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Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Froi of the Exiles

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles #2)
by Melina Marchetta

Plot Summary:

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:

So I reviewed Finnikin of the Rock awhile back and was blown away by the storytelling and the characters and the world the author created, and in Book Two, the awesomeness just continues!  It's a book that has a darker tone than the first, probably inescapable due to the darker, volatile nature of Froi and the mad, complex little Queen Quintana.  I was surprised (though I shouldn't have been) that this book is really very High Fantasy and gritty and realistic while keeping the close perspective angle common in Young Adult novels.  And while it was a little slow to get into this book - it does take place three years after the first and establishes some of the changes made during that time - the story definitely picks up quickly and starts throwing a lot of characters and history at the reader.  It was a little confusing at times, especially when it came to twins, but I think that was only because I was trying to read so fast, I couldn't wait to know what was happening next.  There's so much that goes on this book - so many perspectives opened up and revelations made, that I am yet again amazed by how rich and involved this world is!

The characters are what really make this book work because they are so complex - with their flaws and more importantly with their secrets.  I just loved how a new (sometimes devastating) reveal was made about a character's past just opened up so much understanding about their character and put to rest that little question in the back of my mind of why they are acting they way they are.  The author just has such masterful control of who these characters are and what their role is in the story; it's beautiful to read it unfold.  Froi in the beginning was a difficult to character to like, but he is one to admire, and the journey towards understanding him and finally liking him is labyrinthine, but so worth the investment.  As is getting to know Quintana, but there is definitely more to explore for her character and I can't wait for that!

There are a lot of political machinations in this book that tear apart Charyn, and while I don't usually find that angle very interesting, the fact that it's rooted in the characters and their beliefs really help make the political angle relatable and intriguing.  Charyn is almost nothing like what I expected from the first book, and it was great to find out the truth in this story.  Again there are just so many revelations made that completely overturn expectations set when the series began.  So by the time I got to the last few pages of the book I really did not know what to expect.  I can't even believe some of the things that did happen!  Consequently I need the third book in my hand NOW.  Froi of the Exiles is an absolutely fantastic ride of a novel, with such a compelling narrative and ridiculously intricate characters.  I haven't read the last book yet, and I'm not sure how I'll feel about it (I have to say I'm a little scared because there is so much at stake) but I am sure everyone should read this series!

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12 comments:

  1. You probably already know how much I love this book. Glad you feel the same way! The characters were amazing, and you're right, the world is so rich. I also grew to like Froi and was fascinated by Quintana. I hate that I haven't read the third book yet. Anyway, great review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. Yes I was so glad to come across your blog and see you were such a fan of Melina! It means you have great taste. :D I really want to read Quintana, but I'm planning to read it with a little Goodreads group of fans so we can all suffer the feels together. Cause I'm sure the last book is going to be very emotional!

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  2. I picked up of Beauty and Beast..now I need to grab this series as well!

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    1. Ooh read this series first! LOL I'm a little biased. :D

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  3. I didn't realize this was the sequel to Finnikin of the Rock. I never read it, but heard awesome things about anything Marchetta. I need to check her out. I'm glad the political aspects worked well enough for you and I love to hear the character development was done well.

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    1. Same for me about hearing awesome things about the author! I wish I had started her books sooner! :) I plan to read Saving Francesca soon and I hope enjoy her contemporary stuff as much as her fantasy. I think the way she writes characters is awesome so I'm sure I'll love it.

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  4. I'm not the only one confused by the twins! Hahaha. :P The secrets that were revealed were almost always mind-blowing, I think the ones that made my jaw drop were the one about Froi's family and the other of Quintana's... personalities.

    I actually quite like the political part! Or maybe because I find our current affairs boring, lmao. I like reading "historical" politics based around an anarchy/monarchy. But there's also boring ones but Froi of the Exiles was *interesting* enough for me! XD

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    1. LOL you were definitely not alone! I definitely love all the twists - just when I thought there couldn't be another one, Melina drops more!

      Hmm, I generally find current affairs boring but maybe it's not just me, haha. I don't know if I'll ever start reading political thrillers willingly, but if Melina writes it, it's probably fascinating. I do like that that aspect adds so much to the world building so I think it works really well!

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  5. Ooh, I've heard nothing but awesome things about this series and your review definitely makes me excited to start. I had no idea Finnikin of the Rock had sequels!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

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    1. Yes, two wonderful sequels (well I'm assuming the last will be amazing). I can't recommend this series enough - if you like fantasy then this is a great series to get into! I really look forward to reading your thoughts on it!

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  6. Wait, how have I not responded to this yet?? /fails stupendously at life

    Again, so happy that you loved the second book too and I'm thrilled we're reading the last one together because then I'll have someone to listen to me weeping profusely throughout the entire experience. (It goes both ways, feel free to weep profusely as well!)

    How did you feel about the reason behind Quintana's multiple personalities??

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    1. Same for me! Because when I burst spontaneously into tears and my family is totally confused, I'll know I'm not alone. :D

      As for the personalities - uber creepy, but such a cool idea! I was at first surprised that one of the main characters might be someone that's basically schizophrenic, as it seemed like the 3rd book would be from her POV and that would be difficult to intertwine with so many complex characters, but of course Melina worked it out perfectly.

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