Quintana of Charyn is Marchetta’s third installment in the Lumatere Chronicles and though I don’t think it was her best, it was certainly the more exciting of the three. Which doesn’t mean that I’m implying the first book –Frinnikin of the Rock– or the second – Froi of the Exile – weren’t. Only that there were aspects about this third book that made the reader want to turn the pages faster than the first two.
One of my favorite aspects about this series is how the author uses race, culture, gender and several generations to weave a story of genocide, forgiveness, acceptance and change. I have to wonder how much of her inspiration hasn’t come from her own country of Australia and the cultural evolution happening between the indigenous people and their European neighbors.
Another thing I really appreciate is that all of the stories characters are believable; flawed individual’s who may or may not change, trying the best way the can to work through pain, misunderstanding, and deep seated cultural bigotry.
“Froi saw the foolishness of dreamers, and he decided he’d like to die so foolish. With a dream in his heart about the possibilities, rather than a chain of hopelessness.” ― Melina Marchetta, Quintana of Charyn
What I found least likable about this finale was first that I don’t think she made a smooth transition from the last scene in Froi of the Exile. What happened there had a profound impact on the characters placement in the third novel and so by not spending more time in her transition she left me feeling like I’d missed something. And second that I felt like there were too many sub-plots spinning around the central character to really develop Quintana well. Fact is, if I had read the manuscript before assigning a title, I’m not sure I would have given it the same one as the author did. To me the story was more about Phardra and Froi than it was about Quintana of Charyn.
But all in all I’d read it again. It was a nicely told story full of believable characters who grabbed your heart and refused to let go. Marchetta did a wonderful job of blending suspense, romance, intrigue, frustration, anger and joy. If this had been a frittata, I would definitely go back for seconds.
On my reader scale of 1-5 stars, I’m giving Quintana of Cheryn 3.5 stars for story and 4 stars for being a great ending to a wonderful series.
“Ferragost” Short Story Lady Celia: