Wednesday, January 30, 2013
FROI OF THE EXILES
Summary from Good Reads:
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.
“I'm not interested in those who do me wrong. There's not enough time in the day for them.”
“...the greatest weapon against big stupid men was a sharp mind.”
“If we forget who we lost, then we forget who we once were, and if we forget who we once were, we lose sight of who we are now.”
“Imagine who she would be if we unleashed her onto the world. I think she would rip the breath from all of us.”
“In a kinder world," he whispered, "one I promise you I've seen, men and women flirt and dance and love with only the fear of what it would mean without the other in their lives.”
Froi of the Exiles is the second book in the Lumatere trilogy by Melina Marchetta. It takes place three years after Finnikin of the Rock where Lumatere is back on its feet, but Charyn, the neighboring kingdom is falling down. There are returning characters from FOTR such as the Queen's Guard, Perry and Tessadora, Lucian of the Monts and Froi. The whole of Lumatere has been trying to recover from their devastation, trying to grow crops, and trying to get along with their neighboring kingdoms.
In Finnikin of the Rock, Froi was found by Queen Isaboe who he gave his bond to. He was one of the exiles who has no memories of ever living in Lumatere because he was a young child when he left. No, Froi's life began three years ago. He has been tending the land and loves being a farm boy. He is also very loyal to the queen and king and the Guard.
In the river valley that is the border between Charyn and Lumatere, Charynites are starting to gather there hoping for sanctuary in Lumatere because the land and the people of Charyn are barren. No child has been born to them for nearly 16 years. The last of these is Quintana, the half mad daughter of the king
Froi is sent on a mission to kill the king, but finds himself caught up with the secrets in the castle towers.
Froi meets many people, Quintana who he intensely falls in love with, the old and crippled Gargarin, the architect/designer/builder and his gay brother the priest Arjuro, the king's imprisoned wife and Gargarin's former lover Lirah, and De Lancy, ruler of Paladozza the enchanting city.
My first thoughts about this book were "oh Froi, I'm sorry you had to go through so much." FOTE is a much darker and much sadder book than FOTR, which was more hopeful. Froi finds his family in Charyn but he loses his bond to Queen Isaboe. He gives his heart to Quintana and creates a new bond to protect her. He breaks his bond to those he loved and swore to protect for her. Oh, Froi. And Froi's family is nothing like he dreamed of. They are grieving, angry, violent people who hide their feelings. Oh, Froi.
Then there's Quintana. She's half mad with a spirit inside of her, the reginita "little queen", who is the spirit of her younger dead twin sister Regina. In Charyn, you must say the names of the dead in order for the dead to have peace. Quintana is cold and dark with everyone against her. She carries Froi's son, the first to be born in the land, but there are men who chase after her for the unborn child.
Both Froi and Quintana are very strong characters who are finding out where they came from, where they are going, and who they are. I'm eager to see what happens in the next book.
While the two of them are journeying through Charyn over and under, the mountains and the rock caves, back in the river valley, Lucian of the Monts marries Phaedra, daughter of the province Alonso and the last born of the ruler there. However, Phaedra is not accepted by the Mont people and instead tends to the people who have come to the river valley. She works alongside Tessadora. She grows stronger and eventually Lucian does come to accept her. Phaedra was one of my favorite characters in FOTE.
Finnikin of the Rock was the story of a girl, a boy, a thief, and a wise man on a journey to reclaim their kingdom. It was full of mystery, sacrifice, hope and ultimately about the power of choices. Froi of the Exiles is about a boy on the brink of manhood and a girl on the brink of womanhood on a journey both physical and emotional, trying to find who they can be, where we've come from.
Melina Marchetta sums it all up, "It explores nature versus nurture and blond bonds versus friendship, but ultimately it's a love story between a whole bunch of people who should have gien up on each other long ago, and yet still find it in themselves to hope again."
Well I look foward to seeing where their hope will go in the next book, Quintana of Charyn.