer and soon after escaped back to Eddis.
The Queen of AttoliaEdit
After stealing Hamiathes's Gift, Eugenides continued to visit Attolia, occasionally sneaking into the queen's strongholds to spy on her. With assistance from the goddess Moira, Attolia was able to capture him. Though she initially intended to hang Eugenides, the Medean ambassador Nahuseresh convinced her to consider a different punishment instead. Attolia then decided to cut off Eugenides's right hand and sent him back to Eddis. The queen of Eddis then retaliated against Attolia, and the two countries went to war soon after.
During the war, Nahuseresh provided Attolia with gold and military advice, hoping to maneuver the country into an alliance with the Medean Empire. Attolia attempted to form an alliance with Sounis against Eddis, but the alliance dissolved after Eugenides destroyed the Sounisian navy and led the king of Sounis to believe that Attolia had been behind the attack.
While overseeing her army in Ephrata, Attolia was tricked into leaving by boat with Eugenides, who then offered her a choice between death or marriage to him, which would end the war. Attolia was rescued from the Eddisians by Nahuseresh, however, who had landed a Medean army in Attolia without her knowledge or consent. Although freed from Eddisian captivity, Attolia nonetheless decided to marry Eugenides and expelled the Medean army from her country.
- Irene may be based partially on the historical figure Irene of Athens, the only woman to rule the Byzantine Empire in her own right.
- Her given name, Irene, is a Greek word meaning "peace." The line that appears in The Queen of Attolia, "Steal peace, Eugenides", is a pun centered on this fact, and a foreshadowing of the later events in The Queen of Attolia.
Famous Quotes Edit
- "I care very little for the opinion of any god,.." p31 of The Queen of Attolia (Greenwillow paperback edition)
- "But never drink from my wine cup while you hope to live." p245 of The Queen of Attolia
- "Diplomacy, in my own name." p300 of The Queen of Attolia (Greenwillow paperback edition)
- "Goatfoot, do you understand what is going to happen to you?" p283 of The Queen of Attolia (Greenwillow paperback edition)
- "After one moment of gripped immobility, the queen bent to kiss the king lightly on one closed eyelid, then the other. She said, "I love your eyes." She kissed him on either cheek, near the small lobe of his ear. "I love your ears, and I love" - "every single one of your ridiculous lies."
- "Arrest the king?" p371 of The King of Attolia (Greenwillow paperbck edition)
- "You are incorrigible." p374 of The King of Attolia (Greenwillow paperback edition)
- "Spare me, and my court, from dancing on the roof." The King of Attolia (Greenwillow paperback edition)