Book Series Review: The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

 

  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Pub date: 2010 (book one); 2011 (book two); 2012 (book three) 
  • Format: Hardcover (library copies)
  • Genre: YA, fantasy

Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin of the Rock

(Photo from Goodreads)

Quick Summary: Finnikin is the son of the Captain of the King’s Guard of Lumatere and friend of the royal children. Then at the age of nine, Finnikin’s world is changed forever. Lumatere’s rulers are brutally assassinated and the kingdom is closed off to the rest of the world due to a dark curse. Ten years later, Finnikin is with his mentor trying to find a way to bring his people, the exiles, back together. Then a young novice, Evanjalin, joins his party claiming that the heir to the throne of Lumatere is still alive. She leads Finnikin too close to home and reunites him with those he thought lost forever. Yet she is not what she seems. Dare he hope that Lumatere can rise again? Can he face his destiny?

General thoughts: This was an awesome book! I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while and now I’m sad I didn’t read it sooner. The adventure, magic, and romance is nonstop. The world Marchetta created is amazing and brutal at the same time. The story is filled with as much pain as hope. I enjoyed being on this journey with Finnikin and friends to reclaim a lost kingdom and people. I’m excited for the next book even though I didn’t particularly like Froi in this book. I’m thinking he will grow on me because Marchetta is that good.

My rating: 5 stars

Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles

(Photo from Goodreads)

Quick Summary: The story opens three years after the conclusion of book one. Lumatere has been free of its curse for three years and Finnikin and his queen, Isaboe, have a young daughter. Froi the Exile has found a home in Lumatere training with the Queen’s Guard and farming the land. He has sworn to protect the royal family and has finally learned to control his temper. Then he is sent on a secret mission to the kingdom of Charyn, the enemy of Lumatere. He intends to follow his orders then return home immediately, but plans change when he meets the mad Princess Quintana and discovers a barren and broken kingdom. Froi struggles to serve his Queen as he learns the truth of his past and what he must do to save the future of his kingdom.

General thoughts: Wow. The story just keeps getting better and better. It did take me a few chapters to get into Froi’s story, but soon it just took off and I was hooked again. I loved the way Marchetta switched perspectives between Froi and those still in Lumatere. I enjoyed seeing Finnikin and Isaboe again and how their lives changed since the first book ended. 

This was not a quick light read, though. Froi’s journey is filled with pain, love, conflict, and betrayal. At one point while I was reading I thought to myself, “Man, these people’s lives are messed up!” Marchetta’s characters experience such pain and suffering in one chapter then laughter and hope in another. There were moments when I laughed out loud and moments when I grimaced. Like the first book, book 2 is a thrilling romantic adventure and the ending left me ready for more, more, more. I’m really looking forward to the conclusion, which centers on Quintana of Charyn. I’m interested to see into the mind of that mad and wild queen.  

My rating: 5 stars

Quintana of Charyn

Quintana of Charyn

(Photo from Goodreads)

Quick Summary: The story picks up where it left off with Froi left for dead, Quintana on the run, and Lumatere seeking revenge upon Charyn. After he heals, Froi travels the kingdom of Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that can reclaim the throne for her unborn child. In the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana and Queen Isaboe finally come face-to-face, but can they both move on from their tragic pasts and seek peace? Froi is the only one who can save the two kingdoms, but first he must learn to balance his loyalty to both family and country.

General thoughts: A great conclusion to the trilogy. Like the first two books, there was lots of action, intrigue, and, of course, the romance. I really grew to love all the characters and was completely satisfied with their ending; the epilogue was just perfect. There are still some tragic moments, but Marchetta balanced them well with witty and charming characters. I am sad to finish yet another awesome series, but I’m sure a re-read will occur in the distant future. 

My rating: 5 stars

Do I recommend the series? Yes! This is a thrilling, intriguing, romantic, dark, fantastic story. Anyone who likes fantasy with great world-building and character development should pick this one up!

 

 

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