Blood sings to blood … 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 taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior’s discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood … and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.
Reading Finnikin of the Rock broke me and left me with my feels all over the place. I’ve never felt the sorrow of characters like in that book before. “Go on, read Froi of the Exiles” they said. “It’s even worse than Finnikin” they said. And I thought I was prepared. I was not.
I read the prologue and I already wanted to throw the book across the room because I knew this was going to hurt a lot. I was screaming in my head “MAKE IT OKAY!” even though I had no idea how one could be okay after the events implied in that prologue. And on top of that I knew it would take at least all 700 pages to get there and that I would get to read all the glorious details about bastards being their asshole-selves and ruining lives. I tried very hard to brace myself for what was to come but it didn’t help much.
Where Finnikin broke my heart, Froi ripped it out and left a whole in me. There is actually a part in the book where they talk about comparing curses. Let me tell you, Charyn wins this round without contest. There were moments when I had to stop reading for a while because I just couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt too much and I was just stunned when getting to know what these people are capable of, mostly because it’s just so damn realistic and you know there are people out there in the real world who would do exactly these things.
Again, the world building is on point and I felt like I was right there with them and I was scared to death. This is such a cruel cruel world that, even though it has its fascinating aspects, I would never ever wanna live in.
I can’t grasp how fucking perfect these characters were again. All of them but especially Froi and Quintana. While reading Finnikin I never thought I could love Froi THIS MUCH, but oh boy do I care about him now. I didn’t have this instant connection to him like I had with Finnikin but it didn’t take too long either. The most awesome character development ever. He has so many flaws but he fucking knows it and he wants to do better and you just have to love him for that.
I can’t even put into words how I feel about Quintana. I’ve never met such a brave and fascinating character before. I wanted to go on a killing rampage for this girl. And don’t even get me started on the chemistry between these two.
Marchetta makes it look like she has the ability to take real life people and just puts them between the lines of her story. They have so many flaws, but you can still find the good in them, you can see them grow and they just feel so real, it’s amazing. Them being so realistic also makes you hate the villains with all your heart, scared of them and you have all the respect you can muster for characters who cross their paths.
Just like in real life there are people who you like right away and feel a connection to and there are others who you don’t like at a first glance but once you get to really know them, you care about them too.
I am so very thankful for these tiny little things in between that kept me sane, old and new characters that made me laugh out loud. This book being one huge sobfest made me cherish those moments so very much. If it weren’t for those I’m not sure I would have been able to finish this book or think about reading the last one.