‘What Took Me So Long’ Review | The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin froi quintana

About Book One:

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin’s faith in her . . . but in himself.

amazon2 bn2

I am so glad I was able to reread the Lumatere Chronicles in April.  I didn’t realize how long ago I read this beautiful trilogy, and it felt amazing to get reacquainted with some of my favorite fictional friends.

This isn’t one of the more well known Fantasy series, but I do think it’s definitely one of the best.  I could be biased, because not only is this my favorite author, but Lumatere Chronicles is my absolute favorite Fantasy series.  Ever.  Every single time I read it I love it even more.

In my opinion, Melina Marchetta is an all around brilliant author, but her biggest strength has always been the depth of her characters and their relationships with each other.  Lumatere Chronicles has some amazing characters.  When I read other books, including other Fantasy novels, there are one or two characters that really standout.  I feel like my deep love for the entire cast is one of the reasons Lumatere Chronicles is so standout for me.  I love ALL the characters almost equally, and I love them specifically because they’re beautiful and flawed.  A well written character doesn’t always make the right choices, just like all of us, but if the author was able to bind you to them emotionally you love them anyway.  I love them all, even when they’re boneheads.

Another thing I feel is special about Lumatere Chronicles is how relevant it feels to our natural world.  When asked about her most recent novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devila novel about terrorism and racial profiling, Melina Marchetta said this: “It’s unashamedly a criticism of the treatment of minority groups at different periods in history, no different to my past work. Post September 11 it’s been the Muslim community, but every generation has someone to hate or persecute.” Then she continued, “Much like all of my work, it’s about family, community, ignorance and what binds us.”  I feel like she was talking about Lumatere Chronicles, because it is a story about family, community, ignorance, and what they discover actually binds them.  Often, a fantasy novel will contain a ‘bad’ people, and a ‘good’ people, and that’s that.  In Lumatere Chronicles, if you complete it, you discover both sides have a story to tell.  In fact, they have similarities which should make them allies.  It was especially powerful reading those characters I loved try to come to terms with not seeing their neighbors as the enemy.

Honestly, if you consider yourself a fan of Fantasy but you haven’t read this trilogy, I would recommend you give it a try.  Yes, technically Melina Marchetta generally writes YA, but these stories are not light.  They’re heartbreaking, violent, and relevant.  Lumatere Chronicles isn’t going to be the most fast paced story.  Don’t go into this series looking for something like Nevernight.  It’s an introspective journey, but it is so well worth it.  Especially for those who read to the end.

Rating: 5-feathers


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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

12 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for writing this post!!! I feel far too many of us don’t write about our favorite books because 1) we don’t think we can do them justice and 2) we read them so long ago a review feels silly. This is a new series to me and I’ve added it to my TBR. Did you re-read the whole series?

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      1. Everyone should had addiction series. I’ve probably read Harry Potter two dozen times now… O_o

        Your approach to reviewing favorites is admirable! I recently re-read The Night Circus (my favorite stand alone novel). You’ve convinced me to review it for a post now. 😀 Thanks!

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  2. i would pretty much die for marchetta & lumatere chronicles were the first thing i read by her. i agree with u 100% on the strength of her writing being in the characters & the relationships! she just put so much effort into that, and it’s so clear how much she actually respects her characters. i love that they’re all always allowed to be simply human: messy & beautiful & not always right.
    i actually started rereading lumatere some time ago, but im a weak baby and the thought of reading froi again……… i don’t think i will survive that………

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