Series: Lumatere Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Finnikin of the Rock, Quintana of Charyn
Published by Candlewick on 13 March 2012
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
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Also by this author: Finnikin of the Rock, Quintana of Charyn, Jellicoe Road
Place(s) Traveled to: The World of Skuldenore: Lumatere // Charyn
First Line: They called her Quintana the cursemaker.
I’m always wary when I go to pick up the second book of a trilogy because there is always the chance the second book isn’t as good as the first. That the second book really has no purpose but to get the characters from point A to B for the big climatic moment in the final book. And yet I just couldn’t wait to dive into Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta the moment that I had it in my hands because I loved beyond loved the first book in the series Finnikin of the Rock. To say that I loved Froi is an understatement because in some ways I think that I liked it even more than Finnikin.
Froi takes place a few years after the events of Finnikin ends and Marchetta does a wonderful job of explaining what happened in those years as well as give little refreshers of the first book without any long, boring info dumps. While Finnikin is told from a wide variety of characters as they move across Skuldenore the primary focus in this book is Froi and the time he spends on a mission in Charyn. There is still the revolving POVs but I liked how there was more of Froi’s POV and at times the other POV storylines just distracted me a bit. The transitions could be a little messy but the love that I felt for the overall story was enough that I didn’t let that bother me.
Froi has grown and changed a lot since we first met him in Finnikin and yet there is still this wild and feral side to him that just makes your heart ache for him. Then there are a whole slew of new characters that are all just as broken as he is and you just fall for each and every one of them. One of my new favorites was Quintana of Charyn. She is the mad princess and the center of a curse and your heart just breaks over and over as more and more of her history is revealed. But its not all heartache when it comes to Quintana because her story is also filled with hope and healing just as Froi’s is.
The story of this book was fast paced and action packed. There is a lot of intrique and drama as well as some laughter and even a few tears. In some ways I felt that there was a little more depth to the story in Froi than the one in Finnikin. Finnikin was all about the journey home for the people of Lumatere while Froi was more about healing and accepting oneself. There was a lot of dealing with the past as well as learning from past mistakes and learning to move forward. This novel left me breathless and I can’t believe how fast I made it through the near 600 pages. I am not positively DYING for the third and final book in the series Quintana of Charyn because unlike Finnikin of the Rock which is a self-contained story Froi of the Exiles ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. All the major characters are in a stage of flux and I am a bundle of nerves with curiosity wanting to know what will become of them all.
For me, the Lumatere Chronicles, is a must read series by everyone who loves a good epic fantasy novel. Yes, its flawed and I could be all nitpickey about them if I chose but the overall story of each book just makes it so easy to ignore all those little things that normally might annoy me in a book. The characters are all just so richly drawn and I love learning all their new layers with each book that they appear in. This is a series that I know that I will re-read often and each time I think I’ll find something new about the story to love. These are characters that stay with you and it really doesn’t get any better than that.