Author: Melina Marchetta
Publication date: April 23, 2013 (U.S. edition)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 stars
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Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.
Me before I read a Marchetta book:
Me after reading a Marchetta book:
Melina Marchetta (authoress divine) is one of those rare authors whose writing is constantly improving, constantly pushing the limits of how much I think I can love a book. When I read Finnikin, I felt like I had found The Best Book Ever (aside from Jellicoe Road, of course). But then she wrote Froi and now Quintana and I just have no words. At least, none that I haven't said before.
Quintana of Charyn is, undoubtedly, a conclusion. All the loose ends are tied up and the reader is left in a satisfied place. Actually, it's a rather heart-wrenching place because it's The End, but nevertheless it was a good stopping place. The characters' struggles have been resolved. You know that they're going to be okay, yet there's still an open-endedness that comes with knowing their lives will go on and they will continue to learn and grow.
With most fantasy books, the authors focus on explaining the world-building. What was great about this series was that yes, Marchetta explained the ways of the Lumaterans, Charynites, and co. But she never took the focus away from the characters and their relationships. At the end of this series, you know these characters: their hopes, their fears, their love of country, and their love for each other. You know their hearts- their very essence. And being so close, so darn attached to these characters made me feel ALL of the feelings.
While reading, I had the sudden and overwhelming urge to just take all these beloved characters and, I don't know, hide them in my pocket or something. Just snatch them from the pages and tuck them somewhere safe so that they could stop hurting. Maybe that's a little silly, but these characters have just gone through so much in just Quintana alone, let alone the entire series. There is pain, devastation, loss, grief, and heartbreak. Yet more powerful than all of that is the undercurrent of hope and love that has been there even in the darkest of times. That is Marchetta's true talent—besides the ability to make me want to curl up into a fetal position and sob— she has the uncanny ability to craft these masterful stories of broken people and their broken relationships and somehow make it a story of redemption and love.
The Lumatere Chronicles has given me more heartache than I thought possible, yet I always crawl back for more. And, to be honest, I would sooner swear off of chocolate than say goodbye to this series and its magnificent characters. I hate goodbyes. I hate the knowledge that once I finish a book, I will never get to know more about a character's life. But knowing that everyone I cared about in this book ended up okay made saying goodbye just a little bit easier
All in all:
There's really only one thing to do now:
I'm just kidding.