Monday, May 7, 2012

Froi of the Exiles - stars aligned version

Patti reviewed this book as an ARC back in February. At the time I thought I probably would not read it. Don't get me wrong, I loved Finnikin of the Rock, but an almost 600 page YA fantasy? When would I have the time?

Flash back two weeks ago when I was at our local library for our  storytime day. I left the children's area for my once in a while trip over to adult fiction. On display in the teen area sat Froi of the Exiles. See how he looks at you on that cover? Come hither, reader? I grabbed it thinking maybe I could give it a go, tucked it into my library bag, and went off to find something by Jennifer Weiner. (It was my first by her even though Sarah Dessen raves about her constantly. I read Then Came You.)

And lo, last Sunday night it happened. The stars aligned! I am sick with a cold (ugh), but have a husband with a couple flexible days between semesters (yes!). I can be sick and spend time resting in bed and not chasing after kids? Well then. C'mere, Froi.

Three days later I finished that excellent bad boy in-between hacking coughs and snot. Thank you, illness! I didn't think it was as violent as Finnikin. Marchetta doesn't tip toe around the horrors of war or royal life, but I wasn't as horrified as I was with the first. Froi is an easy character to love, though he may be a little too perfect with honoring his bonds and all, but what we learn about his his origin makes for some darn compelling storytelling.

I don't want to forget tough and conflicted Lucien of the Monts who shares a good deal (maybe 1/3?) of this story and who seems to not get much mention in reviews. The novel switches back between Lucien dealing with Charyn refugees in Lumatere and Froi in Charyn out to assassinate the king. The point where these two stories overlap came as a great surprise. I honestly didn't miss reading more about Finnikin & the Queen. They're married and parents and happy. Super.

Another Lumatere Chronicles book follows this one and with that bombshell epilogue I want to read it Right Now. But will the next one follow the trend and *gasp* be 200 pages more than Froi? Yeah, okay. I'm going to read it anyway.


Patti said...

So good. I think the first one just prepared you for the nastiness of this one. It wasn't as shocking.

"They're married and parents and happy. Super."


joanna said...

Good point about the first one leading to the second. Also, happy people are great, but bor-ing. I mean, Finnikin just talked and gave mean stares. This wasn't their story.

But seriously, the next book can't be this long. How does her brain hold it all?