Release Date: March 13, 2012
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #2
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
Melina Marchetta is clearly a genius, and she wrote my most favourite book on this entire planet. So it really does hurt my heart to say that this one was just "okay" for me. I liked it alright for most of the book, but I wanted to love it so much more. The good? Froi is an interesting character, and I liked seeing different sides of him. I liked how he was cheeky and sarcastic but deeply serious as well. My favourite part of the novel was what you can get out of it regarding present day struggles between nations. It's a fantasy novel, yet you can make those comparisons to today and our world when it comes to identity, homeland, and how war torn countries treat their own people.
However the great parts of this book can't compare with the not-so-great parts, in my opinion. Guys, this book is LONGGGGG. Serious long. And not the kind of long where you're so excited you get to spend more time with the characters and in the world. No, it had a few of those moments, but mostly it was just the really drawn out type of long. There were still moments of Melina Marchetta magic with making you feel such deep emotions, but nowhere near as usual. I'm afraid that has to do with Quintana, who was interesting, but not necessarily in a good way. Quintana is really only bearable when seen through Froi's eyes, but I never liked her or got behind her as a character. I definitely felt bad for her, but she is just too much. Too rude, too schizophrenic, too wild (as in a wild animal; the girl growls) for me to understand her or like her. I also felt like the curses and blood oaths and souls of the dead inhabiting the living became a bit much for me in this volume.
When it comes to character relationships and emotion Melina Marchetta is still queen, but I am much more of a fan of her contemporary work. I enjoyed 'Finnikin of the Rock' well enough, but 'Froi of the Exiles' failed to win my heart, mostly because of the character of Quintana.
Mehhh... I don't like that guy as Froi at all. The Australian one is definitely better.
Find Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.