cover image Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta. Candlewick, $18.99 (608p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4759-9

In a spellbinding companion to Finnikin of the Rock, set three years after the events of that book, Marchetta shifts attention from Lumatere to its neighboring enemy kingdom of Charyn, no stranger to violence and curses itself—in this case, one that has left its citizens barren for 18 years. Froi, a former street thief who has started a new life in Lumatere, is sent to Charyn in disguise to assassinate its king, but his worldview is shaken by revelations about his own unknown past. Tensions between the two kingdoms ratchet up, and Froi’s loyalties are tested as he becomes entrenched in the chaotic political situation in Charyn and is drawn to its unpredictable princess, Quintana, who has been horribly abused in an attempt to break Charyn’s curse. Marchetta again demonstrates her fearlessness in exposing humanity at its ugliest (rape, massacre, and prejudice are rampant), but also at its noblest, as her damaged characters struggle to rebuild their lives. The precipice on which Marchetta leaves readers will have them aching—but also terrified—to discover what comes next. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Mar.)