Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: FROI OF THE EXILES by Melina Marchetta

Release Date: March 13th, 2012 (US)
Publisher: Candlewick (US)
Format: ARC/Galley
Source: Netgalley (I LOVE YOU, NETGALLEY!)

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.

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 trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Gripping and intense, complex and richly imagined, Froi of the Exiles is a dazzling sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, from the internationally best-selling and multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, On the Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son.

Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5+
Note: Books such as FROI OF THE EXILES are the reasons why we have a 5-with-whip-cream-and-a-cherry-on-top rating. 

For those of you who are not aware, FROI OF THE EXILES is a companion novel to FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, a book that was in my top 5 of 2011. Froi is a secondary character in FINNIKIN, and not one you would think deserves a whole book. I even said last summer in a Waiting on Wednesday post that FROI was one of the most unlikable, albeit complex, characters in FINNIKIN. I was so intrigued at the thought of Melina Marchetta writing a whole book about a disliked character; but if anyone can do it, she can.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but FROI was even better than FINNIKIN!

This is one of those books that you get so caught up in and swept away by that you lose all concept of reality (including the basic instincts of hunger and the need to use the restroom). It’s the kind of book that keeps you up at all hours reading; the kind of book that makes your heart break on one page and soar on another. It is absolutely, beautifully brilliant.

Melina Marchetta once again employs multiple, complex storylines that show off her writing brilliance because they are not complex to follow. I cared for these secondary stories as much as Froi and Quitana’s . Melina's writing embodies the adage of “show, not tell”. The world building is thorough and seamless; I forget these places are fictional.  The new setting of Charyn is a rocky and ominous place, and it mirrors the journey Froi takes into it.

Froi changed for me from being complex and unlikable to being one of the sexiest characters I’ve ever read. He is young and serious and is plagued by his past. He wants to know who he is but he has a fierce love and loyalty to Finnikin and Isaboe. He is humble but has a temper. And he is without a doubt  the best character I have read in years. And close to that is Quintana; such a fascinating, unlikely heroine. Throughout the book, you grow to understand her without really even knowing how.  I am absolutely ecstatic that the third and last book in the Lumatere Chronicles belongs to her.  

To sum up, FROI OF THE EXILES is simply of the highest quality of YA literature that I have ever read, and it is proof that the YA genre is producing the best books of this decade!

(Note: I've said before that fans of GRACELING and THE LORD OF THE RINGS will love these books.    I'd like to add THE PRINCESS BRIDE to this list as well!)


  1. YES! I just got Froi from the library and I am so EXCITED to start it. And this review makes me even more so. However, I don't think that MM could write a bad book. She is AMAZING!!

    1. I agree times a kajillion. MM cannot write a bad book. Impossible! <3


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