I’m just warning you now that maybe I’m not the best person to write an unbiased review of the book, due to the deep and abiding adoration I have for the Lumatere Chronicles. After all, I ordered this book from Australia all because I couldn’t handle knowing that the book was out over there but wouldn’t be out in the U.S. until next March. I just love, love, love everything about this series (and considering how few series I’m willing to admit to even liking, that’s saying something).
“Quintana of Charyn” is the final book in the trilogy, which simultaneously made me beyond excited to read it and a little sad that it was going to be the end. This one was slightly different from “Finnikin of the Rock” and “Froi of the Exiles” in that it doesn’t introduce new characters—it is a continuation of the story started in “Froi of the Exiles.” And, man, was I so glad to be back with those characters: Froi, Quintana, Lucian, Phaedra, Lirah, Gargarin, Arjuro . . . the whole crew was back and as wonderful as ever. Melina Marchetta has this amazing talent for writing characters that are far from perfect but still so strong and goodhearted, and my admiration for each one grew as every scene revealed a little more about their character and motivation.
Froi and Quintana are separated for most of the book, but that didn’t diminish their strange chemistry at all. Their love for each other was practically palpable, and besides, although Froi and Quintana were together very little, Lucian and Phaedra did get a few scenes together. And let me tell you, I adore Lucian and Phaedra. Theirs is a rocky romance if ever there was one, and I spent so much time in this book and the last holding my breath that they would be able to sort their problems out once and for all.
You also get to know Quintana better in this book than the last. I had a growing admiration for her in “Froi,” but she’s been through unspeakable things and is so messed up by them that it’s hard to feel like you know her. But in this book, you get some more insight into her character and see her come into her own, and even though I’d probably be scared of her in real life, I came to admire her a lot.
I only had one niggling complaint about the book, and it’s that you don’t get to know more about Celie and Banyon’s story, as introduced in Marchetta’s short story “Ferragost.” I was just really hoping their story would get a little more closure. But I can see why it wasn’t included in the book—since it was the subject of a short story and not actually part of the books, it would’ve felt out of place to readers who had been reading the series but hadn’t read the short story. Still, it would’ve made me happy to know what ultimately happens between them.
Overall, this was pretty much everything I could want for the ending of this series. If you haven’t started the Lumatere Chronicles—um . . . get cracking. After all, they’re by Melina Marchetta, and it’s impossible to go wrong with anything she’s written.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
The Lumatere Chronicles:
Finnikin of the Rock
Froi of the Exiles
Quintana of Charyn