This review will be a bit different than my others. I read the Lumatere Chronicles trilogy back to back and found it a waste to do three different reviews. So, from now on if I read a series altogether (the books are all already out) I will review them together. When I read them separately (they aren’t all out yet) I will review them separately. When I do it like this it will be a blanket overview review putting what I liked and didn’t together. Without further ado here is my review.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Published: September 29th, 2008
Genre: High/Epic Fantasy, Romance, YA, Adventure
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive. Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father. But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin’s faith in her . . . but in himself.
“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”
I don’t even have a notion of where to begin. This book completely captivated me. Fantasy and high fantasy is just my favorite genre ever. Finnikin of the Rock had it all. Prophecies, kings, queens, kingdoms, lands, battles, epic romance, witty remarks, swoon worthy bad ass male characters, gorgeous kick ass female characters, and every great thing you can think of. I was sold from the beginning. There is nothing I didn’t like because it was all I wanted it to be wrapped up in a pretty bow. None of the characters were forgettable they are all embedded in my heart for eternity. I really loved how this is the first time ever reading a fantasy and the author didn’t magically make females monthly cycle or virginal bleeding disappear. She wrote an epic story but still made it realistic and I loved that.
“He was no stranger to women and had felt their hands on all parts of his body, but her touch made him feel like he belonged someplace.”
Can we just take a moment to process Finnikin and Isaboe? I had a lot of heart failures in this book because of them and I am ok with that, to be honest. Pages 247 (EEEEEEEKKKKKK), 320 (CRIESSSS MY POOR ISABOE WENT THROUGH SO MUCH), and 399-399 (THAT WHOLE IF I AM KING IF YOU ARE KING PART LEFT ME DEAD). Oh, an Isaboe saying Fin could touch her wherever and whenever yeah I’ll just die right here.
“But it is her hope that bewitches me, and that hope I may never get out of my system, no matter how many times she’s to be gotten. Can you not see it burning in her eyes? Does it not make you want to look away when you have none to give in return? Her hope fills me with…something other than this dull weight I wake with each morning.”
Froi’s character growth was so beautiful and he is easily my favorite character ( I will speak more on him further down.) I want a novella on Lucian and Trevanion with Lady Beatriss because they were fantastic. Also Tesadora and Perri. Honestly, this whole ensemble of characters was amazing.
“Any man can kill, Finnikin. It is a stroke, an action with one’s hand. But not every man knows how to lead.”
The plot twist left me stunned, to be honest. The whole plot left me stunned. Marchetta’s writing style was so complex yet easy to understand. Everything was done for a purpose and there were no filler chapters. It was so cool because I found myself going oh man now that makes sense or solving the puzzle and when you can do that the author did something magical. Everyone also served a purpose none of the characters were there just because. Honestly, this is how high fantasy should be written. There was enough description to help the world building (which was amazing take me to Skuldenore now) but, it was enough action as to not bore me. This story is fantastic I am in awe.
“The memory of a look that spoke to him of power. His. A look that made him want to kneel at the feet of his queen and worship her. Because it made him feel like a king.”
That quote alone should make you want to read this trilogy because it left me shook. Imagine a man thinking that of you? PHEW, I AM SHOOK.
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Published: October 3rd, 2011
Genre: High/Epic Fantasy, Romance, YA, Adventure
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.
“I’m not a whore and nor are you,” he hissed, “so don’t treat us so. And next time we do this, I’d like a bit more involvement from you, Princess. I don’t like to feel as though I’m swiving a corpse.”
How does a series get better and better? You know what I love about Melina Marchetta? The fact that she can go even more in depth with characters and world building. We learned about a whole new kingdom in Skuldenore and a whole new cast of characters. Not once did I feel lost or confused. Each character had a distinct voice and as well as the old ones I don’t forget any of the new ones. I especially loved seeing Froi because he is my favorite. He is such a striking character because his growth and seeing how he thinks was amazing. I loved the family dynamic and all those things we found out about him and where he is from made me so sad and happy.
“First, I thought I’d show you what a pity it would be if they cut off my wicked tongue.”
Melina sure as hell knows how to make me blush OMG. Froi had me making that face Rhianna made when she gave her speech at a college and grabbed her hair. The romance was even better than number one and who would I be if I didn’t mention Finnikin & Isaboe?? I mean page 17 (HIS HANDS ABOVE HER HEAD COME ONNNNN), 26 (HE HAS SUCH FAITH IN HIS WOMAN, 155 (DON’T DISRESPECT THE QUEEN), 178 (I LITERALLY PUNCHED MY BOOK I WAS SO SHOOK).
“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.”
The plot twist with Lady Beatriss and getting to read her POV was truly special. It made me want a novella with her and Trevanion ever more. Literally in love with them. Quintana was such a spit fire and what her Gargarin, Lirah, and Arjuro went through in their past and this book was just so sad. With Froi in the mix, it just was a wild ride and they were a real dysfunctional family. This story was just like the first having me say OMG, I GET IT, SO THAT IS WHAT THAT WAS, etc. I loved piecing things together.
“Froi yanked the two daggers from her sleeve and hurled one at Zabat, catching him between the eyes.”
There were so many plot twists, the betrayals, the love, the growth, the adventure I was there for it all and I am still recovering. The ending honestly was not fair. She had no right to leave me like that but thank God for part 3!!! I was honestly heartbroken over Lucian and Phaedra. This book just took my breath away even more and just keep scrolling to see what book 3 did to me because I don’t know how I am still standing.
“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 of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Published: September 29th, 2012
Genre: High/Epic Fantasy, Romance, YA, Adventure
There’s a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road . . .Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn’s unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn’s war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.
“Land?” Froi whispered. “You’re giving them land? I’m not worth the valley.” “You’re worth a kingdom.”
Quintana of Charyn was a truly incredible ending to a series. The whole storyline was wrapped up perfectly and I wouldn’t ask for anything else besides some novellas from a few of the couples lol. The epilogue made my heart sing with joy. The understanding between Isaboe & Quintana, Finnikin & Isaboe’s game of him being King (*blushes*), Lucian & Phaedra, and lastly, Froi and the gang. Marchetta wrote a story that intertwined all these characters and stories into one submerged plot. I was hooked just as much as the other two books. I love these characters, these kingdoms, the writing style, the romance, etc.
“She trusted me with the knowledge that her people think she’s the bravest queen who ever lived, but she fears she doesn’t know who she is without the man she worships.”
Isaboe and the rest of the Lumatere crew were as thrilling as ever. We got to see a deeper side to Finnikin & Isaboe, Lucian & Phaedra, and Tesadora. The fight, in the beginning, set a different tone for Finnikin and Isaboe. It was nice to see how Melina made their relationship even stronger and I really loved seeing a vulnerable side of Finnikin especially regarding the bond between Froi and Isaboe. A favorite moment of mine is when Isaboe called Fin Lucian’s beloved friend when they were arguing because that I 100% me. Page 184 left me blushing and squealing and I read it about 1000000000x. I adored how strong they were, especially Isaboe when they lost the baby. The growth in Phaedra & Lucian’s relationship was beautiful to see them go from page 88 (SHOOK) to 161 (SCREAMING) to 308 (YASSSSSSSSS) was astounding. I just couldn’t help but scream when Lucian said: “Can I be reminded of how the gods drew you?” It was truly lovely to learn more about Tesadora and her history. I want to read a novella diving deeper into her history and her relationship with Perrie.
“My body is etched with the names of the three woman who own me. My queen. My mother. My woman.”
Froi and the rest of the Charyn crew were just as marvelous and dysfunctional as ever. As much as I adore the Lumatere crew I can’t help but feel for the Charyn crew more because their stories were so sad. Quintana went through so much to protect all the last borns and I really enjoyed learning all about her life. It was really heart breaking. She was such a brave character and I loved seeing how she became protective of certain people like Phaedra. I loved seeing the growth in the people and how they grew to respect and understand her. I would be trash if I didn’t mention Froi & Quintana. When my babies finally got to be happy my heart soared. Page 478 Froi saying “Our bodies aren’t strangers,” he said, his voice ragged. “Our spirits aren’t strangers.” He held her face in his hands. “Tell me what part of me is stranger to you, and I’ll destroy that part of me.” I love him and his iconic lines. Arjuro and De Lancey were so CUTE. Seeing the growth of the family (Froi, Lirah, Arjuro, and Gargain) made me so happy because they deserved love and happiness. A highlight moment was when Perabo didn’t want to look down and all four said something about being trapped, locked or walking across something high (Page 263) lol my beautiful crazy family.
“Never underestimate the power of our raw emotions.”
The emotions of the characters, the families, and friendships were so raw and real Melina had me in tears. Froi’s loyalty to both his families was awesome because it showed how family runs deeper than blood. Finnikin and Froi’s friendship is another one of my favorite male friendships I read about because it was incredibly fierce, protective, and loyal (Page 114 when he went back for Froi.) Also in the end when the Lumatere crew let Froi be happy. Honestly, every friendship and relationship were so dear to my heart.
“I say what I said in that Charyn woodlands four years past, my queen,” he said, his voice husky. “You humble me. You humble us all.”
Last but not least (I can go on and on but I think I’ve said enough) I really liked the similarities between Quintana and Isaboe. They were both incredibly brave, fiercely loyal to those they loved, survived terrible trials and tribulations, did what they had to do to protect those they loved and gained the respect they deserved. They are definitely added to my favorite female characters list.
“Because today, I think I’m leaning on the side of wonder.”
My recent Goodreads to be read pile is now filled with Melina Marchetta books. She took my whole being a ran away with it. I find it incredibly special when an author can completely captivate me like she did only four other authors has done that. She now can take all my coins because she is added to my favorite authors’ list and this trilogy is added to my favorite series list. Read this trilogy and read her books you will not be disappointed. This woman does not have the hype she deserves at all so READ THE LUMATERE CHRONICLES PEOPLE.