Review: Froi of the Exiles – Melina Marchetta

Review: Froi of the Exiles – Melina MarchettaFroi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #2
Published by Candlewick Press
on February 12th 2013
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.

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 trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Review

Words. You defy me words. I can’t even. Between that end, the fact that I loved it, and the fact that I actually read a 600 page book I’m word less. Where do I begin?? Better yet, why do I insist on letting Melina Marchetta get me like this every time??!!

Froi of the Exiles in the second book in The Lumatere Chronicles. It picks up 3 years after Finnikin of the Rock. Since living in Lumatere, Froi has been trained how to defend the queen he has a bond with at any cost. He’s become a trained assassin and has found his place within the world he lives in as oppose to the life he led before meeting Finnikin and the Queen. But Froi also aches for something he can’t name. There is a longing inside him that scares him, that makes him fear his dark side. When a stranger comes from another part Froi is sent undercover to try and help Charyn by killing their corrupt king. But what Froi finds is something he never expects and it all starts with the half mad princess, Quintana of Charyn. With a surprising group of people Froi is about to find out not only who he is, but what he wants to stand for in life.

I’m not going to mince words. I hated Froi in Finnikin of the Rock and I only mildly liked that book. Froi annoyed me and I found the story a little blah for my liking. I mean I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t crazy insane about it either. I had convinced myself that I tried the series and I was done as it didn’t work for me. Then enter my friend who after a series of drinks convinced me Froi of the Exiles was so much better than Finnikin of the Rock and I needed to read it. Since alcohol was involved I didn’t stand a chance and I agreed. And then I dragged my feet until succumbing about 4 months later. Yup, my friend was right. Froi was SO much better. Like beyond my belief better. And the reason? Froi himself.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I flipping loved Froi. He turned out to be such a complex character that I really couldn’t help but love him. He was different in book than he was in book 1. Sure you could sense his growth immediately, but you also felt his sadness, his loneliness. He was surrounded by people he loves, that love him, and yet he never felt like he belonged anywhere. He loved his queen and Finnikin with everything he had, but a part of his heart was missing. Mix that with his slowly unfolding (only in the way Marchetta can do it) back story and you just can’t help but love him. He’s a very layered character and when you get to know him you see that. He is now one of my favorite literary characters. Add in Quintana and I’m sold.

What to say about the crazy crackers Quintana of Charyn. She was off her rocker right off the bat. She was weird and quirky and just plain nuts but I also liked her almost immediately. There was something about her that drew me in. And then I got to know the character and I just loved her. She lived an impossible life and did what she had to to stay alive. She fought the best and the bravest way she could and I was in awe of her. She broke my heart a lot, but I loved her all the more. She was powerful in a quiet way and I appreciated that. Her scenes with Froi were pure genius and brought out a lightness in the both of them. They had an undeniable chemistry and I just wanted to read more (luckily there is a third book). Their story had an epic feel to it and they just worked well off each other.

Besides Froi and Quintana there was really an amazing story going nehind the scenes that connected everyone and one of my favorites thing about Froi of the Exiles. The story unfolds slowly but not impossibly so. It has a pace that I found comforting almost and it helped that I was invested in all the characters involved. Whether it was people I met in Finnikin of the Rock or new people, I wanted to know what happened to them. That right there made me happy I read the book.

Really for a book I almost didn’t read I can’t think of one thing I didn’t like about it. It really was fabulous. And don’t even get me started on the soul crushing ending. All you need to know is not to give up on a series because the first book was just okay. Things can easily change and grew and develop. A character you hate may turn into someone you love and want to talk to everyone about. I’m a prime example of this. If I quit after Finnikin I would have missed out on a pretty perfect book. So if you stopped after reading Finnikin of the Rock I implore you to not be so hasty. Froi does not disappoint.

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6 Comments

  1. Melina Marchetta is freaking amazing. She really writes such complex, layered characters and she also manages to cleverly weave in all these plots and character histories into one solid, beautiful work. So glad you decided to give Froi of the Exiles a shot AND that you loved it!

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