Thursday, May 10, 2018

Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles #2) by Melina Marchetta

Synopsis (via Goodreads): From master storyteller Melina Marchetta comes an exhilarating new fantasy springing from her celebrated epic, Finnikin of the Rock.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home . . . or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior's discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood . . . and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.
“If we forget who we lost, then we forget who we once were, and if we forget who we once were, we lose sight of who we are now.”
It has been years since I read the first book, Finnikin of the Rock, but I had no trouble falling back into the beautiful world Melina Marchetta created. It was like I had never left even though the story starts three years after the first one ended. A lot of sequels try to summarize the first book within the second, but that wasn't the case here. Tidbits of information are dropped throughout, but they were gentle reminders that didn't take away from the current story.

I don't really remember how I felt about Froi from Finnikin of the Rock, but I absolutely loved him in this! He's so devoted to Isaboe and the kingdom of Lumatere. He's made a home for himself and would do anything to protect those he loves. However, he isn't expecting to form new relationships when he leaves on a secret mission for his queen and king. He didn't think anyone could matter to him as much, but he cannot help his feelings or how they develop.

There are not enough words to describe how magical and wonderful this world is. I cannot fathom how Melina Marchetta's mind works, or how she created something so complex and completely captivating. This book is a beast... like 600 pages, but I never wanted to stop reading. The length of Froi of the Exiles is what kept me from starting this one for so long, and I want to thank Andi for giving me the push I needed to finally commit to reading it.

I like to think I'm pretty good at figuring things out in a book before they happen, but damn... I never knew what was coming, and I was often so surprised I had to re-read a few pages to make sure I really understood what was going on. There are so many things happening at once, and everyone has a secret (or five). It wasn't until everyone started explaining themselves that a complete picture was formed.

This book also made me feel. They weren't always good feelings either, because there are things that happen that make me want to be a very violent person. I don't know how Froi was able to restrain himself at times, and I know his bond had to be strong to keep himself from lashing out and killing everyone. Quintana broke my heart, and what happens to her is cruel and despicable. Gah, I can't even talk about this without getting worked up.

Quintana was a fascinating character that cannot be easily explained. She's so much more than people think, and my heart repeatedly broke for her. Despite everything she has lived through, she still remains a fierce force to be reckoned with.

I love all the characters in this book, and it would be impossible for me to list each one and what I liked about them. We see various perspectives throughout the book (though mostly Froi's), and it was wonderful to watch each of them as the story progresses. I'm so happy Marchetta included everyone from the first book, and that we get to see what's happening in their lives, too.

Have I said enough? Maybe. Can I say enough? Definitely not. I could go on and on about everything I loved about this book, but I'll simply ask that you read it for yourself. It's something that needs to be experienced by you and not just talked about by me. Technically, you could skip Finnikin of the Rock and just read Froi of the Exiles, because they can stand on their own. However, I would recommend reading them both so you can stay in Marchetta's incredibly enchanting world just a little bit longer.

*Originally reviewed for the feature New to You on Andi's ABCs!

17 comments:

  1. We’re reading Finnikin for book club this month. It’s my first time reading it though I’ve meaning to forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like it! I think I'm enjoying Froi even more... :)

      Delete
  2. I'm glad you liked this and could slip back into world easily after so long. It sounds like something I'd quite enjoy so I'll add it to the wishlist. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! At first I thought I might have trouble remember people, places, etc., but it hasn't been an issue. There are plenty of small reminders to jog your memory, but it doesn't feel like the first book is being summarized within the second. <3

      Delete
  3. I think I've only heard good things about this series. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only have good things to say about it!

      Delete
  4. it's great that you weren't lost even if it's been a long time since you tried book 1!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was worried certain things wouldn't make sense, but I didn't have any trouble with it!

      Delete
  5. Sigh, I did not like book 1, I know! What is wrong with me. Everyone else sure loved it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know a few people that didn't like the first book, but loved the second! You might try Froi to see if it works for you. :)

      Delete
  6. I haven't heard of this before, sounds like a good read

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! The world-building is phenomenal!

      Delete
  7. It's the absolute BEST feeling when it's been a while since you read a book, but still end up adoring the sequel. ♥ I really need to start reading this series, huh?

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would highly recommend it! The books are really long, so you might want to read it while also reading something else. That's what I did anyways! It lets me stay in the world longer, too.

      Delete
    2. And you're right! It's a wonderful feeling to be able to fall back into a story without any trouble. :)

      Delete
  8. So many people love her but I didn't like the one book I read by her but I have a few more on my Kindle to try.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Highly recommend this one! Finnikin was good, too. I haven't read her others, but I hear Jellicoe Road is wonderful.

      Sometimes we just don't mesh with an author! It's fine. :)

      Delete

Comments are like buttons, you don't want to miss one! Please check the "notify me" box at the bottom so you don't miss my response.