Janina's Reviews > Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
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Jan 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy
Read from October 23 to 31, 2011

I’ve tried writing this review countless times, but it just doesn’t turn out right. Maybe I should just give up?

This story has a very peculiar atmosphere. It is actually hard to describe: almost dream-like in some parts, but so very real in others - simply an extraordinary combination. Especially the scenes taking place in and around the Citavita induced the strangest feeling in me. This feeling is almost impossible to grasp, and I’m certainly not able to put in into words – but I loved the experience. It gave me chills, it was different and it is impossible to forget.
I loved reading about Froi and Quintana, about Gargarin and Arjuro, about Lirah imprisoned in her tower. Most of all, I loved reading about their past - what made them who they are - and finding out their secrets. I immensely enjoyed unravelling the mystery around the day of Quintana’s birth and guessing possible outcomes and revelations.

Quintana is possibly one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever come across. It was almost impossible to bear what she had been through, and I felt furious on her behalf. Still, I could never quite make up my mind about her. Is she really mad? Or is it just a façade to hide behind? I am very much looking forward to the next book which will – hopefully – be told from her perspective. I am convinced she still holds many surprises and secrets …

In its core, Froi of the Exiles is very much a story about history, the way it is perceived, the way it is transmitted, the way its perception can be influenced and the way it changes through time. It is also a story about the enemy, who is never as deeply sinister and evil as you might think. In Finnikin of the Rock, we learned about Charyn as the country responsible for Lumatere’s pain and suffering, and condemned its people for what they had done. But now, we see the other side of the story: Charyn itself is burdened by a terrible curse, and its people suffer no less than the Lumaterans did and still do. I loved this aspect of the story.

My favourite story line was the one focusing on Lucian and Phaedra. It was actually the one I was most emotionally invested in. Yes, I cried (hard) and was temped to throw the book against my bedroom wall when I saw where it was heading. If not for the epilogue, I might have been very (VERY) upset and would have considered removing at least (!) one star.

All in all, this book is a lot darker than its predecessor. It deals with even heavier issues, and you can feel that all the characters went through dark times that profoundly changed them. In an interview, Melina Marchetta said that Quintana and Froi are the fantasy equivalent of Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road and the overall feeling the book gave me (although they are in no way similar in content) matches that as well. Still, I can't decide if this book is going to end up on my shelf of absolute favourites. Strangely, my reading experience was very different from all the other Marchetta books I've read, and the peculiar feeling I described earlier remains even weeks after finishing it. The story definitely gave me a lot to digest, and it's still in my thoughts.

The only thing that remains to be said: Hopefully, the next book will come out sooner rather than later. Seriously, how could Marchetta leave us hanging like that?

#10 Aussie YA Challenge 2011
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Quotes Janina Liked

Melina Marchetta
“If we forget who we lost, then we forget who we once were, and if we forget who we once were, we lose sight of who we are now.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Reading Progress

10/28/2011 page 77
10/28/2011 page 112
18.0% "Oh dear."
10/31/2011 page 349
57.0% 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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Janina Pre-ordered!! *squeeeeeeeeee*

message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo OMG... I need to pre-order this too.
Thanks for the reminder. *scurries*

message 3: by Eric (new) - added it

Eric So close... yet... well it's *ALMOST* here. I'm hoping some of my Aussie friends don't let me down in the eBook dept.

Emily Yay!!!

Janina I am very excited. The thing is, hadn't I re-read Finnikin this week, I wouldn't have been excited at all, lol. Now I can't wait.

Janina Oh, and the book is 32% off at fishpondworld.com right now. It is still relatively expensive, but it's about the same the Aussies pay regularly, and free shipping.

Ariana Can't wait to see what you think of it.. In fact, I can't wait to see what I will think,LOL.. It should be great.

Janina I am positive that no book Marchetta writes will disappoint ;). I fear the cliffhanger, though ...

Ariana I fear that too, but until recently I didn't even know there was supposed to be another book, so there is too much excitement for me to be botter with that right now.. I love Marchetta, so this should be really good :D

Choco Knowing about the cliffhanger will definitely help. I had my heart smashed into pieces at the end because I wasn't prepared to protect it (didn't even occur to me to do so) :( I've recovered now and can still tell you I loved it.

Janina Arrived today!!! Very excited!


Ariana Great to hear that Janina.. happy reading! :D let us all know how much you love it ;))

Aly (Fantasy4eva) Yayyy!!! Hope you love it!

Janina First, I'll practice some restraint. I'll be reading the book with my book club and we don't start before everyone has received their copies. It hard, though ;).

Aly (Fantasy4eva) started reading it yet? :)

Janina I started, but have only read about 40 pages so far. Real life keeps getting in the way ;). But I think I'll have a lot of reading time this weekend!

Janelle Its AMAZING - enjoy! My hubby is reading it now ;)

~Tina~ HA! I love that comment. It's so incredibly true!

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard It took me a few tries to get this review right. But I LOVED it. I think it's better than Finnikan in my opinion. Quintana fascinates me so much.

message 20: by Janina (last edited Nov 26, 2011 02:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janina I can't really choose my favourite between Finnikin and Froi because the reading experience with Froi was totally different (although, in fact, I have a hard time choosing any favourite when it comes to Marchetta books, simply because I love all of them ;)), but I agree, Quintana is extremely fascinating. And it's great that we're going to get her point of view in the next book. I'm still sad we never got Evanjalin's ...

Janina PS: I am actually a little proud of myself that I managed to finish this review ;).

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard Janina wrote: "PS: I am actually a little proud of myself that I managed to finish this review ;)."

Haha. I actually said the exact same thing at the end of my goodreads review (well slightly different wording but same idea).

Janina Hehe, I always feel like that after finishing a Marchetta review ;).

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard Janina wrote: "Hehe, I always feel like that after finishing a Marchetta review ;)."

A lot of the time I don't even try. I'm just like "Everyone else has already sad it. This book is amazing." But because I got Froi before the American release I felt obligated.

Stella I'm glad I'm not the only one who was very upset when *that* happened with Phaedra and Lucian. I mean, I was crying (which isn't a surprise since I cried the whole book). (view spoiler)

Cassi aka Snow White Haggard The Phaedra storyline was one of my favorites. At first it kinda seemed so much on the side of the actual story but I was so invested by the end of the book.

Janina I loved the Phaedra storyline. I really hope it plays a slightly bigger role in Quintana. (view spoiler)

And: If it hadn't been for the epilogue, I might have thrown the book against a wall in frustration. I couldn't believe this would happen to my two favourite characters - okay, the whole book is full of favourite characters, but still ... - and I am not sure if I could have taken the long wait for the next book then. It's agonizing enough as it is.

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