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 Devil, a 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.