Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quintana of Charyn - Melina Marchetta

[Please note that this is the third book of the series. While this review is mostly spoiler free, perhaps you'd like to read my review of Finnikin of the Rock (Book 1) or Froi of the Exiles (Book 2) instead.]

Quintana of Charyn - Melina Marchetta
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #3
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks Candlewick!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. (modified from Goodreads)

When a reader is compelled to keep turning the pages even when it’s way past the time you meant to sleep, you know that a book is good. If a book manages to make you weep with sorrow, seethe with anger, yell in frustration, chuckle with amusement and smile with joy, then you know it’s a great book. And, you may ask, what if a book manages to do both these things at once? Then, in my opinion, it’s a phenomenal read.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started Quintana of Charyn, but I definitely finished it feeling like a hollow place in my heart had finally been filled. This book is the last of The Lumatere Chronicles and Marchetta could not have chosen a more striking, more perfect, more right way to end this saga. Each character meets their appointed fate, each story is wrapped up, each revelation is finally brought into the open – and I completely loved it.

Once again, readers are greeted by the extensive set of characters that we’ve met in the previous novels. Chief among the characters we follow are Isaboe and Finnikin, Froi and Quintana and Lucian and Phaedra. Each individual in the group I’ve mentioned has their own part in this thrilling conclusion and they’re each given a surprisingly satisfying amount of time on the page.

While there were certainly moments where I was frustrated or annoyed, in the end, I could not help but love them all. Their actions were born out of love and fear, hope and desperation, and I cannot fault them for the choices they made that I didn’t particularly like. Marchetta’s strength when it comes to her characters is her ability to not just show them in black-or-white; she chooses instead to show them in black, white and all the shades of grey in between. This not only applies to her main characters, but also to most of the minor recurring characters too. I found that this helped me forge a stronger connection with them, as I got to see the reality of who they were, good and bad.

Honestly, the mastery with which Marchetta has woven this story is incredible. I didn’t think I could be shocked any more than I had been while reading Froi of the Exiles, but I was proven wrong with this novel. There were revelations that shocked me and twists I could not have foreseen. There were reunions that I had hoped for and deaths that I had (unfortunately) counted on. The storytelling is truly very artfully done, and I commend Marchetta for her impressive ability to draw on details half-forgotten and make them relevant again.

Quintana of Charyn is the conclusion to The Lumatere Chronicles. This complex, well-woven tale has finally come to a startling, surprisingly emotional end. I may have stayed up till 3:30AM on a weeknight to finish this book, but it was totally worth it! If you’re a fantasy fan in search of a new favorite series, please know that I wholeheartedly recommend The Lumatere Chronicles.

6 comments:

  1. I am so, so glad you loved this! Wasn't it just the perfect end to the series? Though, I do hope we get more books set in Lumatere in the future!

    Wonderful review, A!

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  2. "the mastery with which Marchetta has woven this story is incredible" - Marchetta definitely has a way with words! I loved FINNIKIN, but still need to read FROI and this book. I'm glad that you enjoyed QUINTANA so much! You've made me even more eager to catch up :)

    Fabulous review!

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  3. I love this book and I totally know what you mean about it feeling like a whole in your heart had finally bee filled. Not just because Froi ended on such a cliffhanger but because these characters are so well portrayed that giving them a resolution was so satisfying.

    But then I went and read the short story about Lady Celie and I wanted more stories in this world again :)

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  4. I'm happy that it's a good conclusion. I can't wait to get started in the first book! :)

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  5. YES YES YES. Everything you just said YESSSSSS. Can I just quote your entire intro paragraph? Or like your whole review and tell you how perfectly you put into words what I feel for this series?

    I loved this book. I agree it was a beautiful conclusion to this series. I felt so complete after finishing it. But I am terribly sad it is over. Dare I say this is my favorite fantasy series ever? I think maybe so.

    I think everyone needs to read Marchetta. She is a writing god.

    I am so happy we share a love of this series too. :D

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  6. I was really pleased with this ending, too! I was worried Marchetta wouldn't wrap up every storyline, but I ended up being so happy that she did. While it was a little "too perfect" in the ending, I just didn't even care. I'm happy to have read these books!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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