Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta 


Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta (Gr 9+)

Candlewick. Review copy provided by publisher.

“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 taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior’s discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood . . . and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.”

Remember how much I loved Finnikin of the Rock? No? Then click the link or just scroll down a little ways and remind yourself, because woah did I ever LOVE that book! Finnikin was my gateway into Melina Marchetta fangirlishness, and Froi of the Exiles has cemented her as one of my all time favorite authors (so did Jellicoe Road, more on that another time).

Froi’s story picks up a few years after Finnikin’s left off. The Lumaterans are back home in their own country and starting to rebuild. There’s a lot of hurt left for this country and a divide between those who were in exile and those who were trapped inside. Froi has found a place for himself with the Guard and has started to really feel like a Lumateran. He has decided to devote his life to protecting Queen Isaboe, Queen’s Consort Finnikin, and their young daughter. Froi has also decided to become a character I love instead of one I don’t actually like much at all. He has grown and developed into a main character to root for, one whose story will haunt readers.

Elsewhere in the world, trouble is brewing. The nearby country of Charyn, under the rule of a mad king, is in the grips of a disastrous curse, one almost more devastating than the one on Lumatere. The women of Charyn have all been barren for eighteen years. The Charynites have started to leave their wasted homeland and have formed an uneasy truce with the Lumateran Monts. Now the Lumaterans are faced with exiles living in their land and must decide whether or not to help them. Queen Isaboe believes the best way to deal with Charyn is to send Froi in to the country undercover to assassinate their king. I love the way Melina Marchetta deals with issues of tolerance, refugees, and many other modern day topics. She makes readers think about contemporary themes in a fantastical world.

Once again, Marchetta has woven an impossibly intricate, beautiful, gut wrenching story that will pull readers in and not let go. Even at 593 pages (WOW) this book is too short. Readers will find themselves wanting to know everything about Froi, a character they may not have even liked in Finnikin of the Rock, and wondering what to make of Quintana of Charyn. This book has an impressive cast of characters and is told from multiple points of view. Fans of Finnikin of the Rock will be happy to see all their old favorite characters return and to get to know them even better through their own narration. Readers will race through the book and be hugely disappointed when it ends! Seriously, Quintana of Charyn doesn’t come out until when?! It doesn’t even have a US pub. date yet?! GAH! Hurry out and get a copy of Froi of the Exiles – then you can join me in desperately wishing for Quintana of Charyn to come out…or I guess we could all just go re-read Finnikin and Froi.


If you like Froi of the Exiles, you might also like:
Fire, Kristin Cashore
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
Plain Kate, Erin Bow