Title: Froi of the Exiles
Author: Melina Marchetta
Pub Date: 03/13/2012
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Marchetta has this great talent for exposing both the great tragedies and the heroic moments in her characters, a talent she definitely debuted in her first novel of this series Finnikin of the Rock. She can both horrify you and fascinate you with her words and descriptions. Yes, her writing is very graphic at times, but that is what makes her writing eerily beautiful. You get the full weight of what she's saying right there on the page in front of you. No, you can't just skim over it or flip the page or avert your eyes; it is right in your face. She makes each reader confront humanity's deepest flaws and darkest moments and in the same breath she also astounds you as to how precious and important that spark of humanity is, no matter how dark it can be. Her characters are stellar and each is continually growing, especially the main character Froi who is definitely not your A-typical hero.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable in that Marchetta has absolutely created her own world. You have no doubt of its structural integrity or that it can't withstand literary scrutiny. Her world is dark and grim but you end up wanting to spend as much time in it as possible. This book, along with its predecessor, was a great delight to read. I enjoyed her characters and the plot. She put her characters in the most gruesome situations and yet she always somehow made you see the best that humanity had to offer; bravery, courage, inspiration in the face of oppression. And that is exactly what every work that features a hero should be about. The hero should exemplify what makes humanity great and compelling and worth the audience's time. All of her heroes possess that which is rare to see in many YA books today.
Cover: The cover was accurate in its depiction of a boy and a sword. It relates to the first book as well since the first book, at least the copy I read, also had a sword on the cover. It doesn't reveal a lot about the plot which is nice; however, it lacked that certain "hook" that many book seem to have. It was nice though to see a book that didn't feature a girl or some magnified body part in order to signal a romance (which this book did have).
Age Range: 16 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: not provided
Additional Comments: This book was a stellar read and I can't wait for the third one! This was one of those series in which the sequels are as good as the first. Many series fall under par after the first as the author's creative juices and ideas dry up. However, you can tell in this book that Marchetta was still heavily emotionally invested in this book and in her characters. I loved that even though the main character was different in this book than in the first, you still didn't lose any of the characters that you had grown to love from the first book. It also gave a lot of new ground for Marchetta to play with by switching the main character, a point that I at first was upset about but then grew to accept and then to love.