Aug 25, 12
Read from August 09 to 10, 2012
Another most excellent entry in the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. At this point, I don't think there's any kind of writing she can't do, because this short story slash murder mystery is almost as good as any one of her longer books. Definitely a must read for any fan of Finnikin of the Rock.
Hmmm, what can I say, Marchetta just has a way with words. It's incredible how something only six chapters in length can set up multiple complex, interesting characters, a haunting setting, and an intriguing plot all at the same time, and still wrap it all up with a few powerful sentences. From the moment Lady Celie of the Flatlands arrives at Ferragost Castle and is thrust straight into the murder of a Belegonian Lord, the story builds up layer by layer, and I don't mean just potential killers and motives. Whether it's a discussion of Belegonian politics, with Celie conveniently as the outsider, following the various characters as the investigation unfolds, particularly Celie and Banyon playing off each other with all their secrets, or even the reasons for the murder or Celie's presence in Belegonia, Marchetta uses just the right balance of details and mystery to create one macabre yet appealing story.
Despite the number of words spent on her, I'm also impressed by how compelling Celie is as a character. Actually, I like that there aren't paragraph long descriptions of her as some authors are wont to do, the subtler way her character's developed by her actions and the details revealed about her as the story progresses really offered a much deeper insight into her character than any description could've provided. Although I must say I disagree with the Editorial, it would be best not to read this short story independent of Finnikin of the Rock. Some parts of the story, like Celie's unique experiences as a Lumateran, loses that extra punch without a clearer understanding of the background events beyond the few recap sentences here.
My only criticism is how awfully short the first two chapters felt, I really wished for a bit more substance there. But, I'm not sure what else can be added either, unfortunately. Otherwise, Ferragost really is an excellent short story, Marchetta's writing speaks volumes even when the story isn't very long. 4.5 stars.