Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
(Lumatere Chronicles #3)
Reviewed by Maggie: October 26, 2012
Published September 26, 2012 by Viking Australia
To Be Published March 12, 2013 by Candlewick
Goodreads • Buy at Fishpond • Preorder at Amazon

What can I say about this book but faith rewarded? How do I begin to talk about a series that turned me onto a new genre?

Marchetta took me on a journey through an unfamiliar genre and story landscape, through curses and the Citavita. Looking back on Finnikin, I couldn't even finish my review because I was so unused to fantasy. I was exhausted by the little I did manage to write. By the time I read Froi, I was better prepared and any exhaustion I felt was due to the emotional ride from the book.

With Quintana, I could talk about how Lucian and Perri should star in their own buddy cop show, or how being in Quintana's head seemed like the most natural place to be. I loved so many of the characters, but for me, this series comes down to two people -- Isaboe and Froi. The things that bond them are at the heart of the series. They are the faces of children of war.

In Isaboe, we see what war does to a once beloved, sheltered child. Her experiences in Sarnak and Sorel shape the fierce queen she’s become. She’s unflinching. However, sometimes that results in a harshness that had me wincing. It's how she survived on her own, but it may not be the best way to ensure her people's survival.

For Froi, it was Sir Topher who prevented him from going down an irreversible path, but that and a belief in a girl with magic, shaped the man he became. His journey of redemption -- never once forgetting what could have been -- is about overcoming all the experiences that can break you and turn you into someone you're not. I loved seeing the person Froi came to be when given love and when he gave his love in return. It was so wholehearted and pure. It was devastating to think what war did to the boy with that much heart.

One character I didn't feel much affection for was Lady Zarah. To quote the great Dionne Warwick, I got your number, hussy!

Quintana of Charyn tested the bounds of loyalty, friendship, and family, and what it meant to be Lumateran, Charynite, Queen, husband, wife, lover, and friend. It's about having faith first, like a boy with cats once did, so it can be rewarded later. I loved being in this world and I hope Marchetta revisits it again, as I know I will.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I leave the playlist-making to Noelle, but one song that played over and over in my head while reading Quintana was This Woman's Work by Kate Bush.

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