“Froi of the Exiles” by Melina Marchetta

The Lumatere Chronicles – Book 2

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆



Synopsis: Three years after the curse of Lumatere has been lifted, former juvenile delinquent Froi has finally found a home and family.  He is fiercely loyal to Isaboe, Finnikin, and all of Lumatere.  He has earned the right to be a part of the Queen’s guard and is finally feeling as though he has a true home.

But when a man from the enemy country of Charyn shows up on their doorstep, weaving a tale of curses, pain, and an evil monarch, the Lumaterans need to take action.  Froi is sent to Charyn undercover in order to assassinate the King and find out more about the curse that is plaguing the land of Charyn – a curse that leaves all of Charyn citizens unable to bear children.

This curse, like all curses, is connected to a prophesy.  The prophecy states that “the last shall make the first”.  This indicates that a last=born female child and a last-born male child of Charyn will create the child that will break the curse.  Unfortunately for Princess Quintana of Charyn, she is the last-born daughter.. and has been treated as a vessel instead of a human being since she has matured into womanhood.

Although Froi has a set mission, he soon becomes distracted by those he meets in Charyn, and by the half-mad Princess herself.  Froi learns more about his forgotten past than he ever intended, and by the end, he must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

Opinion: I loved book one in this series, but I loved book two 1,000 times more.  What a masterpiece! I couldn’t be more in love with a story!

There aren’t many books that get me to be fully and completely emotionally invested in the characters and their stories.  I spent this book crying – both sad and happy tears – and pleading for some form of positive outcome for these scarred and imperfect, but still utterly beautiful characters.

The tale of Quintana herself is so heart-wrenching and disturbing I can’t even describe how terrifying it is.  As with book one, Marchetta goes for the gut – with gritty realism that usually cannot be found in books such as these.  Quintana is brutally tortured her whole life, causing her psyche to break and her to go mad.  When emotionally damaged Froi bonds with Quintana over time, it is one of the most beautiful fictional relationships I’ve ever encountered.

 

Please go read this series. It’s amazing. Go to the library, local book store, or click the Amazon link below to order your copy of this book.  Start with Finnikin of the Rock and continue with this masterpiece.  You won’t regret it.

Warning:  If you are skiddish or become upset easily over concepts such as rape, torture, and extreme child abuse… you may want to skip this one….

Goodreads.com Link: “Froi of the Exiles” by Melina Marchetta

Amazon.com Link: “Froi of the Exiles” by Melina Marchetta