This is the second in Marchetta’s “Lumatere Chronicles”, and quiet frankly, I think “Froi of the Exiles: is even better than the first,” Frinnikin of the Rock”,. Which for me means that she didn’t lose momentum when she switched main character focus and plot lanes. Like building a collage out of people’s lives, Marchetta has made Froi’s transition from thief, to assassin, to hero as natural as eating peanuts from the bottom of a cherry cola bottle; strange when you first thought about it, but totally makes sense after the first couple of bites.
Another aspect of the authors writing I appreciate is how she has taken a rather intricate back-story and woven its players and the events that shaped their lives without losing plausibility (something I’ve recently discovered is fast becoming one of my review pet peeves). I also like that she keeps her story moving at a brisk rate, seldom letting anything, or anyone, settle down long enough to grow grass under their feet.
As I mentioned in my review of “Frinnikin of the Rock”, Marchetta has created an entire new world without losing the reader in language, culture, or (and I can’t stress this enough) politics. Writing a good story, like cooking up a fabulous meal, means that it is crucial that the one serving up the goods knows which spices enhance the foods natural flavors, and which will kill it altogether; a little is good, too much and you might as well order take out. In the world of Lumatere, the author has brought together the perfect blend of culture, politics, intrigue, and romance without letting any one item in particular overpower the others.
On my readers scale of 1-5, I’m giving Froi of the Exile 4.5 stars.
Quintana, the third book in Melina’s Lumatere series, is due to début in the US this April. If her writing follows true to form, this next one should prove to be better than the first two.