BANNER_lumatereIt’s an honor to be hosting the first ever Duchess Book Club here at A Novel Idea today! I’m also really lucky to be good friends with some lovely bloggers who have become my support system, critique group, reading buddies, and fellow cake enthusiasts over the past few months. We’re the duchesses, and we’re talking about the third and final installment of the Lumatere Chronicles, Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta! Thanks Charlene, Charlotte, and Tory for agreeing to read this at the same time so we’d all have shoulders to cry on and people to flail and sob with! (Btw, in addition to being duchesses, we are also founding members of the #PostFinnikinSupportGroup~)

quintanaTITLE: Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)

AUTHOR: Melina Marchetta

GENRE: High Fantasy

PRECEDED BY: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn’s unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn’s war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves. (from Goodreads)


Only continue reading if you’ve already finished the book, please! #WhatNeedsToBeDone

(Spoiler-Free Option: scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post for our feelings translated into GIFS. You’re welcome.)


BANNER_lumatereHi everyone! So it’s already time for the Week 2 discussion in our Finnikin of the Rock read-along! If you missed last week’s discussion, it’s definitely not too late to answer — just stop by Charlene’s blog for the topic and link up your post. By this time some of you may have already finished the book, but even if you’re still early in your reading, you should still be able to weigh in on this week’s topic:

The idea of ‘home’ is extremely important to the story of Finnikin and Evanjalin’s journey. How do their ideas of ‘home’ differ? What does ‘home’ mean to you?

As someone who has moved around constantly her entire life, my idea of home is kind of a portable concept for me. I’ve never lived in one place for longer than five years because I grew up as part of a military family, and then I married into the Air Force. So for me, home isn’t really tied to a specific address. For Finnikin, years of exile have significantly altered what home means; he’s begun to feel like they need to make their home wherever it’s possible, and that home doesn’t necessarily have to mean Lumatere itself. Meanwhile, Evanjalin is fiercely dedicated to returning to their cursed homeland and reclaiming it. For her, home is not something that can be uprooted and moved elsewhere. Home is always going to be Lumatere.

But which of these differing solutions is the best one for the exiled Lumateran people? This is one of the foremost conflicts of the book. What are your thoughts? Would you side with Finnikin and try to make a new home for your people, or would you fight to take back the home that is rightfully yours? (Personally I would side with Evanjalin partly because I’m afraid of NOT siding with her… hahahaha)

The Journey Home: Week 2 Discussion

Link up your posts for the event here!


Unlike my experience actually reading Finnikin of the Rock for the first time, the story behind how I discovered the book isn’t at all exciting. I devour fantasy books on a regular basis and I’m always looking for my next escape, which is what led me to Lumatere. I remember skimming through a few reviews on Goodreads and finding myself compelled by the sheer amount of people who were rendered incoherent and/or speechless by this book. This got me thinking that I should probably pick it up.

finnpost01Some 400 pages later, I realized this had been one of the best literary moments of my life. EVER. But I’d packed my bags and applied for permanent citizenship long before that. Maybe it was the first time Evanjalin rolled her eyes at Finnikin. (And all the subsequent times hahaha) Maybe it was every single time these characters kept going, never giving up on the home they’d been forced to leave behind. I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened exactly, but somewhere on that journey I decided I belonged there too.


BANNER_lumatereIntro @ Bookish Whimsy | Sign Up | Event Schedule

Today’s the day! We’re journeying home to Lumatere over the next three weeks, celebrating this incredible series with a read-along of the first book (Finnikin of the Rock) and tons of posts from ourselves and fellow bloggers. We’re so excited!!! Participants: please help us out by tagging your event-related tweets with #TheJourneyHome OR mentioning one of us so that we can help promote your posts!

Charlene:  So fellow Duchess of Lumatere!  I’m so happy that it’s time to celebrate these books that we love and I think really brought us together and I thought a good first question is how did you come to read Finnikin of the Rock in the first place?

Paola:  Good question, fellow Duchess of Lumatere! I saw tons of wonderful reviews for the books ranging from outright incoherency to just buckets full of tears and decided that this book needed to be read. So I read it. And it was life changing!!!! I won’t ask you how you decided to read the book cause I am the person who made you read it… hahahaha.

Charlene:  LOL! And I’m forever grateful! I saved it to read on a flight to London, and it was great to pass the tedious time at the airport.  Since this book is rather life changing for people who fall in love with the story – what would you say makes this book stand apart from other YA fantasies out there?

Paola:  I think the biggest difference between this book (well, entire series) and other fantasies is that it packs so much emotion into every scene. There are no emotions done by halves. Everything that happens between these characters is seriously so visceral and unforgettable, you just get punched in the face repeatedly by the Feels. I’m not saying other books aren’t also capable of eliciting strong emotions… I’m just saying that Melina Marchetta should receive multiple awards for being able to make me burst into tears with only one freaking sentence!!! What do YOU think makes this book special??