Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Lumetere Chronicles (books #1, #2 and #3) by Melina Marchetta

 Title: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn
Author: Melina Marchetta 
Published: September 29th 2008, October 3rd 2011 and September 26th 2012, by Viking Australia
Series: The Lumatere Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy, YA

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home... Or so he believes...

Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

There's a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road . . .

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn's unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn's war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.

I normally don’t write a review for a trilogy (or a book series) in one review post but since I had read all three of the Lumatere Chronicles books one after the other and I’ve obtained a general idea about the story as a whole, I’ve decided to do just that. However, this review (ish) will be quite different from all my other reviews. Sooo IT 

Firstly, I would just like to point out my general opinion and my general reaction once I finished not only book 1 or book 2, but all three books is that IT WAS FRICKING AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

I loved EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TRILOGY! I loved the world that Melina created within the whole Skuldenore area, I fell in love with every single character, every single story, every single relationship....gahhhh it was just so perfect. Safe to say, it has been quite some time since I’ve read a trilogy that I loved so much and brought such a huge grin on my face. It just made you happy to read the books.

If I had to pick some of my favourite characters (and this is going to be a tough one, since I loved ALL of them), it would have to be Evanjalin (not Isobel, for those of you who know what I’m talking about) but Evangelin. She’s had a very hard life (well all the characters in the Lumatere Chronicles have) yet she’s cunning, smart, stubborn and had a hidden agenda by rounding up key figures in the Lumatere kingdom who all successfully break the curse that had plagued their kingdom for 10 years.

I absolutely loved Froi. In the first book, he’s shown to be a backward slave who knows no manners, a savage, can’t speak properly and spits in people’s faces whenever he’s angry with anyone (which is quite a lot). He’s got no family and Evanjalin and her little team take him along with their trip. It’s actually in the 2nd and 3rd book where you come to understand Froi’s true self and fell sorry for him. Over the course of the two books, he grows into man and finds his true destiny that involves his very dysfunctional and crazy, yet loving family and his one true love Quintana.

Another character who I think stole my heart is Lucian. He is such a hilarious and gorgeous character and doesn’t mind telling how it is.

There are a LOT of relationships in this book. The three main relationships are between Evanjalin/Isobel and Finnikin. Their relationship starts off with Finnikin hating the sight of her who he sees as a weak and useless girl, who is a liability to their mission. He soon grows to love her....well they both do but I suspect she fell in love with him in the beginning.

Froi and Quintana have a very roughly patch to begin with and if I told you everything that occurs between them to, well, we’ll be here forever. Cutting it short, Froi, who’s on an assissanation mission set by the leaders of the Lumatere kingdom to kill the Charyn king due to his actions of slaughtering Lumatere citizens, despises the Charyn princess, Quintana, from the beginning. She has no common sense, she’s unhygienic, not particularly attractive to love at, annoying and oh yes, very crazy what with her double personality (there’s a reason behind this). However, after getting to know her and her horrid, vile past and possible future at the rate it is going, he falls in love with her. This is perfect since they both have a part to play to end the curse that has befallen amongst the Charyn kingdom for 18 years (longer then the curse on the Lumatere kingdom). Despite knowing they love each other, they are still quite vicious and rough with each other....which suits them fine.

The last main relationship is between Lucian and a Charyn citizen, Phaedra. The marriage alliance was set up between the two father in order to establish some kind of peace between the two kingdoms and in order to keep Phaedra safe (only know one knows that except for Phaedra’s father). The marriage wasn’t agreed by Lucian who hates the sight of her since she’s a useless wife who isn’t anything like the Mont girls, but nevertheless agrees to the marriage. Of course, Phaedra easily falls in love with Lucian but after seeing his reaction towards her become isolated from him and everyone at the Mont’s mountains who also can’t stand her, especially become she comes from the land of the enemy. She’s not accepted. Lucian eventually sends her back to her own village but in the 3rd book, where Phaedra plays a bigger part, she comes back into Lucian’s life and he soon realises he’s madly in love with her.

All the boys within this trilogy really do hate the person who they fall madly in love with, so typical haha.

Aside from the characters and their relationships, the Lumatere Chronicles is a wonderful set of books about kingdoms, allies, betrayal, revenge, love, lust and curse breakers. Both kingdoms have suffered a lot and whilst you do get to see the stories behind other kingdoms, you really fall in love with the Lumatere and Charyn kingdoms and all the characters within it.

This author is not shy at all to go into each character’s personal history and life and the horrible things they has seen, had to do or was done to them. I think that’s why readers feel for them more.

I am truly going to miss this trilogy and wished it never ended.

*I thought this was also another lovely image of the three books put together:

Favourite passages/quotes:
Book 1: “If she’s out here and not locked up in the barracks, I’ll know,” he said. He took a deep breath and whistled.

“You share a whistle?” Trevanion said in disbelief.

“Do you have a problem with that?” Finnikin asked.

“I have a few whistles,” Lucian murmured. “Very confusing sometimes.”

“Whistles are meant for combat,” Trevanion said. “Not wooing women. Women do not understand whistles.”

Book 2: “Are you an idiot, or an idiot?' Gargarin hissed.

'The first one. I really resent being called the second.” 

“He took her face in his bloody hands. "I’ll come and find you wherever you are. I’ll not stop breathing until I do. So you’re going to have to promise me that you won’t lose hope. That you will keep yourself alive.” 

Book 3: It’s a pity you can’t see it all from inside," he heard her say. "Windows would give you the greatest view all around." 
“Why would I want to see more of everyone?” he said. “Then they’d never leave me alone.” 

“I’ve made windows in the cottage so we can see the entire mountain,” he murmured. “For you.
— Lucian to Phaedra
Once, when Lucian had returned from Alonso to argue the so-called promise between his father and the Provincaro, a cousin had asked him to describe Phaedra. He had shrugged. There’s nothing about her to remember. Looking at his wife now, there was so much about her he couldn’t forget. Her soulful eyes. The roundness of her face. The pinch of red on her cheeks. Lucian wanted nothing more than to take her home.

  • "Do you love me? Because if you don’t, I’d wait until you did. I’d wait weeks and months and years ."
-Lucian to Phaedra

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