This is what I had to say about Finnikin and man, does it ever apply here as well:
My first thoughts were basically about how dense this story is. To take a look at the book you might not think it was too long (it clocks in at around 400 pages which is nothing to snear at) but I swear by the time you're done you'll be convinced you read at least 800 pages. If not more. This sucker reads like a multi-volume epic. I mean there is just a lot of stuff going on in this book. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but I did feel a bit like I had been put through the wringer.
Except for the fact that the ARC of Froi clocks in at, wait for it...593 pages. Oy. I think I gained muscle mass from holding this book while I read it.
So, was it good? Oh yes. It was very good. If you at all liked Finnikin, you are probably going to lose your sh*t over this one too. As gritty as ever, I think that it is a real strength of Marchetta's writing. She doesn't shy away from ugly realities. And nothing is uglier than war and revenge. All of our heroes are flawed. They make mistakes, they are often no better than their enemies except for the all important ability to accept responsibility and change.
As you can tell from the title, this is mainly Froi's story. He is sent on a secret mission by the court of Lumatere into the neighboring country of Charyn. Inevitably, what he finds there is more than what he had bargained for. There is court intrigue, internal struggle (where do his loyalties really lie? Where should they lie?), and surprising revelations.
Lucien of the Monts is also featured very prominently. With an interesting parallel story to the first book, he must decide the fate of the Charyn refugees living on the border of Lumatere. Are the Charyns just base animals or are they deserving of respect and humane treatment? Isaboe and Finnikin definitely take a back seat in this book - they are busy ruling their kingdom, the real action lies elsewhere.
The love stories are just as melodramatic and romancey as in the previous installment. I rolled my eyes once or twice, but I was expecting it this time and so it didn't bother me that much. Froi has really developed as a character, but still has his wildness. In this book he more than meets his match.
Froi of the Exiles will be published in March. You'll want to get your hands on it as soon as possible.
Book Source = Publisher Review Copy