Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Published: Published April 23rd 2013 by Candlewick Press
Source: purchased Kindle edition from Amazon, final hardback copy from BEA Bloggers Convention
Synopsis: Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.
My thoughts: I am in awe of Melina Marchetta’s amazing plotting. In the Lumatere chronicles, she managed to weave together the stories of so many unique, fascinating characters into a rich tapestry. This series is stunning and magical.
It had only been a few months since I read Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles back to back, but it still took me a good 100 pages to get immersed in the world again. There are so many different threads to the story and so many characters to keep track of. I’d wished I’d waited to read the entire series back to back or at least refreshed myself with a quick skim of Froi before starting again.
What makes The Lumatere Chronicles so amazing is not just the characters, but the relationships between them. They are lovers, friends, citizens, leaders, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, sisters and brothers, and the bonds between them are so complex and complicated and at times contradictory.
The queen and her consort have a tumultuous relationship. The book opens with Isaboe waking and crying out Froi’s name in bed, which makes Finnikin jealous. The power dynamic between these two makes their relationship fascinating and their passion for one another makes it quite steamy—but Marchetta handles the intimate scenes with finesse and flair.
Quintana is fierce, and fiercely protective of her unborn child, and Froi will do anything to find her and keep her safe. Though they spend nearly the whole book apart, readers will feel their intense bond. I sort of loved the irony that Quintana is in the valley between Lumatere and Charyn, so close to his home, yet he travels across the kingdom search for her and raising an army to defend the right of her unborn child to rule and the right of Quintana to simply live.
The couple that surprised me the most in this installment, however, was neither Isaboe and Finnikin nor Quintana and Froi. I was swept away by Lucian and Phaedra’s story, by their affection for one another and their confusion over their feelings, by their dedication to their people and ultimately, to each other.
Quintana of Charyn solidifies this series among my favorites, and was a completely satisfying conclusion to a truly epic fantasy trilogy. While it is a series that mature teens will certainly enjoy, it is an excellent example of a crossover that has strong adult appeal. These characters are dealing with committed relationships, having children, and running kingdoms. Mister BS is nearly done with his second read of The Game of Thrones series, and I’ve convinced him this series needs to next on his list.
Graceling Realm series by Kristen Cashore
Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor
Maggie at Young Adult Anonymous: “Quintana of Charyn tested the bounds of loyalty, friendship, and family, and what it meant to be Lumateran, Charynite, Queen, husband, wife, lover, and friend.”
Katy Upperman: “The characters made this story for me; they kept me up late reading, and made me worry and wonder and smile and sigh. The way they loved each other, fiercely and unabashedly, made it easy to fall in love with them.”