Sunday, March 25, 2012
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
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.
It took me a week to read this, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adored this book! 5/5 Stars, hearts, cupcakes. Whatever. But it still took me a week to read this. Why I hear you ask? The answer is simple: school. Akdhaweurhfiwjeifjwejfwhurfwiepoqpewy4rq
So, let us not dwell on the fact that school is ruining my reading… **sigh**
Froi of the Exiles was brilliant. There was action, action, and action. We all know how much I love action. But there was also intrigue, romance and betrayal of the highest degree. I’ll admit, I’ve been putting Froi off for a while now, and that’s probably because I didn’t enjoy the first book, Finnikin of the Rock, as much (though I’m beginning to think it was because I was still a young’un when I first read it). But this one was brilliant, Brilliant I tell you!
It took me a while to warm up to the story, having read the previous book about a year or two ago. But once I got into the story, I couldn’t stop (well, I did, seeing as it took me a week to read this. I blame school. But I didn’t want to stop and that’s what matters :D).
Froi of the Exiles is split into various perspectives, and I’ll admit that at first there was only really one perspective that I really enjoyed/looked forward to (Froi’s). But then the story moves on and the smaller little plots all make sense, and I found myself enjoying ALL the perspectives. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there was Froi, Lady Beatriss, Finnikin, Isaboe, Lucian, Phaedra, was there Quintana? I can’t even remember now, grr.
The characters in this book were all so advanced and well developed; they seriously put some books to shame. You of course have the main character who is Froi, an orphan who joined the crew in the previous book and is extremely loyal to those that saved him from his horrible fate on the streets. He was raised to be an assassin, learning languages and the arts of killing. And so when he’s sent out on a mission to kill the King from Charyn, he jumps at the chance to prove his worth. But we all know that things are never that easy and there is always, always something that twists the plot. I won’t say anything else that might spoil the story. Anyway, I really enjoyed following the story through Froi’s eyes, it was riveting really. He’s always doing something, and it’s always entertaining. He’s smart as well, thank goodness for that, I don’t think I could stand having a slush-brain (I just put that word together just then) for a main character. I can’t say that Froi is one of those male characters that people go all fan-girl about and I don’t think he’s meant to be but he does have a certain pull about him. If I were go all smushy, I’d say that Froi is a very deep character with a troubled past and all that hub-bub; but I’m not. That’s up to you to decide.
Other characters that were quite interesting were Gargarin, Arjuro. I found their sarcastic comments amusing and their background story absolutely heartbreaking. There were also the other minor characters. You’ve got Lady Beatriss who suffered much during the years of Lumartere’s curse. Trevanion, her husband?(or at least love) before the curse. Finnikin, who we saw more of in the previous book, is now the Queen’s consort. And Isaboe who is now Queen :)
There are also the Monts, who are cousins of Isaboe’s. Their leader is Lucian, who I at first thought was a complete and utter… what’s the word? Ok, let’s describe it like this. If he were a girl, he would be a complete and utter cow! Does that make him a bull? Heheheh.
But then he actually grew a heart! **gasp** He actually has a heart? Yes, I know. I could hardly believe it myself :) What made me think of him as such a Bull (:D)? Well. Let’s just say the way he treated Phaedra at first was not exactly nice. But then he goes all lovey dovey. And then… *sobs* it’s just too much. And following on from that, you have Phaedra, Lucian’s wife.
Now we get to one of the most intriguing characters by far, Quintana. She’s the Charyn Princess but she is treated like anything but. Called harsh names and treated cruelly, Quintana’s one and only use in the eyes of her people, is to break the curse that has held them for years. It’s all very depressing, and quite disturbing as well. She is an extremely complicated character, one that will take you the majority of the book to attempt to figure out.
Froi of the Exiles is quite a long book at around 600 pages, but trust me, if you get into it you’ll have it finished in no time (as long as you don’t have school :D)
And so I conclude, Froi of the Exiles is an engaging book that is guaranteed to keep you up at night trying to finish it, trust me, I know from experience. Its characters will pull you into a fascinating and thrilling world created by none other by Melina Marchetta, the mastermind behind the series. Now, I know several of my friends haven’t read the books because they think “it’s Melina Marchetta, it’ll be a soppy book”, and other assorted wish-wash. But just try it, you’ll definitely be surprised.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for allowing me to read this.