Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Published by Candlewick Press, Viking Australia on February 9th 2011
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Library, Purchased
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.
But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.
Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.
In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.
Oh my sweet… just gimme the next book now!
First, a cavet: This review will probably be the most unhelpful review you might ever read because nothing I say will do the book justice. I’ll just use this space to ramble and hopefully it makes some sort of coherency.
I remember the first time I heard about Melina Marchetta and her special fragrance of awesome she regularly emits
whenever she publishes a novel. I had seen reviews of On the Jellice Road, Saving Francesca, and The Piper’s Son popping up left and right in my GoodReads feed all proclaiming that this woman was the cat’s meow. But still I resisted the urge to hop on the Marchetta bandwagon for whatever reason. I was the Grinch sitting comfortably on my hill watching all the citizens of Whoville fangirl.
Finally, my co-blogger, Kat Kennedy, shook me fiercely and demanded I get off my ass and head to my local library. Naturally, I did exactly as she said because when the Boss Lady gets bitchy, you don’t ask questions. Unless, of course, you don’t happen to favor your head. *shrug* Your choice. Always your choice.
So, I stared at the book when I got home and silently told myself, “This better be good or I’m going to troll the shit outta Kennedy’s review.” It wasn’t a threat, it was a promise.
At about 15% into the book, I completely forgot about my vow to make her previous trolls look like cute bunnies.
At about 25% in, even though I checked the book out from the library, I purchased the Kindle edition for my iPad so I could read late into the night while my household slept.
At about 35% in, anyone who attempted to talk with me while I was glued to the book was met with silence or a growl. My
husband made the snide remark that the iPad would be permanently affixed to my forehead if I remained in “that ridiculous reading position.”
At about 40% in, while at the bookstore, I raged because they didn’t have Finnikin in stock. What the hell was their problem anyway?!
Somewhere between 50-100%, my husband began to worry I would run away to Australia and proclaim my love to Melina Merchetta. I won’t pretend the thought didn’t cross my mind.
Its been quite a long time since I added a book to my “All Time Favorites” shelf and out of all the books that reside there none ever truly came close to competing with my number one favorite: Harry Potter. Until now. Oh my god, this book was amazing!
Melina Merchetta, you humble me. This is one of the best books I have ever read. The rich world building. The realistic characters. The heartbreaking romance. You created a world I never wanted to leave.
Authors please take note. THIS is how you create a believable world, societies, and cultures. THIS is how you write a strong female character. THIS is how you show the unfair treatment of women in a society, having a heroine rise above, and yet your book still proudly waves its feminist flag. THIS is how you create memorable minor characters. THIS is how you write from a male point-of-view without him sounding like a wannabe. THIS is how you write an epic book.
Badass, Marchetta. Badass.
A piece of advice from the hard-to-please, Grinch of Book-land: Read this book. It is amazing, fantastic, brilliant and everything in between. When US readers get their hands on Froi of the Exiles, and later this year Quintana of the Charyn for those lucky Aussies, I’m sure GoodReads will resemble nothing short of gnats flying into the bright, blue light. And I will proudly be one of them.
*clears throat* Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.
And now for an awesome giveaway. I swear, this is our best yet! Secretly, I am envious of the future winner because I would love to cuddle this book in a corner.
To celebrate Froi’s release, we are giving away 1 *SIGNED * hardcover copy of Froi of the Exiles, the second book in The Lumatere Chronicles! Please see details below before entering.
An addendum by Kat Kennedy:
There’s a little story behind Stephanie and I receiving a copy of Froi of the Exiles, signed by The Goddess (Melina, duh!)
I had tried to get an interview with Marchetta, which was just not going to be possible with the timeframe and all the commitments that Marchetta has. So I had a sad. A very big sad. I roamed around the house like a ghost for days.
I couldn’t enjoy things I used to enjoy, I paused often to wipe away stray tears, my super hot husband tried to distract me with his body – his efforts, alas, in vain.
Then something happened. Marchetta, knowing of my plight, contacted me and promised me a signed copy of Froi.
That was lovely. Really, really lovely.
So I cheered up and went about my life, exercised my husband, dreamed of funding my own Melina Marchetta convent – you know, the usual.
But, of course, it’s Marchetta and (folks, if you haven’t read her, you’ll find this out for yourself) you always get so much more than you bargained for.
So when I received the signed copy of Froi of the Exiles from Marchetta… I also received On the Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca – both also signed, personally to me, by Marchetta. The small letter that came with these gifts has been framed and the books are currently occupying the ultimate highest honored place on my bookshelf. I’m sorry these books can’t be included in the giveaway as well, but I just wanted to demonstrate what an awesome writer and person we’re dealing with here.
I mean, really. WHO DOES THAT?!
Marchetta. That’s who.
To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
The giveaway is open to anyone (US and International)!
When the winner is chosen, it will be announced here and the winner will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments!