REVIEW #115: Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles #3) by Melina Marchetta

Title: Quintana of Charyn
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #3
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Pages: 528, Hardcover
Source: Library

The climactic conclusion of Printz Award winner Melina Marchetta’s epic fantasy trilogy!

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While 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. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exilescoalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.


So if you are an avid reader in the YA genre then you probably recognize the name ‘Melina Marchetta’. If not, then let me tell you all you need to know about her work - IT IS AMAZING. So amazing that you should probably go read one of her books immediately and not mention to any of your bookish friends that you have not done so yet. Then you can come back here and let me know which book you read and how much you loved it and I will refrain from saying ‘I told you so’ and just fangirl with you.

Now that that’s been said, let’s move on to my review of Quintana of Charyn… Since this is the third and final book in The Lumatere Chronicles I am going to divide my review in two - a review for those of you who’ve started the series and a review for those of you who haven’t. I’ll keep both simple.

For those of you who have started this series, you are familiar with her work and I don’t need to convince you of how amazing these books are. Instead, I promise you that Quintana of Charyn is just as bit as good as the first two books, if not better, because we get a conclusion to the stories of all the characters we have grown to love. And it is some conclusion. All questions were answered, all loose ends were tied up, and I am left completely satisfied with how things ended. There are just as many feels as the first two books. Again, we experience love, hate, loyalty, betrayal, passion, indifference, and so many more heart-wrenching emotions. The character development is also just as strong. I can’t tell you how much I love these characters. I think Froi of the Exiles was the darkest book of the trilogy but Quintana of Charyn is just as beautiful and as heartbreaking as them all. I loved it entirely.

For those of you who haven’t started this series, trust me when I say that you do not have to be a lover of fantasy to enjoy these books. In fact, I would define this series not by the curses that have befallen the people or the kingdoms and lands that provide the setting, but the characters that Marchetta has created and their connections to each other. In fact, when I reflect on this series it is not the action that stands out to me but the relationships I witnessed and the feelings I experienced. Oh sure there is adventure and a fantastic story that will entrance readers but the real magic here is in the completely fierce, raw, unrestrained emotion that is present throughout. The characters that Marchetta has created are among the best I have ever encountered and will surely grow on you. They are flawed, they all have dark pasts, but they are good too, they know how to endure, they have learned from their mistakes and their futures are promising. I promise you that their struggles will stay with you and their fierce loyalty will inspire you. I promise you that the story is so detailed, satisfying and complete. BUT there is a balance for all in this book. You will feel love to such depths but you will also feel equal measures of hate. Horrifying things happen to the characters in this story. It is not delicate by any means. But wonderful things happen too. For all the bad that you will experience you will also experience good. For all of the negative emotions that you feel, you will also feel positive emotions.

And as it is my style, I have provided a short excerpt that will demonstrate the kind of writing you will see in this book:

“Back then, he didn’t understand the words he sang. All he understood was an empty stomach that needed to be filled. But now, as he started his song, he knew exactly what he was singing and his voice reached depths that he hadn’t known existed. And when Arjuro’s voice joined in, it was a communion, a blood tie, and Froi felt the strength that both their voices gave those listening. He watched men place clenched hands to their chests; he saw tears spring to surprised eyes. He saw Lirah push her way through the men on the balcony above, transfixed. Froi’s voice felt like a caress for his battered soul. Because he sang for Quintana of Charyn. He sang for the misery of her life, the poison in her body, the scars on her skin, and the courage in her character. And he sang for the child he would never call his own. He sang for the Charyn he would leave behind, and he felt his hand clench in a fist at the thought of such a kingdom. It made his voice soar with Arjuro’s, to a height that matched its earlier depth. And when it was over and he pushed through the crowd, he felt hands clap his back, ruffle his cap, and shake his hand as he moved among them. He felt their euphoria.” 

So if you’ve taken anything away from my review I hope that it is to not be afraid of this series even if fantasy is not your unusual genre. If you do love fantasy, well then, what are you waiting for? I would recommend Marchetta’s work to anyone and everyone. She is amazingly talented and her books are always among my favorites.


  1. Great review... but I still don't think I could get into this one.

  2. I've only read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and it took me a little while to get into at first but I LOVED it once I finished and I don't usually even read contemporary fiction. I'm a fantasy lover so I'm really looking forward to reading this series. :)

  3. I just finished reading the series fairly recently, but it still lingers with me because Marchetta is just THAT GOOD. The way she writes her characters and the complexity of who they are and all their relationships is just so gosh darn AWESOME.


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