Saturday, June 3, 2017

Froi of the Exiles

The Lumatere Chronicles is a series that I don't remember how much I enjoy it until I'm reading it. For instance, it has been a long time since I read Finnikin of the Rock, and although I enjoyed it, I didn't pick up its sequel until this week. And...I couldn't tell you why. But here we are! I'm ensconced in a hotel room after eating reheated leftovers, and I'm putting off going to the gym. So before I heave myself out of the room to try being active, here's what I thought of Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
It's been three years since the curse around Lumetere was broken. Froi has been elevated beyond his imaginings, but still he doesn't quite fit with the other Lumaterans. When he is picked for a dangerous undercover mission in the enemy country of Charyn, it's a chance to prove himself to those he cares about. But upon arriving in Charyn, he realizes that his mission isn't as straightforward as he believed, and that home can be found in unexpected places.

Wow, this book is sprawling. I was expecting the entire plot to be centered around Froi's mission to kill the king of Charyn and his mad daughter, Quintana. But instead what I got was a book about exiles. Each of the main characters is an outcast in their own way, and within their own borders. There's a curse which has left every woman barren and every man sterile, and Quintana has proclaimed that she alone can break the curse. But it hasn't been broken yet. Froi was a character I heartily disliked in Finnikin, but he became something more here. By the end, even though I still didn't feel like I knew him as well as I would have liked, I understood and respected him. His love for Quintana isn't rushed, and it isn't perfect. His relationships with the other main characters aren't perfect. And I think that's what made me like this book all the more. That, and the several moments where I laughed out loud. The banter could be excellent, and Quintana silently begging for a puppy struck a very deep chord in me. But I've forbidden myself from getting a dog for at least a couple more years. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading Quintana of Charyn. If I can just make myself remember how much I enjoy this series, perhaps I'll read it within the next year.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: The Girls by Emma Cline

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