Series: Lumatere Chronicles #3
Published by Candlewick
The climactic conclusion of Printz Award winner Melina Marchetta’s epic fantasy trilogy!Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.
Before I go into my review I am going to say if you haven’t read any of the books in this series, 1) go and do that IMMEDIATELY (although admittedly the first was not a favorite of mine) and 2) don’t read this review until you have read the books. With Quintana of Charyn being a 3rd book that picks up after Froi of the Exiles, it is near impossible to have a spoiler free review so therefore you are being warned.
Now that that is out of the way I can get to my review. Piece of cake, right?? WRONG! Putting my thoughts on Quintana of Charyn onto paper is a feat I’m not sure I can handle. The book was utterly fantastic and I don’t think my words can accurately explain what I loved so much about this world and these characters. So in lieu of doing my regular kind of review I’m going to tell you what I loved about each of the characters.
I want them to get their own book. I was intrigued by the two in Froi of the Exiles and even more so in Quintana of Charyn. I just feel like their story had so much more to tell. Two people promised to each other from neighboring “enemies” that seem to have nothing in common, that are scared to fall for each other, that do fall for each other. They have heart ache and love and more heart break. They are together and apart and together and apart. I want their story to be told.
Lucian was a hard egg to crack. He was trying to live up to all these expectation, trying to be his father, but he was more than that and I wanted to see just how much. And Phaedra loved fiercely and believed in people to the depths of her soul. She gave up her own happiness time and time again to do what she believed to be right. Their story is one I would like to follow some more.
Oh Finnikin and his Queen Isaboe. I loved them from the beginning of the series. I may not have loved the book per say, but I loved these two characters. Finnikin and Isaboe have a natural chemistry that carried through all 3 books that I really enjoyed and appreciated. Did I want to smack them both upside the head in Quintana of Charyn? ABSOLUTELY! But I also got where they were coming from. Essentially my heart broke for them a lot of the time, but it was worth it because it made them real.
These 3 are a story all of their own. To say they are all broken is a major understatement. Basically they were all wrecked by the events that took place in the past and in Froi of the Exiles and were holding on the only way they knew how by keeping on going. They weren’t always the most likeable of characters and they made bad decisions but everything was done as a form of self-preservation or in the best interest of the kingdom. I can honestly say they were probably the least selfish people. It would be interesting to have a prequel for them to see what exactly went down in the past to make them what they were.
What can I even say about these two?? Froi is hands down one of the best literary characters I’ve come across. He has so much depth to him. He was a character that I hated in Finnikin of the Rock but as he grew from a boy into an adult he grew on me and I could see what was really behind who he is a person. And Quintana…oh Quintana. Gel was crazy crackers but the kind of crazy crackers you can easily appreciate. She had a hard life and it wore on her making her having these crazy defenses up. But she also loved fiercely and trusted with the depths of her soul when she did trust you.
I can’t accurately put into words how much I loved these two separate and together as friends or as lovers. They had this whole “two halves of a whole” thing happening and just didn’t seem complete without each other. It is like a coin with two heads. It isn’t balanced without the tails and Froi and Quintana were that balanced coin.
All in all Quintana of Charyn pretty much destroyed me. I cried for about a week straight on the train on my way to work. It ripped my heart out and made me ache for the characters in only the way Melina Marchetta writing can do. For a series that I didn’t love the first book, the other two more than made up for it. Marchetta, you hit it out of the park with this one.