AUTHOR: Melina Marchetta
GENRE: Young Adult and Fantasy fiction
RATING: 4 /5
SETTING(S) : Land of Skuldenore, Charyn; Indeterminate AD
SUBJECT: Adventure, Royalty, Fantasy and War
MAIN CHARACTERS: Froi, Lirah, Gargarin, Arjuro, Quintana, Finnikin and Isaboe
MY SUMMARY: The Lumatere curse has been lifted, Finnikin and Isaboe are married and began to start their family. Meanwhile Froi has been trained as a warrior but still lived in a peaceful farm with his newly adopted family. Everything seems to be peaceful to the extent to what had happened during the long 10 years of the Lumatere curse. Villages are being rebuilt but many are dying due the shortage of fertile soil and arguments amongst the people. What makes things worse, is the incoming threats of Charyn soldiers & civilians.
Finnikin & Queen Isaboe have the most difficult and important decision to make and that is to send a spy/assassin to Charyn to figure out what is truly going on and kill the king of Charyn. Froi is nominated due to his fighting & killing abilities as well as the ability to learn new languages. Finnikin & Queen Isaboe expect it will only take a few short months but that is not what really ends up happening. Will Froi be successful in the task at hand or end up dead in the hands of Charyn soldiers?
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I think the material in this book can only be truly understood by readers over the age of 18. I think the Charyn curse of barren women, first borns and Quintana being the only woman to break the curse is a little adult. With that said I had a problem reading it when it came to leaning more about the curse, the part Quintana will play in breaking it, Quintant’s mind & life as the daughter of the king of Charyn. Quintana’s childhood to young adulthood is not typical to what you would think a princess’s life should be. For one she lives in rags, she is dirty, fearful due to people who have tried & almost succeed in poisoning her and that men from a tender age of 13 years have come into her bed to “break the curse”. So her mind is very much like the mind of a fearsome and lonely prostitute.
I loved reading the chapters that focused on the plots, the people of Lumatere and how they were adapting to the new Lumatere. I also loved reading about the relationships that had been ripped apart during the years of the curse but thrown back together. I loved reading about Lucian and his relationship with his Charyn wife Phaedra. It was very much like the early days of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett’s relationship. A couple who spent more time apart due to the fear, anger or hate for one another. I was so happy when they were thrown into a situation where they had no choice to be together and learn more about what to love in one another rather than hate. But it was so sad that it had to end badly for them to where they could not tell each other what they had discovered. But that is where the cliff hanger comes in and your like “WHAT”??
I leave you with that and hope you try to read this book but I would rate the book 3/5 due to the crazy Charyn curse.
Couldn’t the author have come up with some other curse than that.