Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta


Title: Froi of the Exiles
Series: The Lumatere Chronicles 
Book #: Two
Author: Melina Marchetta 
Release Date: September 29, 2008
Source: Local Library 
Format: Hard Cover

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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. (taken from goodreads.com) 
It has been less than twenty-four hours since I read the last page of Froi of the Exiles, and I already miss the characters and Marchetta's fantastic writing. I'm contemplating blowing off my stack of unread books and rereading The Lumatere Chronicles right now, because honestly that's all I want to do. I want to crawl into this story and live in the terrifying yet beautiful world of Finnikin, Isaboe, Froi, and all of the other beloved characters. 

These characters. I swear, they're going to kill me. I adore them, and yet they keep going and getting their poor hearts broken or making sacrifices that I could never attempt. Froi, who was illiterate and crude in the first book, has become a man of honor and fierce loyalty. He hollowed out a place in my heart from the first page onward. Although the novel focuses mainly on Froi's emotional and physical journeys, the plot and characters from the first novel continue to play a major part in the story. Thank goodness, because I couldn't stand the idea of never hearing about Finnikin and his queen, as well as the guards and citizens of Lumatere. 

The plot of Froi of the Exiles is much more political than the prequel's. While magic and unknown forces are still present, much of the story centers around the political upheaval in Chayrn and the relationships between the different kingdoms. I know what you're thinking- that sounds extremely dull compared to the first book. However, Marchetta brilliantly weaves in scenes of action, romance, and growth. I hung on every word and stayed locked in my room for hours, desperate to devour the story. Despite the long length (six hundred pages), I finished the story faster than I wanted to. 

Once again, I was surprised at the maturity of content. Homosexuality, blood and gore, drugs, sex, and slavery are just a handful of the topics. Also, the complexity of the story blew me away. HOW does an author dream up a world of such intricate relationships and minute details? I can see how Marchetta's skill would intimidate any author. Her writing is magic. 

As I turned the last page and closed the book, I felt an immense sense of sadness. I didn't want the story to end. Thankfully, I still have one more book to anticipate and savor. I'm fairly certain that I can survive until September 26, when Quintana of Chayrn will be released. Not 100% positive, though. I can only imagine the intensity this final book will possess. If you haven't given this series a shot, please do it. Please. You will not regret it. 

Rating: 5 Stars