Quintana of Charyn, by Melina Marchetta, was published in 2012 by Candlewick Press. It is the sequel to Froi of the Exiles.
Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi travels with his companions through Charyn, searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. Meanwhile, 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 as the complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love…builds to an extraordinary climax.
I have never been as satisfied with a series ending as I was with Quintana of Charyn. All the things that I wanted to happen did; the surprises along the way were nicely integrated and revealed some of the planning as far back as Finnikin of the Rock that Marchetta did; and even though the characters had to sweat and bleed to earn it, they all got a happy ending.
Quintana turned out to be as awesome as I hoped she would be; she had not as many “I am the Queen” moments as I was hoping for, but the moments she did have were still amazing. Froi went from the character that I thought, “Oh, no, a viewpoint for him?” when I first started reading Froi of the Exiles to the character that I thought, “Why would I ever want to read anybody else’s view?”
The snide humor is still present in this book even though, yes, it is still dark and gritty (though less though, I think, than the first two). I absolutely adore the relationship between Froi and Gargarin, as well as the whole family dynamic between those two, Arjuro, and Lirah.
Marchetta also knows how to keep you reading, and there were times when I kicked my heels and grinned in excitement and anticipation and then groaned in frustration when the next chapter switched viewpoints and I had to wait to see what happened next.
A fantastic trilogy all around, a series that pulled me in from the beginning and never let me go. Thank you, Melina Marchetta.
Recommended Age Range: 16+
Warnings: Sexual situations and thoughts, swearing, violence, mentions of rape and torture, death.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
“I’d appreciate your talking the queen out of doing that, Lucian,” Aldron said.
“And I’d appreciate your not talking about me as if I’m invisible,” she said, rolling her eyes.
‘Did the queen of this kingdom just roll her eyes?”
“She’s been doing it all the way up the mountain,” Aldron muttered.