Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: September 1st 2011
Series: The Lumatere Chronicles #2
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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.
This review is not going to be very good because I’ve spent the last two days reading FROI OF THEEXILES basically non stop (minus the interruption of Supanova) so I’m tired and I don’t know how well I will accurately capture my thoughts on this with my brain still screaming from THAT ENDING.
It was very hard not to start reading FROI immediately after I finished FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK but I had a feeling it was a book I’d want to postpone until after uni and I’m very glad I went with that choice. It was so very hard to put down. The world of Charyn was really interesting, as were the new characters, and things were proceeding at a much faster pace than I thought they would. Set three years after the events of FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, FROI OF THE EXILES focused a lot on Froi and his mission in Charyn, but we also got glimpses on Lumatere and how the people and kingdom were recovering after being freed from their curse. At first I got bored with these Lumatere based chapters. I was much more interested in Froi’s story and the events in Charyn. These chapters focused on Lucien, Beatriss, and a new character called Phaedra who grew on me. Over time though I did start to enjoy them as the conflict and intrigue built and little plot twists I didn’t expect revealed themselves.
As I said, the plot in Charyn was much more intriguing to me. Learning about their beliefs and the horrible life led by Quintana, the new characters and their pasts, and the high stakes and conspiracies. Charyn was dangerous and the stakes were higher. You didn’t always know if it was going to be all okay in the end or if people would die in this series of events. Was that person trustworthy or were they traitors about to ruin all your hopes and dreams? I couldn’t guess, I didn’t want to guess, and it was great.
I cannot remember if I mentioned it in my FINNIKIN review, but Marchetta’s characters are amazing. The new characters might be more enjoyable to read about than the cast of book 1. Mainly because they have so many problems. Quintana seems to be just plain mad with what appears to be some type of multiple personality disorder. The twins from Abroi are both cantakerous and hate people with their own unique quirks. We can’t forget hot headed Lirah either. I also really enjoyed the chance to look inside Froi’s head more. He’s come a long way from the boy we first met in FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK.
Another thing Marchetta writes really well is the romance. I could spend all day fangirling about all the couples and how well they develop. Each couple has developed differently with different struggles but I ship them all with the same intensity. Nothing is rushed or comes out of nowhere and I just love it all. My brain is failing to come up with any way to describe why I love all these relationships further. They’re just perfect, okay!
FROI OF THE EXILES was a really really good sequel and I’m very glad I have the third book on hand so I can start it immediately. I loved the exploration of Charyn and the high stakes of the plot. The new characters are great additions to the series, and it was great to see that characters from FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK still have their part to play in the series and won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. I cannot wait to watch their development further. If you’re a fantasy fan that loves some really interesting characters but haven’t picked up this series you need to rethink your life choices.