Book Review: FROI OF THE EXILES

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers that, if read, would render an entire kingdom barren for 18 years. You have been warned. 





So it's been a good long while since I've written a full-length book review, mainly due to the awkward timing of me finishing books and being busy with school or just not having inspiration to type up reviews. Good on you, then, that I have inspiration to write a review on the book I finished earlier today: Brick of the Wall Froi of the Exiles.



... Seriously. That book was freakin' long.







Froi of the Exiles is the second book in the Lumatere Chronicles, and by far the longest of the three. It has action. It has romance. It has daring escapes and captivating suspense.

But above all...













It has De Lancey of Paladozza.

He's probably the only character in any book I've ever read that is described as probably the most handsome creature alive. So naturally, I imagined him like his copy from Fairy Tail.

And naturally, half of the time he's in a scene someone makes fun of him.

Anyway, Froi of the Exiles was the longest book I've read since Oblivion, which was about a year and a half ago.
 Oblivion's rather large font and large spacing inflates the book to an 800+ page beast that is quite high on my favorites list. Froi of the Exile has a smaller-than-normal font and has relatively crowded pages. And it still comes in at around 590 pages. I'd put them at about equal length after considering that fact that Oblivion's writing style is much easier to read.

Froi of the Exiles allows us to revisit Lumatere, the no-longer-cursed kingdom of the first book that took place three years ago. As the title might suggest, the book centers mainly on Froi, who was a secondary character in Finnikin of the Rock. Wait, did I say 'revistit Lumatere'?

I meant 'visit Charyn'. A majority of the expansive book takes place in the confused kingdom of Charyn, which has been suffering a curse for almost twice as long as Lumatere had been. We actually find out later, among many, many other things, that the invasion of Lumatere, the installment of the Imposter King, and everything that staged up the events for the first book were actually a futile attempt on Charyn's part to break their curse.

What is their curse? Oh, they just can't make babies is all.

For 18 years.

The youngest person in the kingdom is the Princess, a split-personality crazy chick that nobody appreciates. More on that later.

Following up on the events from the first book, Froi is sent into Charyn to assassinate their king the princess in return for what they did to Lumatere.


What ensues is a medieval James Bond-esque adventure that sees our enigmatic antihero finally not spitting in everyone's faces ("His favorite response.").

However, the story focuses on more than just Froi's exploits in Charyn. We're kept informed of what's happening in Lumatere with sections of the book written from Beatriss, Isaboe, and Finnikin's point of view, as well as what's going on with the Mont people via a Lucian point of view.

The introduction of about 4 different plot lines going at once (Isaboe and Finnikin are pretty much always together, bar the Isaboe + Beatriss part) was kind of offsetting, as Finnikin of the Rock was entirely from Finnikin's point of view.

However, these plotlines did serve their purpose well, gearing the plot towards what was, without a doubt, a spectacular ending in more ways than one.


A major drawback I found with this book though was that the first half felt like it was trudging itself through mud. Mainly because it was the same thing over and over:

Froi Part: Froi tries to make friends and/or children-> rejected
Lucian Part: Lucian tries to be like his dad -> cries about it
Beatriss Part: Beatriss worries about her dying village -> depression
Finnikin/Isaboe: This should really be the Jasmina part -> brat child is brat

Once you get past all that, though, the story(s) really pick up the pace, with Froi finally making some ground in getting some answers and moving on with his mission instead of trying to make friends with both of Quintana's personalities.

It gets even better when Froi's plan hit's the fan and the king get's supposedly off'd by some jerkwad that got maybe five minutes of screen time.

In a matter of fifty pages, the story turns from Froi literally begging people for answers to Froi having to weigh love against life against loyalty in the crap-storm that becomes a kingdom's capital city in a civil war.

True to the adventurous sense the first book provided us with, the second half of Froi of the Exiles is absolutely amazing. It feels like a genuine adventure, and that you're actually there with the characters. You don't really know where or what they're doing simply because they don't know that themselves until the last moment. It's a great turn the typical on-rails grind of a standard YA novel where you have a protagonist, 2 love interests, and a big bad government.

Here you have a quite misunderstood questionably protagonistic Froi, 2 love interests in one body, and everybody else.

Because you have no idea who the bad guys are.

Why?

Because the characters don't know, either.

Their often times conflicting ideals and goals and 'sides' really prohibit the existence of a single antagonistic entity you can say, "HE'S THE BAD GUY!' to.

It's a rollercoaster of a ride that's wonderfully adventurous, entirely unique, and certainly worth the time it takes to read it. The character development is on par with that of detailed books like the Mortal Instruments, where almost everyone has some kind of tie to everyone else in some way or another, and some of them would much rather keep those ties hidden.


To sum up my opinions, Froi of the Exiles was a great book that was definitely worth the time spent reading it. The engaging writing style made it feel like I was there with the characters, and although the first half of the book was relatively slow and repetitious, the second half really picked it up and more than redeemed the first half with it's massive twists, unexpected deaths, and fast-paced sense of urgency. The character development was fantastic as well, offering a wide range of unique characters each with their own unique personality and relationships.

And then there was the ending, which had me like


So yeah. 




8/10. 

-MechEngie

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