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Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
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it was amazing
bookshelves: must-read, arc-galley-or-author, once-upon-a-time, beloved, rereading-material, best-of, male-approved
Read 5 times. Last read May 22, 2019 to May 24, 2019.


I bow to you, Melina Marchetta! I've read hundreds of books, but none quite as impressive as yours.

When I first heard that Froi was going to be the lead character in the sequel to “Finnikin of the Rock” I think I might have given a silent cry inside, as I despised that pitiful young man in (most of) the first book.

Little did I know of the tremendous growth he would go through, the strenghts of his heart and the smarts of his mind, or the power of the song sleeping in his blood.

Little did I know indeed... Froi did not end up holding only the future of Lumatere in his hands, but also my heart.

I thought I couldn’t endure more heartbreak after Finnikin’s story ended, but there was so much more anguish to be had in the following book(s).
Take one assassin with a past lost in time, one cursed kingdom with a bloodied history, an unwanted princess with a broken mind, a group of people that you can love to hate and love some more. Place them all on a path that will both break and mend their spirits, twist their beliefs and open their deepest wounds.

And when it all ends don’t hide your tears - when you love so much a story that it makes you shout to the stars, it’s only fair to be overwhealmed by the intensity of your emotions (all that love, too much hate, so much rage, such bittersweet happiness)..

“You keep safe, Froi. Keep safe and come home to us”

It's strange how the turnarounds and the revelations still give me the chills even after re-reading it all these many times, but my love for this story can only grow...

If you didn’t pick it up yet, I advise you to get your hands on this series and fast.

————— 2012

Dear Melina,
Keep breaking my heart, because you definitely know the best way to do it.

Froi of the exiles

Pre-reading thoughts: "If I won't die of happiness, when I'll read this I'll be the happiest person alive :) " Well.. I am the happiest person alive!


The first story I’ve been told was a fairytale.
I don’t remember which one was it, but that shouldn’t be a problem, as they all begin with “once upon a time”, get to the point where the handsome white-horse-riding prince must rescue the princes (falling in love with her beauty at first sigh), and then it ends with a “happily ever after”.
All fairytales are about joy, and beauty, and happiness, and the good that conquers it all.

Too bad this is not a fairytale.

Too bad we don’t have a beautiful princess, or a charming prince, too bad this is not a story about happiness or happy endings, too bad this is not that kind of story where all the dreams come true.
“Is it because we are not beautiful?” she asked.
“That you don’t want to save us. […] In the books of the Ancients the princesses are always beautiful and they always get saved.”

This story is about another curse, probably worse than the first one, it’s a story about suffering, and death, and trying too much and losing it all - it will break your heart into pieces, then it will put it back in place only to break it all over again.

This is a story about a cursed princess and a thief, about wars between kingdoms and assassins, about trust and betrayal, about secrets buried in time and forbidden feelings… This is the story of Froi of the Exiles.

Let me tell you this: if you loved the first book in the series, you will think that this one is completely insane – but you will love all its madness.

To be honest, I didn't think a continuation of the story was needed, but damn, now I feel that the story would never be complete without it.
Also I must confess that it really blew my mind.
There was so much happening, so many new characters to meet, to understand, to distrust, to love, to fear for their safety and to feel the need to cry for their tragic destiny... There was too much pain in this book, too much sadness, to many horrifying memories, too many human monsters, too many heartbreaking scenes, and now there is that need to find what happens next, there is that damned ending that left me hanging, counting the moments until I get the chance to read the next and final book.
“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.”


He is an interesting character, changed from the first book. He is more mature and takes his responsibilities more seriously. His bond with the queen of Lumatere is as strong as before, but his mission is a really difficult one. First because he is all alone, second because he doesn’t know whom to trust, third because he finds new people and he gets attached to them, and this makes his life and his decisions even more difficult.
It is hard to love Froi, but it is as harder not to like him.
I wanted to punch Froi for holding too much inside his head and heart and for not putting into words all that he really felt, for hurting Quintana so deeply in the beginning, and even after falling for her, for not being able to fight more for her and their feelings, for being weak at times and cruel as well, for knowing how to easily kill the enemy, but even more easily how to break a heart.
Still, I cared so much for him and his past, and his deep need to be loved. I wanted to hug him, to take care of him, to change his destiny, to sing for him such that he couldn’t listen to his blood song anymore – maybe, just maybe I could change something in his life, I could bring some joy on his face, I could unbreak a bit his heart.
I want him to be happy, I want him to have everything that has been taken away from him since his childhood – I want him next to Quintana, where he belongs.

I’ll come and find you wherever you are. I’ll not stop breathing until I do.


Will Quintana of Charyn be beautiful in your play?

..At least in my review she will:

Oh, dear Quintana, how much did she suffer for all those people that have never deserved it. All that sacrifice, all that pain, all that shame, all her frustrations and fears – how could someone live with so much pain inside, how could she not lose her mind in such a crazy world? But she didn’t.
I wanted to hug Quintana, to take her home with me, to keep her safe, to erase all her bad memories and show her how beautiful the world could be.
But in the same time I wanted to cheer for her because she had so much courage and she'd endured so much; because she took the pain of all those last born girls and kept it all inside her; because she suffered for all those people that were supposed to love her; because she has received only coldness and hatred from them all her life and she deserved to be happy.

I heard your song the moment we were born.

Gargarin and Arjuro
These two were such a pair. I loved them as strange as their actions were.
I cared for them, for all those horrors they've faced, for all the suffering, for a life full of regrets and no-going-back’s, for a childhood that no one should bear, and for so much more.

If those frescoes could talk they would blush from what they’ve seen the brothers of Abroi get up to in that cave

We know by now that we shouldn’t judge someone at first sight. We know by now that Marchetta never creates a character that doesn’t have enough depth. We know by now that all the important characters in Lumatere series have been through Hell and back… this time, literally.
Her story was a horrifying as Quintana’s. There are no words to describe her suffering and her loss - for the treatment from her king and his guests, for her baby, for all those years in prison.

Poor Lirah. She’s been imprisoned for at least twelve years, you know.
Yes, yes, poor Lirah.

Isaboe and Finnikin
I liked how strong and confident Finnikin has become, and (still) how wise and caring Isaboe showed to be (as much as the situations allowed her).
I liked how they fought for the safety of their home and kingdom, but how they wanted nothing more but peace, how they cared about Froi, how they struggled to keep a happy family in all this madness.

'Don't ever ask me again if I hate living anywhere with you and Jasmina. This Rock reminds me of the boy I was and being with you in the palace reminds me of the man I want to be.'
'Not just any man,' she whispered. 'A King. Mine.'

Beatrice and Trevanion
I didn't think her story could be more heartbreaking, but it was. I thought her romance with Trevanion would have a quick resolution and a happy ending, but the was more to her story, more hearts to break, more tears to shed for her and her past.

I still wake with your name on my lips every morning

Lucian and Phaedra.
I didn't pay much attention to them at the beginning, but I got to care so much for Phaedra. It broke my heart, it really did. She got from being some minor character to a quite important one, and I got attached to her suffering. She tried too much to be part of a community that resented her, part of a family that didn’t want her, and she had so much to give. I wanted so badly to see them both happy, as they deserved it so much.

If your people mean no offense, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children, Tesadora. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of the careless words passed down by their elders who meant no harm.

I am still wondering about this one. I think there is more to him that we could find in this book and I can’t wait to see his part in the next one. All you need to know for now is that he's the reason Froi went to Charyn, somehow he is the key to the past.

“Do you expect me to have regrets?” he asked. “When it’s you Lumaterans who speak an unwritten law that makes the most sense to me.”
“And what is that, Charynite?”Tesadora asked.
“What needs to be done”

The last-born boys
All I can say about them is that they were really cute and innocent. Protected as they were, they didn’t know much about fights and war, but they meant good – some times that helped, some times it didn’t.

Grijo looked shamefaced. Oliver pretended to. Froi’s head was spinning too hard for anything to make sense.

I am conflicted now, because I couldn't believe those horrors, I couldn't bear them.. There was too much pain, too many cries in the wind, to many broken hearts and lives destroyed in an instant. It was horrible and beautiful in the same time - I wanted to scream of frustration, I wanted to take care of those lost souls, I wanted to give them something to hold on to, because without a purpose I don't know how could they survive all that carnage, all those horrors through all those years.

....Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best writer of them all?
Melina Marchetta, off course :)

Book source: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley - Thank you so very much!!!

Later edit:
Check out my Book Boyfriend #8 - Froi
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This review can also be found at


Later edit:
Re-read May 2013 - I might write soon a new review for the series, as it blew my mind once more and I still love it to pieces. Just know that this is a heartbreaking story that I will always hold close to my heart. Absolutely fabulous!!!


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Quotes Ari 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

Melina Marchetta
“Are you an idiot, or an idiot?' Gargarin hissed.

'The first one. I really resent being called the second.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta
“In a kinder world," he whispered, "one I promise you I've seen, men and women flirt and dance and love with only the fear of what it would mean without the other in their lives.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta
“No stories or explanations,' Finnikin had once told him. 'When it comes to women, straight into an apology and you will find the rest of your life bearable.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta
“A kiss is the prize?’ he asked sadly. ‘Even more than giving me the rest of you? It should be the other way round, Princess. In the real world, it's called courting. You let a lad kiss you and then you offer him more.’

‘Let me tell you something, Olivier,’ she said with tears of sorrow in her eyes, ‘this is my real world.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta
“I fear that I will do something to bring harm to those I love," Froi said. "So I follow their rules to ensure that I won't."
"But what if you bring harm or fail to protect those you don't know? Or don't love? Will you care as much?"
"Probably not."
"Then choose another bond. One written by yourself. Because it is what you do for strangers that counts in the end.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta
“Is your queen what you are searching for in a woman, Froi?"

"I never imagined I was looking for something in a woman. But if I did, I'd have to judge her by the way I felt laying beside her before I went to sleep at night and how I felt in the morning waking up to her."

"Oh, too profound, my friend. Much too profound.”
Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles

Reading Progress

March 18, 2011 – Shelved
September 28, 2011 – Shelved as: must-read
January 11, 2012 – Shelved as: arc-galley-or-author
Started Reading
February 18, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 5, 2012 – Shelved as: once-upon-a-time
December 19, 2012 – Shelved as: beloved
April 20, 2013 – Shelved as: rereading-material
May 15, 2013 – Shelved as: best-of
December 2, 2014 – Shelved as: male-approved
Started Reading
July 3, 2016 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
April 7, 2017 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
September 6, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 22, 2019 – Started Reading
May 24, 2019 –
page 430
72.51% "It's strange how the turnarounds and the revelations still give me the chills even after re-reading it all these many times.

I bow to you, Melina Marchetta! I've read hundreds of books, but none quite as impressive as yours."
May 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Devyani YESSSSSSS !!! *starts jumping around* :D

Sandra Z gaaaah Phaedra and Lucian became my favorite couple in the book and probably racked up the most emotion in me while reading the book.

Michelle {Book Hangovers} OMG! Melina Marchetta stole my heart when she wrote this trilogy!!

message 4: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari I am re-reading the series now (well.. again. I am not into rereading, but this one deserves it so much). I think I love it even more than before ^_^

L A i N E Y I’m so glad Froi got his own book! I’ve loved him so much from book 1 and he really accomplished a lot during then and now :) but I gotta say I miss him being among the Lumateran gang <3

message 6: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari Haha, I can’t say the same. I hated him with a passion for a while in book 1, but I was also amused by him. I remember being a bit unsure about the second book being about him, but oh! how I loved it... and him!

l a i n e y wrote: "I’m so glad Froi got his own book! I’ve loved him so much from book 1 and he really accomplished a lot during then and now :) but I gotta say I miss him being among the Lumateran gang <3"

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