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Lumatere Chronicles #2

Froi of the Exiles

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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.

593 pages, Paperback

First published October 3, 2011

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About the author

Melina Marchetta

43 books7,546 followers
Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children's Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the Jellicoe Road was released in 2006 and won the US Printz Medal in 2009 for excellence in YA literature. This was followed up by Finnikin of the Rock in 2008 which won the Aurealis Award for YA fantasy, The Piper's Son in 2010 which was shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Lit Award, NSW Premier's Lit Award, Prime Minister's Literary Awards, CBC awards and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her follow up to Finnikin, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn were released in 2012 and 2013. Her latest novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is an adult crime novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,989 reviews
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
October 1, 2012
As seen on The Readventurer

You know what is sad? That Froi of the Exiles is #76 on the Goodreads list of most popular books released this October, while Silence is #1. Will Melina Marchetta ever get the acknowledgement she deserves? Will her publishers ever promote her books the way they deserve to be promoted? I mean, so much effort and money is put into hyping garbage, why not put it towards something worthy? Very few people I'd recommended this author's novels disliked them, so would it be really that risky to market them properly? Ok, I think I've reached my ranting quota for the day. Let's talk about something more heartwarming - Froi of the Exiles.

Finnikin of the Rock was a fine fantasy novel in itself, but I think there is more of everything in its sequel. There is more heartache, more pain, more adventure, more mystery, more secrets, more magic, more intrigue and more madness.

Three years after the breaking of the Lumateran curse Froi is sent to neighboring Charyn on a revenge mission. What first is thought to be a simple avenge-and-escape task, quickly becomes something more when Froi learns of a curse hanging over Charyn, a curse that is even more horrifying than the Lumateran one. And the person who seems to suffer the most because of it is the half-mad Princess of Charyn Quintana. Hers is the unbearable and thankless burden to save the country which is about to explode from the inside.

Now, I will refrain from saying more about the plot to stay away from inadvertently revealing secrets and plot twists. Trust me, there are many. But I will tease you with a few things: Quintana - she broke my heart, a poor girl who has to serve her land by doing things most degrading; Lucian - I was ashamed of him in the beginning, I was in pain for him in the end; Froi - he has become a man of wondrous strength and depth and he might have met his match - someone of equal passion and darkness of soul. These are only a few familiar characters that took possession of my heart, but there are more, equally fierce and unforgettable - a couple of old men with dark pasts, a defiant whore, a stuttering idiot girl who finds her worth in spite of everyone calling her useless.

It won't be a proper Melina Marchetta book review if I don't mention how much I cried over it. And, of course, I did quite a bit. I cried because I felt shame and of pity and in triumph.

Froi of the Exiles is a huge book. It is so big, I am actually surprised it wasn't split into two, because, if you look at it, the climax of the story happens at about half way point. But for such a lengthy book, it is surprisingly unputdownable and very tightly written.

You also need to know that this is only a half of the story. The cliffhanger is big, softened only by a mercifully hopeful epilogue.

I remember Marchetta promised not more than a year between publications of Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn. I sure hope it's true. I foresee this wait to be quite agonizing.

P.S. Many have been asking where we got this book released only in Australia at this point. Check here:

Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
December 4, 2011
Sometimes I feel like Marchetta books should come with a public health warning.

"Marchetta Fever," it would say.

"Symptoms include: pain, aching or burning in the chest region indicating a broken heart.

Uncontrollable weeping, both happy and sad, may occur frequently. More serious cases run the risk of having their mind blown.

This condition has no known cure."

That's me. That's me with every single one of these books.

I went into my local bookstore to order me some Marchetta this year. Let me explain the community I live in. The largest shopping center has, I kid you not, FIVE lingerie stores. Stores entirely devoted to selling ladies underwear and such accessories. It has one tiny bookstore. A bookstore that is going out of business. A bookstore that had no fewer than ten copies of A Shore Thing and Confessions of a Guidette. Did they have any Marchetta or Laini Taylor? No. One paperback copy of Froi of the Exiles was tucked away somewhere. This is a travesty. This should be considered a Federal Crime. The Unicorn Squad needs to get on that shit and put someone away in the Candy Cane House of Pain for violating awesomeness.

Marchetta's books are more than just readable, well-written, well-characterized novels of great spirit and imagination. There is a beauty to them, a magic to them which wafts through every sentence of every page. It's not just finely crafted writing, though it is that too. It's a living, beating heart and beautiful but broken soul.

Does it matter that this book was 600 pages long? Not to me. Not when every page was breath-takingly spectacular. The themes are almost always the same. Loss, pain, healing, family, loyalty. I love the complication and depth of her characterization.

Whatever it is that Marchetta does, it speaks to me. It touches me in parts of my heart that I had locked away and worked hard to forget. Sometimes it hurts but she always, always remembers to patch me up again when she's finished.

So, if you're feeling a little lacklustre about your reading selection, why don't you try getting yourself a case of Marchetta fever? It just might be what cures you.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
January 27, 2019
Once upon a time...

I never would have thought a book could have me sobbing my heart out at four in the morning.
And then Melina Marchetta wrote On the Jellicoe Road.
I never would have thought I'd like traditional fantasy novels.
And then Melina Marchetta wrote Finnikin of the Rock.
I never would have thought characters could get any better than Finnikin and Isaboe.
And then Melina Marchetta wrote Froi of the Exiles.

I think that if Ms Marchetta were to ever write a bad novel, the earth would simply slip off its axis and the universe would implode because the natural order of things would have collapsed. Every time I stop and think "THIS IS IT. This is the pinnacle of literary perfection and books just don't get any better than this", Marchetta goes right ahead and releases the proof that I was wrong.

This book is just so much better than Finnikin of the Rock, and that sounds like I'm insulting the prequel - I'm not. I honestly loved everything about the story of Finnikin and Isaboe. I thought it was a fantastic beginning to this series, both well-written and heart-pounding. But Froi is just more of what I like to read about. Finnikin is a nicer character than Froi; he had many sides to him and was interesting to follow through his adventures, but it was exactly the complications of Froi's character - the battle to control his temper, the struggle to part with the horrors of his past - that made me love him so much more.

And Quintana! Oh Quintana, how I'm looking forward to getting more acquainted with you in the next book. I'm not going to spoil this wonderful character for anyone who is yet to read Froi of the Exiles, but she is fantastic and weird and I can't wait for Quintana of Charyn!!!!

I love how so many characters came into this book and they all had such distinct personalities. None were wasted and everyone who was introduced had their part to play that was key to the overall story; not a single one will easily be forgotten. Like The Queen of Attolia was just so much more than The Thief, I felt that Froi of the Exiles was so much more of everything that made Finnikin of the Rock amazing. It was more exciting, faster-paced, funnier, nastier... even sexier. I got hot flushes at the mention of Froi's "wicked tongue"!

I don't really think I can say anything else about Melina Marchetta. I tend to mention her in most of my reviews because I find her talent for story-telling and creating a variety of complex characters just incredible. She astounds me. How else can I make you Marchetta virgins pick up her work? Let me know and I'll write it in my next review! I hope I've managed to do Froi some justice with this review and that it wasn't just a mess of adoring mushiness. But then, how do you review a perfect book? This is my crappy attempt.

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Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
841 reviews3,773 followers
February 15, 2021

My thoughts after reread : If there's something this reread taught me, it's that I can't think of a better author than Melina Marchetta to deal with a character as Froi with such honesty, depth, and respect. I won't shy away from the truth : Froi, as a 14 years-old rootless and lawless slave, attempted to rape the MC in Finnikin of the Rock, and I will never, ever, condone such awful and criminal behavior. Yet there's where Melina Marchetta's brilliance shows itself : giving Froi this book, she never, ever tries to excuse or simplify his behavior. She doesn't make us love him under false pretenses. She doesn't pretend his actions were inconsequential and more than that, they're never forgotten. She gives him layers, regrets - fears, self-loathing, doubts, and yes, hope.

And doing that, she creates one of the most complex and heartbreaking character I've ever met. I won't deny that. My heart broke for him, beat for him, and I'm not ashamed of my emotions.

Original review : As you might know, I'm a teacher from 3rd to 5th grade. Of course I love my job but let's face it : sometimes the gremlins are exhausting.

To survive, I learnt quickly a few tips :
- Everything is better in color
- Sleep full-time nights - or if you don't, pretend, that is to say, smile.
- Identify the giggles words and defuse the crisis right away : yes, there is sex in sexism, hahaha, now can we talk about it? Now, you're a teacher but also a person, so try to never forget it and allow you to laugh sometimes. Except at other times. No, we don't eat acorns. Squirrels eat acorns. Pigs eat acorns. You're a ten years old boy dammit ← yeah, because you never swear in public.
- Protect your voice : no need to yell. Never.
- Tool worksheets are your friends, because surprisingly, you're not a parrot.

Target : To be able to read this book without crying.

Never underestimate Marchetta's ability to blow your mind : you need to remember that nothing can be taken for granted, neither the characters' reactions because they're dynamic and evolve, nor the curse of the story, because you can't even talk about twists when that's the whole story which is unpredictable.

"Most days, he feared that a monster of great baseness lived inside him, fighting to set itself free. Killing the traitors of Lumatere for Isaboe made sense. But killing also fed the monster."

Be prepared to fall in love with all the characters, even the villains : indeed in Froi of the Exile none of the characters is annoyingly perfect, and that's fucking great. Moreover, even the word villain seems totally misplaced, because as in life, things are always more complicated than they appeared.

Froi spends his time fighting between his violent instant-jerk reactions and his self-imposed limitations, and became one of my favorite male-lead of all-time for this exact reason. What could be more interesting than a man who's always seeking his place in the world and who tries to refrain himself without never forgetting who he is? What I adored in his personality is the fact that he's able to see behind the scenes and never hastily judges someone. No, Froi thinks, analyses - and above all that, loves and hates with such passion, craves for some attention - that tortured boy who's trying so hard to be worthy captured my heart and broke it while he was at it.

Do you know what's Marchetta's magic is? She makes me care. So much. Everybody was dismissing Froi, and oh, how I wanted to tear them apart, these cold-hearted bastards! All of them, even those I liked. Even the brothers. All of them. Anything rather than bear his heart-wrenching loneliness a second longer.

Quintana fascinated me, but let's face it, the girl is insane. Now, if we scratch the surface, as Froi did did I say how much he's awesome?, we discover one of the most captivating character I've meet for a long time. And if somebody calls her a vessel again I think I'm going to lose it. Fuck off, you jerks.

✘ No need to remember how much Finnikin, Isaboe, Trevanion and Beatriss are multi-layered. No perfection here, just life.

"It's the same with her. Imagine who she would be if we unleashed her onto the world. I think she would rip the breath from all of us."

Forget your social life and be prepared to travel, because you're not really in your living-room, nah, you're in Charyn. Indeed if you're like me, you'll probably end completely drawn in this world, enchanted by Marchetta's beautiful words and frowning awkwardly when someone, let's say, your boyfriend, ask you when and what you want to eat.

"He says that the gods have forsaken Charyn", Froi said.
Arjuro gave a short laugh of disbelief. "The gods have not forsaken Charyn. The gods love Charyn. Where else can they shit, if not Charyn? It's the purpose of this kingdom. To be the place where the gods shit."

Crisis management : You answered a phone call. You fool. Okay, fortunately I'm here to help you. So, here's what to do : you hmm hmm a few time, and then you say (intonation is the most important, you play for your life here) : Oh! There's *insert random name of BF/cat/dog/son/daughter/friend* I need to go! And then you hang up quickly. Crisis aborted. Come back to Froi. You're welcome.

"If he was grateful for anything, it was that most times, he did not see their fear. But here in the Citavita, fear made people beg. Fear was piss running down the legs of those who once stood pompus and proud. Fear was a blood-curdling cry that rang through one's ears for days to come."

Don't breath. Don't hold your breath though. Or you count. Oh, yes, there's a lot of counting in this book. So let's try this : if your eyes start to be filled with tears, count. Hmmm. I don't know. Try to cope with all the emotions you'll feel, fear, sorrow, hope, sadness, loneliness - love. A love so fierce. Go for a run, share a hug, call your mum. I don't really know.

Oh. My. I think I lied to you : there's no such thing as a potion to avoid crying with this book. Sorry about that.

"And suddenly, in all the absurdity, Froi forgot the orders from his queen. Forgot everything he had been told was right or wrong. Forgot any type of reason."

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Profile Image for Limonessa.
300 reviews507 followers
October 27, 2011
You know how authors say that once in a story the two main characters get together there is no point in continuing because nobody is interested in reading about them getting married, having babies and discussing about who takes the kids to school?
Well, with Marchetta it doesn't work that way. Because, in fact, in this book she does tell us about the Happily Ever After. She also switches the focus of attention to some OTHER interesting characters and that's where it gets tricky, for the new characters have to be unique and interesting.
So this is how, in Froi of the Exiles we find all the characters of Finnikin of the Rock, especially Finnikin and Isaboe happily together, yet we never get bored. Because this story is mainly about Froi, a trait d'union between our old, well acquainted set of characters and a whole new one, just as amazing as the others and possibly more.

The story picks up exactly three years after the events of Finnikin. All is well in the kingdom of Lumatere and people are starting to build new lives for themselves.
But it's time for retribution. Froi, who's become an expert assassin trained by the Guard, gets sent to Charyn to kill the King, the real culprit of the curse that's plagued Lumatere for 10 years.
Little did the Lumaterans know that Charyn has a curse of its own and Froi is just a pawn in a scheme that goes well beyond the assassination of its King. By meeting Quintana, that half-mad Princess who's believed to be the holder of the key to break the curse, Froi will finally discover his origins and the truth that flows in his own blood.

I always forget how Marchetta's books successfully manage to unsettle me every time. It happened with Jellicoe, with The Piper's Son and to be frank, even with Finnikin. The stories confuse me at first, their whole force revealing itself well into the narration. So it was for Froi. This book is quite a tome, let me tell you. With more than 600 tightly written pages, it's quite a brick to digest. I don't know how Marchetta managed to keep my attention for so long.
Actually, I do. The plot is quite twisted, revelations ensue one after the other and with two story lines going on at the same time, there is no TIME to get bored. The reader constantly travels from Lumatere to Charyn and viceversa, an intelligent strategy in my opinion to keep the story engaging and never dragging.
So as my head started to ache for all the court intrigue and politics of the kingdom of Charyn, I was thrown back to some beloved characters of which I knew almost everything there was to know in Lumatere. This is how you digest a 600 and counting page book.

The characterization is simply amazing, as usual. Not only we get to know Froi better - and the guy has come a looong way from the street rat we met at the beginning of Finnikin - but the reader will be mesmerized by his sidekicks as well, each and every one well developed and unique. Marchetta manages to make fictional people come alive like no other author does. Quintana is, without a doubt, her greatest success. I loved her. I truly cannot wait for the next book to come out and see more of this amazing creature.

And as in Finnikin, the message this book holds within itself is always of outmost importance. Even with the barbarities, the injustices and the abuse that take place within one country, the underlying message contained in the book is undoubtedly one of love and hope. Hope in the generations to come, to learn from the mistakes of the fathers, never to repeat them again:

"If your people meant no offence, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of the careless words passed down by elders who meant no harm."

This kind of story, although taking place in a fictional, fantasy world, can truly be valid universally, transcending everything: race, religion, politics, beliefs. It will never grow old and its actuality will resonate for years and years to come. That is how you make a book "immortal", I think.

Eagerly, eagerly awaiting the final chapter of this amazing story.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,890 followers
March 20, 2012
Does this book really need another glowing review? A book with 225 reviews on GoodReads alone and 4.62 average rating? What can it possibly change? Maybe not much, but yes, I believe that it does.

Melina Marchetta is extraordinary. Duh. I won’t sing her praise in this review. Almost everyone who ever gave one of her books a chance knows how brilliant she is. Writing about it here seems unnecessary and a little bit silly since it’s the one thing we all agree on, regardless of our favorite among her books or her characters. And that’s just it, there is no doubt about it: we all have plenty to choose from and we love them all, but we all have a favorite – that Melina Marchetta book we simply cannot live without. My favorite is Froi of the Exiles.

You can try, if you so wish, to convince me that Froi of the Exiles is not a real person. You can tell me that Finnikin, Perri, Phaedra or Lady Beatriss are all products of someone’s imagination – a brilliant someone perhaps, but just characters nevertheless. You can talk at me until you turn blue, you can offer any number of convincing arguments, you can even bring Melina Marchetta herself to tell me to my face that she made them all up (I doubt she would, though), and I still won’t believe you. Here’s a fact: I’ve never seen my best friend in the flesh, and nobody’s trying to convince me that she’s not real. So why wouldn’t Froi be? I just know that he’s somewhere right now, counting to ten before opening his mouth.

The protectiveness I feel towards him after reading “his” book is something I hadn’t anticipated. I went from despising him in Finnikin of the Rock, just tolerating him later on, to loving every little thing about him, the strengths and the many flaws. But I cannot count Froi among my fictional crushes. His story and his raw vulnerability appeal to my maternal instincts and nothing else. (Finnikin is another matter entirely, though, but if I could choose, I’d choose Trevanion.) And in this book, he finally met his match.

Where can I even begin with Quintana of Charyn? First of all, who the hell is she? I still don’t know. Isaboe was so easy to love, but Quintana is nothing like her. Where Isaboe is fierce, Quintana is avoidant. Where Isaboe is kind, Quintana is far more likely to bite your head off. But I’m grateful for the difference between them. With this, Marchetta showed that she is perfectly capable of creating not just easily acceptable heroines, worthy of admiration by anyone’s standards, but also unpolished and infinitely crazy girls you’d die for in a second.

I won’t lie to you, there were events in this book I was able to predict. But the way they were done, the way secrets were brought to light and my emotional reactions to them exceeded all my expectations. There were parts I had to reread three times in order to fully process them and move on. There were parts where I had to stop for a while and do something else because they were too painful. There were moments that made me laugh out loud and there were parts that left me with my mouth open in sheer and utter amazement. There was a bit of everything, except for a part that left me indifferent. That I have yet to find in one of Marchetta’s books.

Now this is where I should write something short and witty to conclude this outburst of admiration review, but I’m drawing a blank. If you live on planet Earth, you’ve probably heard it all anyway. So here’s a useful info instead: the lovely Chachic at Chachic’s Book Nook is celebrating Melina Marchetta throughout the week. There are and will be some pretty awesome guest posts, including a not-quite-awesome one by your two favorite nocturnal librarians.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
Profile Image for Jillian -always aspiring-.
1,821 reviews198 followers
October 9, 2011
Authors like Melina Marchetta leave me in an uncomfortable position. As a reader, I'm overjoyed to read books such as hers since they challenge my mind, make me smile and gape alike, and steal away pieces of my heart. As a writer, however, Marchetta's books...intimidate me. Never before have I read work from an author that just keeps getting better and better with each successive novel (and those who have read Marchetta's debut novel, Looking for Alibrandi, know that she has never been even a mediocre writer). I don't know what it is about Marchetta, but it always seems to me as if she is raising the bar higher and higher for herself with each book she writes. It's such an impressive thing that I'm left envious and awed, my writer self and my reader self at war with one another, but one thing is shared between my two halves: the utter respect and admiration for Melina Marchetta as a driving force in young adult literature, whether it be contemporary, fantasy, or any genre she chooses to write.

Froi of the Exiles, the sequel to Marchetta's first fantasy novel Finnikin of the Rock and book two of the Lumatere Chronicles, is quite honestly her finest novel to date. The novel is hefty at just about 600 pages, but the pages fly by as you start to read and immerse yourself in the land of Skuldenore with its various kingdoms vying for power, plotting to conquer, or just struggling to survive.

The wonderful thing about Marchetta's fantasy writing is that she never loses focus on two key things that are necessary to make any fantasy story succeed: high-stakes intrigues to keep readers captivated and a sense of honest humanity to the world and characters, so much so that readers find themselves empathetic to the characters in both the light and dark moments. Marchetta's "good" characters are just as flawed and conflicted as any villains to be found, adding a very realistic shade of gray to anyone and anything in this fantasy story.

No character is more gray than the hero, Froi, first introduced in Finnikin of the Rock as an ex-slave boy who often acted more foe than friend. Though Froi is much reformed when we meet him at the start of this second novel, set three years after the first, there is still a darkness following him, one that he recognizes and fights to keep at bay even as he works for the still-recovering kingdom of Lumatere. But there is something brewing in the kingdom of Charyn, something that may prove deadly for anyone involved with the cursed land...

To say that Froi of the Exiles ups the ante from its predecessor is an understatement: Marchetta is in top form with this novel, the threads of the plot seemingly appearing haphazard or inconsequential at first, only to come back later to play in surprising and astounding ways. Nothing is "meaningless" in this novel; everything has its purpose, whether for plot or character development.

No matter how tightly plotted, however, this novel would have been a failure if not for the characters -- characters who feel so strongly and so deeply that they feel like flesh-and-blood incarnations simply because their emotions are so palpable. The whole cast of characters are what make this novel so different, so human, compared to stale fantasy worlds and archetypes to be found en masse in hundreds of other novels out there. To be honest, this novel made me want to weep not just for the characters...but because of the plot, the words, the utter talent there must be to craft such an amazing story that holds so much depth and soul to it.

This book is a wonderful testament to the fact that truly dedicated and talented authors do not need to be tied by the bounds of genre to create all manner of stories that sing and make readers' hearts ache. For those reasons and more, Froi of the Exiles is definitely the best book I've read in 2011 and one that I would recommend to anyone who wanted a more realistic shade of fantasy.
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews676 followers
November 21, 2020
She, The Ruling Queen Melina Marchetta: What is this thing you all call “second book syndrome” you peasants? I’ve never heard of the term, is it even real?

Me, a lowly peasant: Apparently not, your Majesty. Apparently not


I feel so satisfied.

That’s the feeling this book gives me. Just so fulfilled and contented - satisfied.

Please, please, please do not ask me how this story is better than others in the same genre, I cannot begin to even attempt to explain why or how or even whatthehell. Just that there was never a moment in this book that I rolled my eyes ever. Was there even info dump in this huge book?? Sagas,I didn’t realize that at all! I enjoyed all of it: the tales, the backstories of every single new character we met.


I forgot how hilarious this series can get!! Got a huge flashback to when reading book 1, just incessant laughters. So much so it actually got in the way of my reading! Absolutely fantastic. Uncontainable humor.

If this was a Regency novel, other characters would be calling Froi ‘a simpleton’ which could carry some derogatory connotation in certain cases but not to me and definitely not with Froi.

And I just - oh my god - miss that Froi. This is not to say I don’t like Froi in this book. Oh not in the least, but he did feel different to me certainly. Of course it had been 3 full years since the events of the last book and he, along with his fellow travel mates, did some serious character development in our absence.

Hence came my real disappointment - I would have preferred to bear witness to this so-call growth while it was happening: to see how much he and everyone else struggled and how they overcame each obstacle and ‘be there’ with them. Since Marchetta did a superb job of letting me along the ride with these guys the first time round, I guess I’m addicted to that somehow and still ‘crave’ my share, so to speak.

And that is the ONLY reason I didn’t give this as high rating as the first book. I just infinitely prefer the dynamic between Froi, Finnikin, Evangelin and Captain’s Guards so much more.

Although the added pov of Lucian’s is such a pleasant surprise and extremely welcomed.

Ps. I still love Lumatere with all of my heart.


Me finding out the title of the book:
Are my eyes deceiving me? Froi?
As in Froi my beloved boy who likes playing farmer peasant?
That Froi?

757 reviews2,346 followers
Shelved as 'd-n-f'
February 23, 2017
DNF @pg 165

Alright, hear me out. I liked the first book but it put me in a slump and I liked this book too, but I've been reading this for like over a week now and I really don't feel it. It isn't the books fault. It's actually a really good book and I really would love to continue reading it, but whenever I pick it up I put it back down. I simple don't want to force myself to read this because that never ends well. I don't want to have a bad and boring time reading this.

I'm leaving my rating blank because the book is amazing and I haven't really read this properly. I'm reading a few pages or so a day and honestly, I'm not even paying much attention to this book and don't have much of a clue as to what is going on. I don't know if I'll come back to this in the future (most likely not), but for now it's a DNF.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
May 24, 2017

Melina Marchetta was gifted with the ability to ruin my life and make me regret everything. I really appreciate it, Ms Marchetta, thank you for that, please never stop.


If we forget who we lost,’ Lady Abian would tell Froi and her children, ‘then we forget who we once were, and if we forget who we once were, we lose sight of who we are now.’

Why this Book Slays Every Other Book in the World
- froi gets 90% page time
- a princess who is neither beautiful nor sane yet she is still wonderfully fierce and you cannot NOT love her
- ft. so much sass
- so many slow burn ships that steal your heart and ruin any other sort of love for you
- I’m naming my daughter Jasmina, sorry, its over
- ft. craters in my heart
- plot twists that chuck your emotions and mental state into a blender and put it on the highest setting
- ft. an endless stream of my tears
- more plot twists
- so much character development
- so much world building
- so much epic action
- so much tears
- so much silent compassion and mistakes and flawed characters
- the last 5 chapters being better than most books ive ever read in my life
- someone hold me please im in so much pain
- ft. me not being able to write a real review bc this book has taken over my life and these characters are all I think about

Actual footage of me rn

5 stars!!


ACTUAL buddy read with my favourite Lumatere FANGIRL

and the "buddy read" with prag has been canceled bc she is a book-hater
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,303 followers
June 15, 2020

I bow to you, Melina Marchetta! I've read hundreds of books, but none quite as impressive as yours.

When I first heard that Froi was going to be the lead character in the sequel to “Finnikin of the Rock” I think I might have given a silent cry inside, as I despised that pitiful young man in (most of) the first book.

Little did I know of the tremendous growth he would go through, the strenghts of his heart and the smarts of his mind, or the power of the song sleeping in his blood.

Little did I know indeed... Froi did not end up holding only the future of Lumatere in his hands, but also my heart.

I thought I couldn’t endure more heartbreak after Finnikin’s story ended, but there was so much more anguish to be had in the following book(s).
Take one assassin with a past lost in time, one cursed kingdom with a bloodied history, an unwanted princess with a broken mind, a group of people that you can love to hate and love some more. Place them all on a path that will both break and mend their spirits, twist their beliefs and open their deepest wounds.

And when it all ends don’t hide your tears - when you love so much a story that it makes you shout to the stars, it’s only fair to be overwhealmed by the intensity of your emotions (all that love, too much hate, so much rage, such bittersweet happiness)..

“You keep safe, Froi. Keep safe and come home to us”

It's strange how the turnarounds and the revelations still give me the chills even after re-reading it all these many times, but my love for this story can only grow...

If you didn’t pick it up yet, I advise you to get your hands on this series and fast.

————— 2012

Dear Melina,
Keep breaking my heart, because you definitely know the best way to do it.

Froi of the exiles

Pre-reading thoughts: "If I won't die of happiness, when I'll read this I'll be the happiest person alive :) " Well.. I am the happiest person alive!


The first story I’ve been told was a fairytale.
I don’t remember which one was it, but that shouldn’t be a problem, as they all begin with “once upon a time”, get to the point where the handsome white-horse-riding prince must rescue the princes (falling in love with her beauty at first sigh), and then it ends with a “happily ever after”.
All fairytales are about joy, and beauty, and happiness, and the good that conquers it all.

Too bad this is not a fairytale.

Too bad we don’t have a beautiful princess, or a charming prince, too bad this is not a story about happiness or happy endings, too bad this is not that kind of story where all the dreams come true.
“Is it because we are not beautiful?” she asked.
“That you don’t want to save us. […] In the books of the Ancients the princesses are always beautiful and they always get saved.”

This story is about another curse, probably worse than the first one, it’s a story about suffering, and death, and trying too much and losing it all - it will break your heart into pieces, then it will put it back in place only to break it all over again.

This is a story about a cursed princess and a thief, about wars between kingdoms and assassins, about trust and betrayal, about secrets buried in time and forbidden feelings… This is the story of Froi of the Exiles.

Let me tell you this: if you loved the first book in the series, you will think that this one is completely insane – but you will love all its madness.

To be honest, I didn't think a continuation of the story was needed, but damn, now I feel that the story would never be complete without it.
Also I must confess that it really blew my mind.
There was so much happening, so many new characters to meet, to understand, to distrust, to love, to fear for their safety and to feel the need to cry for their tragic destiny... There was too much pain in this book, too much sadness, to many horrifying memories, too many human monsters, too many heartbreaking scenes, and now there is that need to find what happens next, there is that damned ending that left me hanging, counting the moments until I get the chance to read the next and final book.
“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.”


He is an interesting character, changed from the first book. He is more mature and takes his responsibilities more seriously. His bond with the queen of Lumatere is as strong as before, but his mission is a really difficult one. First because he is all alone, second because he doesn’t know whom to trust, third because he finds new people and he gets attached to them, and this makes his life and his decisions even more difficult.
It is hard to love Froi, but it is as harder not to like him.
I wanted to punch Froi for holding too much inside his head and heart and for not putting into words all that he really felt, for hurting Quintana so deeply in the beginning, and even after falling for her, for not being able to fight more for her and their feelings, for being weak at times and cruel as well, for knowing how to easily kill the enemy, but even more easily how to break a heart.
Still, I cared so much for him and his past, and his deep need to be loved. I wanted to hug him, to take care of him, to change his destiny, to sing for him such that he couldn’t listen to his blood song anymore – maybe, just maybe I could change something in his life, I could bring some joy on his face, I could unbreak a bit his heart.
I want him to be happy, I want him to have everything that has been taken away from him since his childhood – I want him next to Quintana, where he belongs.

I’ll come and find you wherever you are. I’ll not stop breathing until I do.


Will Quintana of Charyn be beautiful in your play?

..At least in my review she will:

Oh, dear Quintana, how much did she suffer for all those people that have never deserved it. All that sacrifice, all that pain, all that shame, all her frustrations and fears – how could someone live with so much pain inside, how could she not lose her mind in such a crazy world? But she didn’t.
I wanted to hug Quintana, to take her home with me, to keep her safe, to erase all her bad memories and show her how beautiful the world could be.
But in the same time I wanted to cheer for her because she had so much courage and she'd endured so much; because she took the pain of all those last born girls and kept it all inside her; because she suffered for all those people that were supposed to love her; because she has received only coldness and hatred from them all her life and she deserved to be happy.

I heard your song the moment we were born.

Gargarin and Arjuro
These two were such a pair. I loved them as strange as their actions were.
I cared for them, for all those horrors they've faced, for all the suffering, for a life full of regrets and no-going-back’s, for a childhood that no one should bear, and for so much more.

If those frescoes could talk they would blush from what they’ve seen the brothers of Abroi get up to in that cave

We know by now that we shouldn’t judge someone at first sight. We know by now that Marchetta never creates a character that doesn’t have enough depth. We know by now that all the important characters in Lumatere series have been through Hell and back… this time, literally.
Her story was a horrifying as Quintana’s. There are no words to describe her suffering and her loss - for the treatment from her king and his guests, for her baby, for all those years in prison.

Poor Lirah. She’s been imprisoned for at least twelve years, you know.
Yes, yes, poor Lirah.

Isaboe and Finnikin
I liked how strong and confident Finnikin has become, and (still) how wise and caring Isaboe showed to be (as much as the situations allowed her).
I liked how they fought for the safety of their home and kingdom, but how they wanted nothing more but peace, how they cared about Froi, how they struggled to keep a happy family in all this madness.

'Don't ever ask me again if I hate living anywhere with you and Jasmina. This Rock reminds me of the boy I was and being with you in the palace reminds me of the man I want to be.'
'Not just any man,' she whispered. 'A King. Mine.'

Beatrice and Trevanion
I didn't think her story could be more heartbreaking, but it was. I thought her romance with Trevanion would have a quick resolution and a happy ending, but the was more to her story, more hearts to break, more tears to shed for her and her past.

I still wake with your name on my lips every morning

Lucian and Phaedra.
I didn't pay much attention to them at the beginning, but I got to care so much for Phaedra. It broke my heart, it really did. She got from being some minor character to a quite important one, and I got attached to her suffering. She tried too much to be part of a community that resented her, part of a family that didn’t want her, and she had so much to give. I wanted so badly to see them both happy, as they deserved it so much.

If your people mean no offense, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children, Tesadora. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of the careless words passed down by their elders who meant no harm.

I am still wondering about this one. I think there is more to him that we could find in this book and I can’t wait to see his part in the next one. All you need to know for now is that he's the reason Froi went to Charyn, somehow he is the key to the past.

“Do you expect me to have regrets?” he asked. “When it’s you Lumaterans who speak an unwritten law that makes the most sense to me.”
“And what is that, Charynite?”Tesadora asked.
“What needs to be done”

The last-born boys
All I can say about them is that they were really cute and innocent. Protected as they were, they didn’t know much about fights and war, but they meant good – some times that helped, some times it didn’t.

Grijo looked shamefaced. Oliver pretended to. Froi’s head was spinning too hard for anything to make sense.

I am conflicted now, because I couldn't believe those horrors, I couldn't bear them.. There was too much pain, too many cries in the wind, to many broken hearts and lives destroyed in an instant. It was horrible and beautiful in the same time - I wanted to scream of frustration, I wanted to take care of those lost souls, I wanted to give them something to hold on to, because without a purpose I don't know how could they survive all that carnage, all those horrors through all those years.

....Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best writer of them all?
Melina Marchetta, off course :)

Book source: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley - Thank you so very much!!!

Later edit:
Check out my Book Boyfriend #8 - Froi
[image error]

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com


Later edit:
Re-read May 2013 - I might write soon a new review for the series, as it blew my mind once more and I still love it to pieces. Just know that this is a heartbreaking story that I will always hold close to my heart. Absolutely fabulous!!!


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Profile Image for Jo.
268 reviews946 followers
May 12, 2020
"....and he wanted to creep inside her head and join the madness."

So I guess I’m kinda a fantasy fan.
(But still very much a learner)
Because there have now been two series I can’t get enough of
And it’s all to do with Double M and Ms Whalen Turner.

It’s taken me a while to process this book
(Once I got over the jittery caffeine shakes and stiffness of the joints)
Because when I skimmed through my notes I found with dismay
My pages full of only sad faces and exclamation points.

I picked it up with the intention of spending a few days completely
Immersed… but I must admit I failed.
For I realised when I had found myself, in awe, at the end
That Froi of the Exiles had been accidentally inhaled.

So due to the fact that my pages are bare
And seeing as I read this book in a day,
I realised that when it comes to my review
I’m probably not going to really have anything to say.

So if you are looking for advice on whether to read this story
Please read the other reviews with more valuable things to add.
But like it often happens when you finish an amazing book,
I can’t help but feel impossibly sad.

Because gone is Froi; all fierce and lost,
Who counts in his head to prevent his feelings breaking through.
With his strength, his passion and his fierce protection.
And umm, I guess his shoulders are nice to look at….
Especially with that tattoo.

And gone is Quintana; “all snorts and giggles”
Who truly has the ability to “rip the breath from us all”.
With her squinting and her wonky teeth.
“The girl who could make rabbits appear on walls”.

But this isn’t just a story about these tragic kids.
(But my heart was completely shattered by Queen Q and her Froi)
It’s about finding to whom your blood sings, belonging and
Broken spirits to be mended. About understanding and of joy.

(An added note: I can’t help but think that Jo of Mancunia would be
Lovers Soulmates Swivening partners 
Strictly platonic with Lucian of the Monts.)
And I know I’ll sound impatient with what I say next,
But I like what I like and I know what I want...s.

And what I want is to spend 2012 scowling at the screen
Willing that the date for Q of C will get nearer.
Because how is it fair (especially with that end)
To make us wait another year....er?

Dear Double M, I would like to suggest that if you ever find yourself
On British shores that you should come and give Manchester a look,
We have rain football the best music and friendly people
And me to ask you about the release date of your Jimmy book.
And me to ask you intelligent questions about this glorious book.

Theme Tune.
Bat's Mouth by Bat For Lashes.

Also, I can't believe Double M based some of her research on Conwy Castle! Conwy is one of my favourite places in the world...if you ignore the dive-bombing seagulls, which is difficult when they're trying to nab your chips.


I wonder whether she visited Conwy at the same time as I did.
I was the one making my friend stand in the middle of the road so they could get a good picture of me standing with the plastic knight....


Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
October 26, 2012

Once again I find myself at a loss for words and I do believe I'm suffering from Marchetta Fever. If you've read any book by her, you may know the symptoms yourself: First it's the euphoria that sets in right after you complete the book. Then, you find yourself thinking about the book long after you finish. You have the inability to form a single, coherent thought to review the book. And in the final stages, your palms go sweaty with the need for the next book. There is a reason why Marchetta is considered a master storyteller and if that wasn't evident enough for me in Finnikin of the Rock, then it's now blatantly obvious.  

Froi of the Exiles takes place a few years after Finnikin of the Rock's conclusion and is told from Froi's point of view. At first, I was leery of that fact because I really disliked Froi in Finnikin due to the rape attempt on Isaboe. How do you redeem a character that was once viewed as a monster? I didn't know if it were possible to pull it off or pull it off well, but I was wrong. Froi has come a long way since Finnikin and I think the other character's views on Froi really played a big part in my ability to connect with him. For example, we learn in the beginning that he's made a bond with Isaboe to never take another woman by force. Yet, he goes further and says he never will take a woman because he doesn't trust himself. With each chapter, I saw Froi battling his inner demons. But what's even more interesting is that, for me, Froi's redemption came through Quintana's characterization. Because, for Froi, Quintana is the product of what his actions could have created and at the same time falling in love with this very broken girl. I could go on and on about that dynamic, but I'll suffice to say that the character growth in Froi of the Exiles is phenomenal.

The plotting was nothing short of sheer brilliance. I've said this before, but the only other author that I find comparable to this level of plotting is J.K. Rowling. While I did find the pacing slower than Finnikin, there were so many twists and revelations that kept me on the edge of my seat. We learn more about Froi's past and I'm still blown how it all came together. There is simply no way to predict anything in this novel. And sometimes I feel like with being an avid reader, you get to the point where you start recognizing certain plot trends and twists. So by the time something is being revealed, it doesn't really shock you. But not with Marchetta. Her plot was woven so thick, I had to take it in piece by piece.

By the end of the novel, I felt the same as I did with Finnikin. I felt like I had gone on such an intense emotional journey because so many events had taken place and I needed time to process everything. I loved everything about this book and though, right after finishing I hungered for Quintana of Charyn, I knew I simply couldn't read The Lumatere Chronicles back to back. I'll need to take a mini break before I dive into the conclusion that is sure to turn me into a swirling vortex of emotions. And that, in my humble opinion, is the true mark of a fantastic series.

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. (I'm just really late in getting to it.)

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
December 23, 2014
Buddy Read/Re-read with a great group of people at Lumatere Chronicles Group Read

Second Read Review Dec 23 2014

This Book…..This Book. It has all of the emotions in it. I went from
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“Because I remembered your words,” she said quietly. “I remembered that you liked me least. You said it in my palace chamber. ‘Have one of the others wake me, for I like you least.’”
She turned to face him and brushed tears fiercely from her face. “Sometimes when I see what’s left of Quintana of Charyn through my own eyes, I think I can learn to love her. But when I see her through your eyes, I despise her.”
If she saw Quintana of Charyn through Froi’s eyes, he knew she’d see a part of himself.

This is my second time reading this book and I got so much more out of it. So many more feelings and moments that stole my breath and thoughts away. Marchetta is a genius story teller she broke my heart, she made me hope, I fell in love with so many characters. I have ~250 highlights in this book now and I reread them all and felt this book all over again.

Finnikin was good but Froi of the Exiles is so much better that I can’t even explain my love for it adequately. I’m so happy I reread it and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

Original Review Dec 28 2013

Sometimes I ask myself what the secret formula is to writing a great fantasy novel and I think of all of the ones I love the most and for me it is the layers. The best stories have overlapping layers to the characters, plots, arcs, histories and worlds. Melina Marchetta is a weaver of those layers until there is a seamless work of art.

I was afraid that we would leave Finnikin and Isaboe behind on this new journey with Froi but I was happily surprised that the characters I loved from the first book are all over in this one as well. We join them three years after Finnikin of the rock where we see that Isaboe and Finnikin have been busy indeed. Presented with a great opportunity to get revenge against the King of Charyn, Froi is sent to the palace to assassinate him. But Froi is not who he thinks he is and the princess is not at all what he expected. That is when it all gets confusing. Should he follow the orders of his bond to Lumatere and the Queen, is he the one destined to break the curse that has been placed on all of Charyn or is there another purpose for him still?

”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.”

I think the greatest gift that Isaboe and Finnikin gave Froi is that they showed him that kinder world so that he could see the potential for good in people. When first meeting Quintana it seems that she is stark raving mad, but she is a survivor and somehow she calls to him in a way he never expected. I loved their half crazed talk and how Quintana saw the world. Her story is completely tragic and broke my heart a little (who am I kidding she crushed my heart). After hating Charyn in Finnikin of the Rock for the turmoil they caused in Lumatere for Isaboe and her family it made me hate only the king and not his daughter who was as much a prisoner as anyone in Lumatere.

“Until three years ago, I couldn’t read and write, I couldn’t ride a horse or shoot an arrow and didn’t know the difference between a turnip seed and grain. The men who have taught me everything back home, they often say to me, ‘Froi, what if all your talents were left undiscovered?’”
He looked up at them. “It’s the same with her. Imagine who she would be if we unleashed her onto the world. I think she would rip the breath from all of us.”

Quintana is such a complex character and seeing her through Froi’s eyes and how he picks out the sections of her is amazingly written. The backstory for this is huge and so intricate that it could be an entire series all on its own. I don’t want to give much of that away as the pieces were doled out perfectly. I only guessed part of Froi’s true identity everything else well all I can say was I was WOWed by the complexity and brilliance of it.

There are great epic loves, tragedy, hope, sacrifices and every other situation that will tug at your heart and make you love this world. I was so drawn in I cried at parts and laughed out loud at others. There is a great balance so that you are not overwhelmed by some of the horrors told throughout.

Warning: This ends with a few cliffies so have Quintana of Charyn ready to go because you will want to dive right in. Also even though it is categorized Young Adult (YA), some of the situations and content are probably better suited to the upper end of that spectrum and I would say that this is probably good for 15-16+

I can’t say enough how much I loved this series.

Dec 27, 2013
I can not write a review right now because I have to read the next book asap. I will give this more time to review once I'm done with the series....Can I just say WOW-Freaking-WOW-WOW.
Profile Image for prag ♻.
588 reviews587 followers
September 11, 2017
One day, I want to do something as well as Melina Marchetta writes. I want to be able to build something even half as emotionally charming as this book. Books like these make me want to put my hardest into everything I do, because these characters and their stories touched me like nothing else has done in a long time.

This. This is the real deal. This is literature. This is the kind of book that you will stay up past midnight for and not regret it. This is the kind of book that will make you think, feel, and sob. After this book, I get it. I get why people read fantasy and why it’s actually kind of awesome.

There are only three things you must know before you start this book, the first being that you must not question Marchetta’s genius, even if you don’t like the book until about 35%. Not a single word Marchetta writes is irrelevant. Not a single preposition, not a single letter is there just to fill up space or provide fluff. Every sentence is impactful and heart-pounding and it will leave you crying with outrage, while at the same time hungry for more. Dialogue you think is filler will turn out to be the climax of the plot seven chapters later. The ending will make you scream because you finally understand the prologue. It’s really not a book you can skim. (And probably not the book for you if you feel like skimming it.)

Second: the characters have so much depth. Remember Froi from book one? The scrawny asshole who tried to rape Evanjalin in Sarnak. Well, he’s the main character. But, Sagra, he goes through so much character development you start to love him. Not forgiving him — never forgiving him, but learning with him how his goodness can overcome his baseness.

“Until three years ago, I couldn’t read and write, I couldn’t ride a horse or shoot an arrow and didn’t know the difference between a turnip seed and grain. The men who have taught me everything back home, they often say to me, ‘Froi, what if all your talents were left undiscovered?’

He looked up at them. "It’s the same with her. Imagine who she would be if we unleashed her onto the world. I think she would rip the breath from all of us.”

Lastly, all you really need to know before you go into this is that it’s going to make you so damn emotional. You really won’t understand till you’ve been through it — till about 40% in, I really didn’t care about anybody and I DNFed this book twice. But once you read further, these strangers become characters you would die protecting.

Not exactly what I would suggest, 'Gargarin said. 'It would help if this kingdom didn't see us as a family of savages.' There was silence after that. It was too strange a word for Gargarin to use. Family.

You guys, read this book. Read it for the characters — read it for the mad princess and the warrior and the gay priestling and the broken architect and Serker's whore and the lost spirits.

⮕ ➡ Shoutout to May for forcing this book on me (I can't believe I'm changing the shelves on this from absolutue-crap to this-is-how-you-write-a-book) (This was the best deal ever we're always making more do you hear me)
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
September 12, 2012
(Scroll down if you'd prefer the tl;dr version)

If Finnikin of the Rock was a story about a divided and displaced nation’s journey towards healing their collective psyche, Froi of the Exiles is about a people broken apart by hatred, the wound in their history left to fester, and seep suspicion and fear into the cracks between them. A faceless, malevolent presence in Finnikin of the Rock, this is Charyn’s unveiling as more than simply “the enemy” of Lumatere. It’s an insight into a land burdened by suffering and grief, and the darker side of human nature.

While Finnikin of the Rock covered more ground in one sense of the word, with a quest that lead its characters into the far corners of Skuldenore, Froi of the Exiles is a novel on a vaster scale in several ways. This story is more complex, with an intricate web of a plot, and it unfolds new dimensions to Marchetta’s fantasy world and the resident characters. Froi of the Exiles plumbs depths of the world only hinted at in Finnikin of the Rock: the detail is richer, each small element is vital and serves a larger purpose in the whole. The themes are pushed further, and by extension the characters are more nuanced, forced to develop in often unexpected, yet organic, ways.

Given the serpentine nature of the plot and the level of intrigue present, at times this is a difficult story to keep hold of. It twists sharply, resists being pinned down, turns in surprising directions. Yet it never feels loose or uncontrolled. There was always a sense, as I read, that Marchetta was driving this story exactly where it needed to go, regardless of how difficult a course she charted. The entire story is characterised by a sense of weight and momentum, that it’s being inexorably drawn to some powerful, inevitable conclusion.

This is an extraordinarily strong book, and probably one I’ll have to read again to fully appreciate the intricacies of the plot, but I believe that its greatest power lies (as with Finnikin) in the characterisation and relationships. Marchetta does not go easy on her characters, providing them with convenient justifications for their actions or plot developments that open up handy loopholes. Instead, she forces them to wrestle their inner demons, with all the brutality and desperation that hand to hand combat entails.

Which brings me to Froi. (Froi!) For those who have read Finnikin of the Rock, you’ll be aware of the fact that Froi attempts something abhorrent in the first book. So it speaks to Marchetta’s skill as a writer that she is able to develop this character - his shame, his humanity, his convictions - in such a way that makes him deeply compelling. There are plenty of easy roads Marchetta could have taken in bringing Froi back as a main character, effectively glossing over his backstory. But I think that would have taken away from the thematic power of the novel, and been disingenuous to the character himself. Instead, by exploring the darker side of Froi’s nature, she creates a character so conflicted, and so authentic, it actually makes me ache.

”Although a voice inside had chanted to stop that night, Froi would never know if he would have. And he wanted to know. He wanted to say the words, ‘I would not have gone through with it.’ But he’d never know and that was his punishment.”

That passage punches me in the gut every time, and it’s small moments of crystallised thought such as this that make Froi’s growth throughout the novel, redefining the terms on which he lives his life, so real and heartbreaking.

But it’s not only Froi that Marchetta is unafraid of putting into morally ambiguous and unsympathetic positions, flaws exposed. Almost every character in the novel has to fight for something, has some excruciating internal journey to travel. Lucian, Beatriss, Trevanion, Lirah, Gargarin, amongst others – all carry with them some kind of pain, and have been or must go through something that will alter them irrevocably. While not always (if at all) providing tidy resolutions, there’s something rewarding about accompanying these characters on their journeys. There is a redemptive nature to their growth, and an acknowledgement that people are rarely all good or all evil, and all are capable of both inflicting pain.

And then, Quintana. Oh, Quintana. I’m not sure there is a character I’ve felt so fiercely about recently. She is my spirit animal. Neither clichéd fantasy princess or “kickass heroine” in a physical sense, Quintana is an alloy of contradictions: vulnerability, humour, grief, rage, intelligence, insanity. She’s tenacious and a little bit feral. She’s passionate and cold. And though this is largely Froi’s story, the chemistry of these two characters, the way they crash together on the page, is pretty captivating.

I won’t brush off the fact that this isn’t a light book, in terms of the content. Be warned that there’s all manner of brutality in this story: rape, torture, infanticide – Marchetta takes Froi of the Exiles to some very dark places. Reader thresholds for this type of subject matter will vary, naturally, but I feel it’s worth mentioning that it didn’t read gratuitously to me. The inclusion felt purposeful, important to the story being told.

On the other hand, it would remiss of me not to note that this book worthwhile things to say on the issues of religious tolerance, racism and cultural prejudice. Just as she does not flinch from showing both the repugnant and the admirable in her characters, Marchetta also shows the cruelty humans are capable of, along with their capacity for forgiveness and absolution.

Underpinning this very involved and intense novel, however, is the very human desire to belong somewhere. To have a sense of home, of family, and connection. And that this can sometimes be found in the most unlikely of places.

tl;dr: This book is a beautifully complex, emotional wrecking ball. It’s brilliant.

P.S. Thank goodness I held off from reading this until now. I think a year long wait for Quintana of Charyn might have completely cracked me.

* * * * *
I can't even, people. I just finished and everything hurts.


Readalong with the delightful Emily :)
Profile Image for Maggie.
431 reviews430 followers
November 29, 2011
Reviewing a Melina Marchetta book always takes me longer than reading one, even a 600-page whopper like Froi of the Exiles . It's like this: If someone were to point to this pen

and ask, "What color is this?", the answer is easy.


But if the person pointed to a rainbow and asked, "What color is this?", the answer is no longer simple because a rainbow is every color. Likewise, a Marchetta book can't be narrowed down to one thing or one emotion. It's every emotion.

In Froi of the Exiles, as in Finnikin of the Rock , Marchetta shows the devastating effects of war, both internal and external, on people and on nations. But, despite the topic, her books aren't about devastation. They're about hope. They're about people. Marchetta finds the humanity in people deemed unworthy by other members of society, me included. The Froi I first met in Finnikin? Had it been up to me, he would be rotting somewhere in Sorel. Instead Marchetta refused to give up on Froi or on me and trusted that we'd learn and grow. Now he's the titular character and deservedly so because Froi's journey into Charyn is as complex and surprising as Froi himself.

As she did in The Piper's Son , Marchetta introduces a new cast of characters to surround the supporting-turned-lead actor. And like in Piper, I found myself wondering, How does she DO that?? With Froi, Marchetta got me MORE invested in the story, gave me MORE characters to love, and found MORE ways to break my heart. And while introducing us to Quintana, Gargarin, Lirah, and the people of Charyn, she doesn't forget about Finnikin, Trevanion, Beatriss and the people of Lumatere. Then, because that's not enough, there's the storyline involving Lucian of Lumatere and Phaedra of Charyn. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it's not more than you can handle. If anything, you want MORE.

I'm being purposefully vague in my review because there's no way I can lay out this story better than Marchetta. If you've never read any of her books, there's a reason why people pay double the price of a US book to have her books shipped from Australia. Or, like me, they buy both the Australian and US editions. And ebook. And audiobook. I put my money where my mouth is when I tell you she is worth every penny. (Speaking of audiobooks, I've been listening to the audio version of Finnikin and Charyn is pronounced Sha-RIN, not CHAIR-in, which is what I'd been saying.)

One thing about Marchetta that I think is often overlooked because she brings so much to the table is how funny she is. I laughed as much as I cried while reading Froi. Froi is a smartass to begin with, and combined with the grumpy old men and coddled manchildren of Charyn, there were scenes that had me laughing out loud.

Catie is great at choosing the perfect song for a book. I'm better with movies. With Froi -- damaged, destructive, hopeful, wonderful Froi -- I kept being reminded of something Ethan Hawke as Troy said in Reality Bites:
You can't navigate me. I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you 'cause you know I'm the only real thing you got.

And Melina Marchetta: I love her. She breaks my heart again and again, but I love her.
Profile Image for Kells Next Read .
528 reviews534 followers
February 24, 2016
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When I though it was not even possible for this trilogy to get better Melina Marchetta pens this sequel masterfully raw and flawless. She expertly marries the existing world from Finnikin of the Rock to the mysteries that surrounds Froi's ( my favorite character ) origins and the people that he gets intertwined with.

The introduction of the new characters were more than well spaced and place. Thier integrated with the existing crew was believable and (I shit you guys not) when I say that the twist and turns, alongside each new revelation after revelation had me in a continual state of feeling as though I've been mind F**K.

This book will make you drink (lots and lots ) of alcohol, have you cursing, make you laugh out loud which will generate weird stares from people around you, make you fall in love and last but by no means least, cause excessive amounts of crying and crying and crying some more.

The pace of this book is good, the character development and the intertwining and overlapping relationships in relation to how it affects the whole plot, is wonderfully executed. I can't rave about this trilogy enough people. IT HAS EVERYTHING

My emotions are still in a mess at the moment. So excuse me:
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Dam you a thousand time over Melina Marchetta. Get this Book. Read this Book.
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,156 reviews641 followers
October 31, 2011
Beyond Amazing!

The one who reigns must die,
At the hands of she born last,
And the last will make the first,
When the bastard twins are one,
And blessed be the newborn King,
For Charyn will be barren no more.

...and with that curse sets the stage for Melina Marchetta’s newest masterpiece Froi of Exiles.

To call this a fantastical journey would be an understatement of the year. This story is about the test of one’s strength and determination to fight beyond the beliefs of man and past the barriers of betrayal. Beautiful beyond anything I could have imagined in storytelling, but nothing short of what I expected of this masterful writer.

Froi of Exiles takes place three years after Finnikin of the Rock, and I have to say that my heart was pulled in so many directions when I came across the characters I fell for when I first started the Lumatere Chronicles. I found myself catching my breath when I encountered Froi and witnessed his awe-inspiring transformation from book one to this novel. His strength, wit, loyalty, and determination was amazing to witness as he carries this story through the Turlan Mountains, the Gravina, Citavita, Nebia and Paladozza to fulfill his mission and hold true to his bond for Lumatere.

I would be remiss not to mention how emotional I got when I read about the relationship Froi and Finnikin forged. They truly became brothers, and my eyes got misty when Finnikin recalled:

“Do you ever think of the day with the slave traders of Sorel?” Finnikin asked quietly. “I think of it all the time,” Froi said. “I was going to kill you,” Finnikin said, a catch in his voice. “You were begging me remember?” Froi couldn’t speak. In his whole existence, it was the only time he had ever lost hope. He would have preferred to die that day rather than be sold as a slave in Sorel.

I couldn’t help but wonder how differently this story could have gone if an alternate decision was made that day. But to see Froi come forward as a true soldier for his people and journey to Charyn to end the reign of a wicked King really brought to the forefront his true potential showing he deserved an audience for his own story.

As Froi journeys to Charyn, he is faced with a kingdom that believes their destiny is cursed by gods and written in stone. Their land has been barren of children for the last 18 years, and their fate lies with the Princess Indignant or Quintana the Ice Maiden. She is viewed by her people as a savage, an abomination, a curse maker, a whore, the lastborn of Charyn that holds the hope of the people who hate her. However, this gem of a character Quintana has never lost hope and never complained about her fate. It was heart wrenching to read what she had to endure as a lastborn, but at the same time it was beautiful to see that there were those in her life who saw past the labels Charyn branded her with. When Gargarin told her: If someone asked me to paint a picture of joy and hope, I would have painted you. In my eyes, that is beauty. I almost came undone for the umpteenth time in this novel.

There were so many moments of beautiful revelation, and to see Quintana and Froi form a bond has left me wanting so much for these two characters. I cannot wait for the next installment and I pray to Blessed Sagrami that they find a way to fulfill their destiny.

This story is a journey that shouldn’t be missed by fans of Melina Marchetta and YA Fantasy. I anticipate this novel to be a contender of well deserved accolades, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to travel in Marchetta’s fictional time and place with her turbulent cast of characters and the amazingly descriptive scenes... this is writing at its best! Marchetta has proven time and time again that she can cross genre boundaries so seamlessly and weaves such intricate tales of beauty and raw emotion, which is nothing less than I expect from a master of her craft. Well done! Brava Marchetta!
Profile Image for Liz* Fashionably Late.
435 reviews387 followers
March 1, 2020
Re-read December 2014 with the Lumatere Chronicles Group Read (:

Everything I remembered and more.
First read Dec 2013

Reading a Marchetta:

* Find your favorite place to read
* Get comfortable.
* Bring some coffee/alcohol/coffee+alcohol with you
* Don't forget some kleenex (you never know)
* Say goodbye to the world
* Embrace yourself for a hell of an emotional roller coaster.
* Add coffee to the alcohol

Well, tell me something new. And if you're looking for the responsible here, Melina Marchetta is to blame.

She's the one who writes about this amazing kingdoms. Can someone fall in love with a kingdom? Lumatera and Charyn, home for the heartbroken. A place of secrets and injustice where women remember dark times and men live ashamed of their actions yet the land of the brave and loyal. A place where a young man with the strength to overcome the worst of himself finds the courage to wait for the best in the despised and rejected. A place where a young girl endures the hardest years just to keep safe the innocent.

How does she manage to write a high fantasy story and yet it feels so current? Finn and Isaboe struggling with their daughter, totally in love with her. Some scenes are so honest and simple...

"She'd go to Isaboe first. She always went to her mother first [...] With her cheek pressed against Isaboe's shoulder, his daughter stared at him. After a moment, she extended a hand and he pretended to bite at her fingers. Finally she smiled."

Do you wanna hear a secret? I read Finnikin of the Rock a long time ago, it was both my first high fantasy and my first Marchetta. Of course, I wasn't prepared for the task. When I finished it, I write an e-mail to the author thanking her. I KNOW, RIGHT? how silly, but I remember being so overwhelmed and touched by her writing I just had to thank her for Finnikin and Evangeline, even Froi whom I didn't like so much.

Now I know better, I'm not writing her anything but let me tell you one thing: I'm grateful for Froi. He grew. He is a man, not a child anymore. He learnt and decided to be better. Who is this romantic, amazing and brave knight in shining armor?

“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.”

Ugh, I SHIP EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK. I ship the kingdoms and the secret lovers, I ship the brothers and the couples. I ship the returned wife and the stupid yet lovely Mont, I ship the exiled and the useless vessel, the proud Beatriss and the stubborn Capitan. The Lumatere Chronicles is an amazing series and it deserves every single one of the stars I'm giving it.

I'm weak enough to start Quintana of Charyn right now.

‘Let me tell you something, Oliver,’ she said with tears of sorrow in her eyes, ‘this is my real world.”
Damn it, I have something in my eyes again... yes, both of them. It's a condition.

Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews527 followers
November 24, 2011
I’ve tried writing this review countless times, but it just doesn’t turn out right. Maybe I should just give up?

This story has a very peculiar atmosphere. It is actually hard to describe: almost dream-like in some parts, but so very real in others - simply an extraordinary combination. Especially the scenes taking place in and around the Citavita induced the strangest feeling in me. This feeling is almost impossible to grasp, and I’m certainly not able to put in into words – but I loved the experience. It gave me chills, it was different and it is impossible to forget.
I loved reading about Froi and Quintana, about Gargarin and Arjuro, about Lirah imprisoned in her tower. Most of all, I loved reading about their past - what made them who they are - and finding out their secrets. I immensely enjoyed unravelling the mystery around the day of Quintana’s birth and guessing possible outcomes and revelations.

Quintana is possibly one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever come across. It was almost impossible to bear what she had been through, and I felt furious on her behalf. Still, I could never quite make up my mind about her. Is she really mad? Or is it just a façade to hide behind? I am very much looking forward to the next book which will – hopefully – be told from her perspective. I am convinced she still holds many surprises and secrets …

In its core, Froi of the Exiles is very much a story about history, the way it is perceived, the way it is transmitted, the way its perception can be influenced and the way it changes through time. It is also a story about the enemy, who is never as deeply sinister and evil as you might think. In Finnikin of the Rock, we learned about Charyn as the country responsible for Lumatere’s pain and suffering, and condemned its people for what they had done. But now, we see the other side of the story: Charyn itself is burdened by a terrible curse, and its people suffer no less than the Lumaterans did and still do. I loved this aspect of the story.

My favourite story line was the one focusing on Lucian and Phaedra. It was actually the one I was most emotionally invested in. Yes, I cried (hard) and was temped to throw the book against my bedroom wall when I saw where it was heading. If not for the epilogue, I might have been very (VERY) upset and would have considered removing at least (!) one star.

All in all, this book is a lot darker than its predecessor. It deals with even heavier issues, and you can feel that all the characters went through dark times that profoundly changed them. In an interview, Melina Marchetta said that Quintana and Froi are the fantasy equivalent of Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road and the overall feeling the book gave me (although they are in no way similar in content) matches that as well. Still, I can't decide if this book is going to end up on my shelf of absolute favourites. Strangely, my reading experience was very different from all the other Marchetta books I've read, and the peculiar feeling I described earlier remains even weeks after finishing it. The story definitely gave me a lot to digest, and it's still in my thoughts.

The only thing that remains to be said: Hopefully, the next book will come out sooner rather than later. Seriously, how could Marchetta leave us hanging like that?

#10 Aussie YA Challenge 2011
Profile Image for Kristalia .
383 reviews612 followers
January 5, 2016
Final rating: 6/5 stars

I excepted a great book from Melina Marchetta. And she delivered it. This book is a lot more darker than the previous one. Instead of following the story of of two main characters from the previous book, this one follows the life of Froi, three years later after the events in Finnikin of the rock.

Not only I enjoyed this book, I also love it way too much. Not only has it been a long read, but it was worthwhile and strong book. The type that gets you crazy and wanting for more and also make you feel very very sad... exactly what this book is about.

“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.”

Melina Marchetta is wonderful author with beautiful writing and though the first book was a little hard to read, second is a lot more easier and better than first. This woman can break you into pieces and then make you feel better to do the same. Not to mention how many plot twists she made. I WAS SHOCKED IN ALMOST EVERY CHAPTER. Not normal for my heart i say.

Also, since this book is dark, another aspect that is not shown often in ya literature is the sex scenes...*not shown like in adult books but shown so you can understand that the characters are not like: "hey we kissed! next day: hey we have a baby!" How the fuuuuuu^k did that happen when they didn't even have sex?* Well these books clearly don't have problem with that. Me likey.

Ofc, do not read the rest of this if you haven't read FINNIKIN book. This might have some spoilers for the first book.



This is not a classic young adult book where you have annoying little teen girl complaining all the time how her life is boring or how she was [insert whatever] something and such. This is a story of a 17-18 years old Froi, who was once thief and now assassin for Lumatere's queen and king. This is also a story of a curse far more worse than the curse cast on Lumatere. Instead, this one was cast on Charyn, the country Lumatere is not really fond of. Froi is sent to kill the king of Charyn and come back home.

This book also follows the lives of other characters from the previous book such as Lucian, Finnikin, Trevanion, Beatriss, Isaboe.

Despite loving them all, I cannot say the same about Lucian, because he was highly irritating character in this book, at least to me. But the others who are known remained the same and funny(like Isaboe and Finn, their romance is so hilarious.....


Froi: he is changed but also not changed. His past still bothers him but he is strong and he is loyal only to those he loves, especially for Finn and Isa..Also the others, but he would die to see them safe. He is not a person who trusts easily. He wants his "family" to be secured so they do not have to suffer or remember what was done to them. Froi is really well done and deep character. He took bonds not to harm any woman or to take any woman by force or hurt anyone who is not a threat to Lumatere, and many more. He broke some because he had no choice and i did not condemn him because i would do the same.

His relationships with characters .

“I fear that I will do something to bring harm to those I love," Froi said. "So I follow their rules to ensure that I won't."
"But what if you bring harm or fail to protect those you don't know? Or don't love? Will you care as much?"
"Probably not."
"Then choose another bond. One written by yourself. Because it is what you do for strangers that counts in the end.

Ever loyal to Finn and Isa, he found other Lumatere people who acknowledged him and love him. His whole life changed in three whole years. He had to unlearn everything he knew for all of his life.Thank god, no one else told him "make yourself useful, Froi", like 12 times or more in Finnikin's book, lol.

Now this would be reminder to myself so i do not forget but it includes some HEAVY spoilers LIKE A PLOT TWISTS KIND of spoilers:

“He took her face in his bloody hands. "I’ll come and find you wherever you are. I’ll not stop breathing until I do. So you’re going to have to promise me that you won’t lose hope. That you will keep yourself alive.”

Quintana was an interesting character. She is a princess of Charyn and is the main point of the story. She is cursed like her people but the weight of it all fell on her.
Heavy spoilers:

“Sometimes... sometimes keeping alive is too tiring," she whispered, wringing her hands. Before he knew what he was doing, he pressed his lips against her brow. "Don't ever say that. Ever.”



There are not enough words to describe how this book can make you suffer like you were in the book itself. This is a tragedy, full of plot twists and filled with so many sorrowful moments...It will break you and you will be crying, mark my words.

Just beautiful book, you have my congratulations Melina, for you are an awesome author!!!

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●


Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1)
Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)
Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)
Profile Image for Alexa.
351 reviews278 followers
October 14, 2011

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

It's been about two days since I finished this book, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. All I've been doing is skimming through the entire book and rereading my favorite parts and coming up with theories on how Melina Marchetta is going to resolve everything. When I started it, I stayed up really late the first day because I just could not put it down! It's definitely the fastest I've read through a Melina Marchetta novel. I can't say that taking my time and savoring it ever crossed my mind. EVER. There was no way I would have been able to do that. It was my most anticipated novel for 2011! And usually when I really love a book, I can't keep my mouth shut about it on GoodReads. But I'm glad I've managed to pretty much stay quiet about this book, even only for a little bit, so that I can go back and savor it this time and figure out what I want to say in this review.

Froi of the Exiles was as epic as Finnikin of the Rock but a whole different experience! It's HUGE. Not only does it come in at about 600 pages, but I felt like the story was even bigger because of the fact that Froi of the Exiles is from more than just Froi's perspective. There was a nice balance of chapters from other characters such as Beatriss, Finnikin, Lucian, Lucian's wife Phaedra...and we get a lot more characters through them. It was so great catching up with the characters from FotR (what happened with some of them exceeded everything I ever imagined and made me very happy!) and getting to know the new characters in FotE. I honestly could not decide who I wanted to read more about. Always at the end of each chapter I would start thinking: 'Noo! Chapter, don't end! I want to read more about [insert character's name here]!' But then I would start the next chapter and, by the time I was done with that one, I would think, 'Noo! Chapter, don't end! I want to read more about [insert character's name here]!' That's basically how it went for me throughout the majority of the book.

There are so many characters and relationships I would love to talk about... But I'll have to stick with a few because I don't want to end up giving spoilers.

- Froi and Quintana: These two have some of the most heartbreaking stories in the book. I wanted to hug and comfort them both. Froi has changed so much since he first appeared in FotR. He's such a great person and proves himself over and over again. Even through all the ridicule and trauma she's had to endure from her people, Quintana continues to do whatever she can to protect her country of Charyn. I really admired their strength. Both Froi and Quinanta want to feel worthy, respected, and loved. There is a romance between them, and I have to say it wasn't easy. Neither has experience with romance, and it didn't help that Froi didn't trust himself at first and Quintana didn't trust Froi. I loved reading about them and their developing relationship, and the way the book ended...let's just say I'm really rooting for them!

- Finnikin and Isaboe / Beatriss and Trevanion: Squee! That's all I'm going to say.

- Lucian and Phaedra: I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about reading from their perspectives. Phaedra's a new character, and while Lucian was in the previous book, I didn't really know his character. I thought it would take some time for me to warm up to them, but that wasn't the case! Both ended up being favorite characters of mine. Even though I wanted to slap Lucian in the beginning for the way he treated her, I came to understand why Lucian acted harshly and why Phaedra felt worthless. (I admit I was swooning a bit over Lucian... There's just something about him.)

- Rafuel: I had to give a quick mention to this character! This guy is cool. I really hope I'm not wrong about him, and I kind of hope he appears more in the next book.

Now, the cliffhanger. I didn't think it was a mean way to end the novel. Cliffhangers really don't bother me. They just get me even more excited for the next book. The last couple of chapters were pretty devastating when it came to certain characters. It was so sad! But having the epilogue actually made me feel a bit relieved for the most part, since at least I got to know what was going on with those characters before it ended. Plus, so much happened in the book, and there's many things left to be resolved that I don't believe the story would have been nearly as great if it the ending was rushed to make it feel like it had complete closure. And I loved where Finnikin of the Rock ended, but if I hadn't read Melina Marchetta's blog interviews or her website after finishing that book, I would've had no idea there was a sequel on the way. There would have been less time for me to get anxious and excited and fully prepared for FotE! And the fact that there's a cliffhanger means I can look forward to MORE, which makes me extremely happy.

Everything you expect from a Melina Marchetta novel can be found in Froi of the Exiles. It was amazing, and I loved it! If you haven't even read Finnikin of the Rock, what are you waiting for? I'm so looking forward to Quintana of Charyn, but I'm wondering how Melina Marchetta is going to top FotE! My theories as to what'll happen next haven't gone far... Good thing the next book is only about a year away from being released! Cannot wait!

Finally, big shout-out to Joy for letting me borrow her copy! THANK YOU! Be sure to read her awesome review of this book!
Profile Image for Regan.
366 reviews109k followers
November 17, 2014

This book was amazing, better than the first and I can't not wait to read the last in this series! Read it if you haven't, because trust me it's worth it.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
October 28, 2011
Oh Sagra! This was so goooood!!!

I will never be able to express how much this book touched me. I wanted to write this in bold capital letters with exclamation points scattered throughout the entire review, but instead of abusing those buttons, just note that I write this with a bounce in my heart and an excitement that I wish I could scream from the rooftops:)

When I first heard that Melina Marchetta was going to write a companion to the much beloved Finnikin of the Rock I was thrilled! But when I heard the story was about Froi, I couldn't help the little frown on my face. Froi? Really? That guy? Sure he seemed to weasel his way into my heart by the end of the first book, but his actions were horrible and it's hard to forgive such things.
How extraordinary of Marchetta to take one of her more undesirable characters and give him this chance to shine. Which Froi did. With flying colors.
He's more mature, wears his remorse and regret like a banner and has proven his worth ten folds. He is very much redeemed in my eyes and I absolutely love Marchetta for giving him this chance and her readers to fall in love with him.

Melina Marchetta writes like a freaken dream. Strong, fearless and unflinching. Her dedication to detail is exquisite and painful and the setting is always so rich and vivid. I swear it's like she's hugging her readers to each and every page of this 600+pg masterpiece. It's written in multiple pov's. We have Finnikin and Isaboe, Trevanion and Beatriss and Lucian and Phaedra in the city of Lumatere and then we have Froi in the city of Charyn where we meet the most brilliant of minds, the wildest of hearts and the most savage in all the lands. I couldn't decide who I wanted to read about more, every single chapter has that sweet sting of anticipation. I just loved/adored/worship the way Marchetta would leash her readers along. Your not meant to know certain mysterious till they do and it's one of the most thrilling elements about the entire book.
I don't think I can say that I loved one book more then the other. They are both equally epic. Finnikin of the Rock was more emotionally raw and I was so drained from the experience of it all, in the best way possible.
Froi of the Exiles was more of a journey of self-discovery in a land seeped with a terrible curse, a fate that was destined so long ago and one remarkable shattered soul that will touch every fiber of your being.
It was also a bit easier to loss myself in this book, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated while reading FotR which isn't a bad thing, but it was nice to be able to just sink into this book and melt. Usually I tend to stay away from... disturbing topics, which this book is chalk full of, but it's not overly graphic and while it still does paint the rather horrific picture, I wouldn't have wanted this any other way. You will feel the lands and every single one of these characters passions and fears. Pure epicness.

I'm not going to say to much about the characters since I don't want to spoil anything. Lets just say that there is no skimming-room here my friends, your going to want to read every delicious word written in this book.
~Froi was everything I wanted him to be. He is good, firece, strong, protective and has the love and respect of the people of Lumatere. I wanted that for him and I smiled every time an affectionate word was utterd in his name.
~Quintana is like no one I'ver ever read about. Her story is utterly heartbreaking. One of pure horror and yet she remains hopeful, innocent in her own way and has an astounding flicker to survive. She is no doubt one of the bravest heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I loved every second that she and Froi shared. The innocence of love and the newness of what that love meant to both of them was the sweetest thing ever.

"In a kinder world," he whispered, "one I promise you I've seen, men and women flirt and dance and love with only fear of what it would mean without the other in their lives."

I also loved all the new faces, and quickly became attached to Gargarin, Arjuro and Lirah. What we discover along with them was just freaken brilliant! No other way to say it. I also liked Rafuel in this and while I'm somewhat conflicted I still hope for the best.
~Last but surely not least, I loved how much Marchetta included Finnikin and Isaboe more then I thought she would. You hear companion and think they might cut a scene here and there but what we got instead was more then I could have hoped for. I had a warm smile and a content sigh at the ready in every moment they shared and that would have to go for Trevanion and Beatriss as well. These characters will never die in my eyes, I will adore them always.

Bottom line, this book is pure gold. It's one of the very best in high fantasy reads and I am looking forward to the last book but at the same time I've never been so scared. I want so much for certain characters. I fear for them, hope with them and want the very best. I'm so nervous how things will play out but have every faith that Marchetta will delivery another epic win.
For anyone and everyone who hasn't read the first book, I strongly urge you to do yourself this mighty favor.
Pick it up. If you like high fantasy, in-depth characters and writing so strong it will take your breath away, then Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles are the books for you.

Mind blowing!
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews390 followers
March 17, 2012
Froi of the Exiles is 593 pages and despite the length, I read it in just a few days. Covert reading at work, at home behind my family's back and late through the night helped me finish this in just a few days. Really, I had no choice, the book consumed me; it compelled me to keep going and keep turning those pages (or clicking "next" on my kindle). My reading experience was akin to hanging off of a cliff and having no idea if rescue was coming or if the ground below me was close.


What is it about Melina Marchetta? How does she continuously create the magical and emotional reading experience that I go through when I read her books? Why is this book so special? Jellicoe Road by Marchetta, is one of my favorite reads of 2011. Froi of the Exiles is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2012. However, disclosure - I was not a fan of Finnikin of the Rock. I listened to the audio of that book and was bored during most of it. While I liked the characters Marchetta created in Finnikin, the book did not grab me at all and only the high reviews for Froi of the Exiles made me want to continue. I am so glad I continued; reading Froi of the Exiles was one of the most powerful reading experiences I have had so far this year. Having read these three books by Marchetta, it seems obvious that she is incredibly gifted in writing stories and imagining worlds to write about but, I have noticed in each of these three books she makes use of certain plot devices to unfold her stories and create tension. A main device Marchetta employs - - and did so effectively in both Jellicoe Roadand Froi of the Exiles - is the keeping of secrets and leaving characters floundering in the unknown. Characters have their secrets, their painful pasts and choose not to disclose information to other characters even though it is clear that other characters are suffering due to the lack of information. Characters are kept in the dark, intentionally by other characters and thus, the pain and suffering is increased from the desperate need for missing information. This plot device could be very frustrating and irritating, especially once it becomes obvious. A lesser author could not carry this device off. But Marchetta is such a genius at crafting her story that it is not frustrating or angsty. The story unfolds, readers likely know before the characters do where everything is headed, yet she does this in such an artful and entrancing manner I could not look away.

Froi of the Exiles is a character driven drama within the structure of a fantasy novel. Marchetta cleverly creates a historical fantasy world that is rich with its own history, music, religion and myths. She creates a political plot line that twists and turns and is intriguing to follow. But that is just the set up and the structure; ultimately, the book is about the characters and the characters move the story forward. I do not know how else to describe this story but to say it is raw; it is so raw that the characters are bleeding their emotions all over the pages. The history and facts leading up to Finnikin of the Rock, which is #1, and Froi of the Exiles, which is #2, involves years of war, starvation and the events that often surround both war and starvation. The characters each have their own painful histories to overcome and those histories control their present actions and choices. I feel like many movies and many authors write horrific pasts or events into their characters' lives and then have their characters miraculously overcome these painful events and they all march toward a satisfying happy ending by the conclusion of the story. This is not what happens in Froi of the Exiles. Froi is a dark dark book about tortured individuals deeply affected by war. Marchetta brilliantly puts her characters in situations that shows how scarred they are and how difficult it is for these characters to move past what has happened to them. Not to say there is no progression, because that is not the case at all.

Case in point the character Froi is virtually unrecognizable from the Froi in Finnikin on the Rock. Three years have passed since the end of the first book and Froi is now educated, literate and disciplined. To say that I disliked Froi in the first book would be an understatement. I had my doubts as to how Marchetta could possibly redeem a character who had attempted to rape someone. But she did; Marchetta redeems Froi in such a way that he becomes one of my favorite literary characters. Froi's attempt at raping someone in the first book continues to haunt him throughout the second book. It is not simply explained away by a violent past; it is not explained away by his being "saved" by Isaboe and Finnikin. It is the ghost of this behavior that haunts him, that he has nightmares about and which shapes his behavior.

Could this tale have been told in a swifter manner? Yes, maybe the text could have be tighter and perhaps there could have been less wandering around by the characters. I am not sure if the story would have been better in the end, though. Marchetta takes her time with Froi's tale and with the side character stories involving Lucien, Beatriss, Traveneon, Finnikin and Isaboe. There is quite a bit of traveling and smaller struggles and interactions that lead to larger confrontations. It seems that through these stories, their wanderings and struggles, Marchetta is showing the effects of war and violence on the individual and on nations. What struck me is that there is no true evil or bad "side". At the end of Finnikin on the Rock, we leave the Lumatere tale believing in an evil enemy. But what is learned and developed through a slow but steady progression is that there is not one true evil actor; instead, there are gray areas and that arch evil enemy lying across the border is likely suffering from its own internal issues. Yesterday's victim can become tomorrow's bully. Marchetta demonstrated this theme with smaller interactions - for example with Beatriss's daughter being verbally attacked by a neighbor child; however, Beatriss later learns there may be more to the story than just her daughter and herself being singled out. Again and again this was stressed, one person's foreign is another person's home; one person's strangeness is another person's comfort. The struggles the characters go through and the small progressions inch by inch (page by page?) of the story arc are worth the 593 pages because Marchetta's message is so strong and beautiful.

Froi of the Exiles is marketed as a young adult novel, but it reads like an adult novel to me. Some of the characters are 18, some are in their twenties and quite a few are in their forties or older. There is sex in Froi; characters experience, as demonstrated in very well written scenes, strong sexual desire. Additionally, there is graphic violence and systematic rape which is remembered as to multiple characters.

If, like me, you were not thrilled with Finnikin of the Rock, I can almost promise you that you will be in love with Froi of the Exiles. I strongly recommend this book for people who enjoy dark stories or character driven tales.

Warning!!!! Froi of the Exiles ends with a cliffhanger and the sequel will not be released in the U.S.until March 2013.

I received a review copy from Penguin/Viking through Netgalley in exchange for a review

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) by Melina Marchetta Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3) by Melina Marchetta
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441 reviews524 followers
September 6, 2016
”Where do you hail from Lumatere?” he asked suspiciously.
“I was found in exile,” Froi said, having no reason to lie to Ariston. “I belong to all of them.”

I choose you, pikachu Marchetta!

And good lord is she doing a masterful job at killing me, this woman.

I don’t want to write anything lengthy or get into my pretentious space (which I indulge in from time to time and for which I apologise profusely) discussing the psychology of war, rape, abandonment, the lesser evil etcetera. Because, let’s all admit it, after finishing this installment, there’s an irritating tug in some nameless part of your brain that will not cease until you read the first words on Quintana of Charyn.

Froi of the Exiles takes place three years after the end of Finnikin of the Rock where Lumatere is still trying to gain its footing with Isaboe and Finn dealing with the tedium of settling civil discord and diplomatic border relations. One such issue is that with Charyn. An opportunity presents itself where they could exact justice on their former captors, sending Froi as an assassin with the mission to kill the king.

Okay we’ll stop there because all the fun stuff is a little too spoilery for me to discuss.

The story shifts between a couple of perspectives: Froi in his travels to Charyn, Isaboe and Finikin living the charmed married life with their child, Lady Beatriss and her struggle to find her place in post-war Lumatere and Lucian of the Monts dealing with the responsibilities left by his dead father. And in between those interconnected story lines are about close to twenty secondary characters with more complexity, depth and texture than the people you work with everyday. I am not even kidding, there’s this one chapter, yes ONE, where Froi stumbles on a couple outside Jidia…
A horse handler with no horses and a midwife in a barren kingdom.

… and gaddamit if that doesn’t stir something in you, that one chapter about Hamlyn and Arna. Or that one scene with Beatriss, Tarah and Samuel in the front steps of her house, looking over the emptiness of Sennington’s fields.

It’s the smallest scenes, the subtlest turns in her phrases that fillets your heart into thin slivers of flesh.

I’m sorry but Marchetta just puts every high fantasy book I’ve read so far to shame with the sheer imagination, complexity and pure emotional murder her creativity is capable of subjecting me to.

Do I even want to get into Phaedra and Lucian? Because while I loved certain aspects of Froi and Quintana’s story, I do find their chemistry a little too Sid and Nancy for me. The entire half devoted to Charyn was gritty and chaotic, Quintana was too abstract a character to make a firm grasp of. The history of Charyn was quite intricate and took some effort and focus on my part to keep track of. I’m not sure if this was the cause of effect of the Gargarin-Arjuro-Lirah subplot but that part of the story felt a little clunky and too overworked for my tastes. It bled into too many sub-subplots that were too intricate to keep this a recreational read.

And I felt that it was in these lapses that Lucian and Phaedra’s ninja storyline won me over. Hook, line, sinker… Bert and Gert.

There are eight romantic pairings in this book alone, something I’ve had issue before elsewhere. Yet each dynamic was distinct from the other and each didn’t feel like they were inserted in the story gratuitously.

I loved Jory, Tippideaux and Grijio (who was such a Chandler Bing character, honestly!). I loved a lot of the characters in this book, yes even Arjuro and Gargarin had their moments in the midst of their draggy pasts, but what I loved the most was I could feel Froi’s conflict, every time he misses Lumatere while he finds an awkward comfort, a sense of in the wretchedness of Charyn… it’s a struggle I’ve not read of in the past. Yet one that, I find, resonates effectively.

I hate this review because it’s all that my broken pieces can churn out with one eye looking at Quintana of Charyn. I feel it a bit of a disservice to the brilliance of this author’s heart and imagination.

Also on Booklikes.
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Author 4 books775 followers
December 1, 2018
Reread September 2017.
Even though I've read it before and knew what would happen I still couldn't tear myself away from this world. I love it and the characters so much.


Reread May 14 2014.


First read December 22 2012.
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650 reviews233 followers
March 23, 2016
“Are you an idiot or an idiot?”

“The first one. I really resent being called the second.”
hahaha, funny right? Actually NO not funny this book was NOT funny. I mean yeah, there were parts that made me laugh, but then two seconds later without fail something happened that would punch me in the gut, or shock me speechless, or rip my heart out.

It was actually kind of fucked up.

For a long time while reading this, I kept thinking to myself: I don’t like this as much as I liked the first book. But then after I finished, I don’t know when or how it had happened, but I somehow knew I liked it BETTER than the first one.

Anyway, because I don’t know how to talk about a book like this without spoiling the crap out of it, everything else will go here:

The ending ended with MANY cliffhangers. Normally I’d be jumping into the next book right away, but I’m taking a break I think.
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