Tuesday, April 23, 2013

REVIEW REPOST: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta + GIVEAWAY

My review of Quintana of Charyn originally published in the fall as part of the 132 minutes blog tour. Because I love this book so much, I'm reposting it on the day of the US release. I'm also giving away a copy of the book!

Quintana of Charyn
by Melina Marchetta 
Read: October 11-13, 2012
Published: April 23, 2013 by Candlewick Press **TODAY**
Source: Purchase (also, ARC from Publisher. THANK YOU, Candlewick!)
Category: High Fantasy
Series: Book 3 Lumatere Chronicles

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn's unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn's war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves. (from Goodreads)


Quintana of Charyn is the type of book that I seize up trying to review. It is so vast and beautiful and heartbreaking that I don't know how to put it into words. Instead of trying and failing to capture everything, I wanted to talk about one thing that Melina Marchetta excels at: People. 

Quintana of Charyn is about characters and relationships. Between parents and children and lovers and brothers and kings and queens and even kingdoms. What makes all of Melina Marchetta's books amazing is the people in them - the absolute realness and beauty of her characters, who stand out because they are complicated and not perfect. But she doesn't just create individuals. It's when they interact with each other that Marchetta's magic happens. 
She builds families that connect in surprisingly intricate ways, even when they are not related at all. 

I fell in love with so many people in this book. Two entire nations in fact. And I felt their pain. There is so much sadness and heartbreak in these pages. But also great love and hope and wonder. I don't know how Marchetta does it again and again, but when I finished this series, I felt like I personally knew these characters. Every one of them has a story to tell. And tell it they do. 

I came up with a list of 30 people in Lumatere and Charyn who stole my heart in big and small ways. Some of them are major players, some are minor. But even the minor ones are capable of big things and huge growth. What is remarkable about this series is that I could tell you something significant about every one of these 30 people - who they are, what they've done and whether I could trust them or not. What is even more remarkable is that I had to cut this list down to 30. There are so many more that I don't name

Finnikin. Isaboe. Sir Topher. The Priestking. Lord August. Lady Abian. Celie. Beatriss. Vestie. Trevanion. Perri. Tesadora. Lucian. Phaedra. Jory. Yata. Rafuel. Quintana. Froi. Gargarin. Lirah. Arjuro. De Lacey. Grigio. Trippadeaux. Perabo. Scarpo. Olivier. Fekra. Dorcas. 

These people were beaten, tortured, raped, sacrificed, betrayed. They cried and bled and dared to hope. They are assassins, mothers, lovers, leaders, builders, fighters, healers and survivors. But despite all these things that they are, none of them would have been the same without their relationships with each other. I wanted to climb inside them and never let go.

Among these 30 people are six whose stories I came to know closely. Whose journeys have so completely woven themselves through the trilogy and into my heart that it was difficult to say goodbye to them at the end of the book. 

These six stories are about the love between a Queen and her Consort.
About a leader struggling to learn what it means not only to lead but to be good at it. 
About the sacrifices made by an unhappy bride.
About a girl who will do anything to survive.
And about the boy who will do everything to find her. 

And of those six it is Quintana and Froi whose journeys I've found to be the most heartbreaking and also breathtaking. From the first book to the last, Froi changes the most of almost any character that I have ever read about. A transformation that you must not miss. And Quintana is one of (if not) the craziest heroines that I have ever encountered. And yet, her choices make perfect sense. If you have not read this series and experienced these people, you are missing out. Pick it up now. 

Quintana of Charyn is the third and finale book in the Lumatere Chronicles that began with Finnikin of the Rockand Froi of the Exiles. This series is a masterpiece, and reading it felt like watching a beautiful tapestry being stitched one thread at a time. It's not until it is complete that you can see the vastness of it. How all the individual parts fit together. I love LOVE when pieces from earlier books finally make sense. When redemption is found after so much wanting. Finally seeing the individual thread of each person put together, takes my breath away.  

Cliffhanger Scale: The series is complete! But I'm hoping there will be more stories to come from minor characters, like Lady Celie. Have you read her short mystery?

Love Triangle Factor: Mild (This is hard to gage with so many characters, but I love that Marchetta's characters tend to mate for life.)


An ARC of the US version of Quintana of Charyn

Giveaway is for US or Canada residents only (sorry other international readers!)
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really really need to start this series. I have heard such amazing things from Candace and Maja. I must go in and block out some time on my ridiculous schedule. Thanks for the chance to win. Fingers crossed. Since I haven't started the series my favorite baby name would be Jory..... Not Dorcas for sure. I wont' be needing any baby names anyway since my two kids are here and we are done they are named Risa and Mateus :)

  2. I've been waiting for this one to come out before I read Froi. I loved finnikin of the rocks sooooo much. You're right about the way Marchetta writes. You just fall into the story and become part of it. The characters are like family. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    1. Oops, my favourite character was Finnikin, or maybe Froi once I've read his book :)

  3. Books like Quintana are almost impossible to review, but you did a great, great job. I reviewed Froi (my favorite), but never even tried with Finnikin or Quintana.
    I agree, Marchetta somehow made us care for these characters so deeply that their fate became ours and their joy ours as well. I don't remember ever being invested like this. I'm just hearbroken that it's over.

  4. Oh, hooray for reviewing it because I so get what you mean when you say it's hard to review this kind of book. I haven't read it yet, but I've read those kinds of books and sometimes I just give up. It sounds great!

    Baby names. Hmm, I'd comment on this anyways, but I love them all so much. Celie is pretty as is Jory :)

  5. Such a great review, L! Loved reading it again. Gotta get off my butt and get my notes out to write mine:) Whoever wins your ARC will be very lucky!

  6. Aw, I'm glad you loved this series so much, Lauren. Tonya loved it too. I'm not entering the giveaway since I haven't read the first book, but it's so lovely of you to post this review again and to sponsor the contest for your readers. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. You are so right, Quintana is so difficult to review, I just freeze up trying to think what to say. I can't possibly convey the impact of this series on me. Marchetta's characters are unforgettable, and beautifully written. It's so hard to believe how much Froi has changed since he was a thief in Sarnak. His journey is my favorite, followed closely by Phaedra and Quintana's. Such a beautiful book, and your lovely review certainly does it justice! Thanks for sharing :-)


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