Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles (The Lumatere Chronicles #2)
by Melina Marchetta
Published October 3rd, 2011 by Viking Australia

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

Rating: 5+++++ STARS

(I apologize in advance for the prolific use of gifs in this review…)

I can’t really tell you anything beyond what’s written in the book blurb because it would be a huge spoiler, but just know that the plot is chock FULL of hidden surprises and jaw-dropping events, wonderfully crafted subplots, and richly complex characters.
You're probably wondering, "Wait, if you can't tell me anything about the book, what's the purpose of this review??" 
Wonderful question. 

The purpose of this review, more or less is this...

You see, the thing is, I read this book and IT LEFT ME WITH SO MANY FEELS.

I thought Finnikin of the Rock took my emotions on an epic roller coaster of ups and downs, complete with huge loop-de-loops, but Froi.... this book left me like this:

Unlike Finnikin of the Rock, which, at its very core, was a story of hope and a fierce love everyone had with each other, Froi of the Exiles is much grittier and rawer. While Lumatere worked towards breaking a horrible curse in book 1, Charyn is still entrenched in a curse of their own making, and charynites are growing ever more desperate and bleak.

As always, the characters are beyond phenomenal. Melina Marchetta has truly outdone herself with the characters, old and new, in Froi because they are all so heartbreakingly complex and layered! As in every Marchetta book, I, as the reader, became SO invested in every character—I laughed with them, cried with them, wanted to beat up anyone hurting them…
This is what happens when you become invested in Melina Marchetta's characters...

The magic in the character crafting of this book lies in the fact that despite all the instances when it seemed like I should give up on a character—when it seemed that they were too jaded and broken— I just couldn’t! The characters in this book weren't as easy to like as in Finnikin--it wasn't so obvious whether they were as righteous or admirable and I worried that I might not like them very much...
By the end of the book, I fell head over heels in love with just about all of them!
Just about every character, no matter what they’ve been through, what they’ve done, they’re never beyond redemption—except for Bestiano and Donashe. Those people I wanted to sucker punch...
This is a story about loving characters that maybe you should give up on, but just can’t find it in you to do so because you love them so much.

In an interview, Melina Marchetta said that Quintana and Froi are the fantasy equivalent of Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road and I TOTALLY SEE IT! They're both somewhat broken and very cynical of the world, but together they're just so......
And don't even get me started on the other couples in the book...

In addition to the exquisite emotion-inducing writing, there is also a lot of humor in this book! It's dry and witty and hilarious! Literally, I'd be all "Oh, my poor emotions!" one minute, and the next, I'd be laughing out loud! It's a good thing I didn't read this in a public place or else people would've looked at me as though I were crazy.

I can't even think of a single bad thing to say about this book.... well, there IS that ending. It's not that it was bad (no, definitely not) it's just that OMG. 
How could the book just END?!Like that?! I need to know what happens next!!!!
This is a MUST-BUY book (this whole series is, really). There are few books in the world that do this to me:
and leave me like this:

until finally:

Well done, Ms. Marchetta. Well done indeed.


  1. I love it when books do that to me! Will definitely add to my list of books I need to read :D

  2. Adorable and awesome review, Joie! Yes, another major emphasis to check this author out. Well-noted ^_^ I just love the sound of amazingly well-written character and it seems like this one's just about bursting with them. Hopefully, I'll be able to read this one soon, then I can gush with you <3 loool "together they're just so..." TAMAKI-SENPAI!!!!! -shot-

  3. Hahahaha...Can we seriously talk about how much I MOTHER EFFING LOOOOOVEEEEE your Melina Marchetta reviews??!!! You manage to capture and gif-culate exactly HOW I FEEL!!!!!

    Froi is my heart! I got so much more into this book than Finnikin. I LOVED Finnikin, but this book to it to a whole new level.

    Let me know when you're free? We can fangirl together!! :D lol

    Did I mention I LOVED your review??

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Thanks so much for commenting! I read every single one and they always make my day! <3

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