Froi of the Exiles: BookTwo of the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

The Lumatere Chronicles

Froi of the Exiles (available in October 2011)

Blood sings to blood … Those born last will make the first … For Charyn will be barren no more.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home … or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior’s discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place.

It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood … and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Gripping and intense, complex and richly imagined, Froi of the Exiles is a dazzling sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, from the internationally best-selling and Continue reading

The Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist 2011

Congratulations to all of the longlisted authors!

Update: Click here for The 2011 Miles Franklin Award Shortlist

The longlisted authors are:

Jon Bauer – Rocks in the Belly

How far can you push a child before he snaps?

Rocks in the Belly tells the story of an eight-year-old boy and the adult he becomes. When he is young his mother fosters boys, despite the jealous turmoil it arouses in her son: jealousy that reaches unmanageable proportions when she fosters Robert, a child she can’t help bonding with. As the connection between them grows, the son’s envy triggers an event that profoundly changes everyone. Especially Robert.

At twenty-eight, still haunted by his childhood, the son returns to face his mother, who is now chronically ill. He hasn’t forgiven her for what happened to Robert, and yet she isn’t the same domineering woman anymore. Now she’s the dependent one and he the dominant force — a power he can’t help but abuse.

Written in two startlingly original voices, Rocks in the Belly is about the effortless destruction we wreak on one another in the simple pursuit of our own happiness, and a reminder that we never leave our childhood behind. A fast-paced, powerful, yet often beautiful and funny novel.

Order your copy of Rocks in the Belly here

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Honey Brown – The Good Daughter

Rebecca Toyer and Zach Kincaid each live on the outskirts of town, but come from very different sides of the tracks. When Zach’s wealthy mother goes missing, Rebecca – the truckie’s daughter – is implicated in her disappearance.

In the weeks that follow, Rebecca and Zach are drawn into a treacherous, adult world. Eager to please, Rebecca finds herself in danger of living up to the schoolyard taunts she so hates, while Zach channels his feelings through the sights of his gun.

In the fading summer light, grudges are nursed and tempers fray, and as old lies unravel it seems nobody can be relied on. But beyond the fallout, the hard lessons in love and betrayal have not been wasted. Rebecca and Zach realise that judgements can be flawed – and that trust is better earnt than given.

Original, unsettling and compelling, The Good Daughter is the much-anticipated second novel from Continue reading

Melina Marchetta hits the right note with The Piper’s Son

A welcome return to form from Melina Marchetta who captured the hearts and minds of young adults (and their mums) with Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca. Marchetta did garner new fans with Finnikin of the Rock and On the Jellicoe Road, but she is at her best in the inner city and it is here that she has returned with The Piper’s Son.  I have long been a big fan, but I am leaving the running here to Shoshana Booth, who is bang smack in her target market, and who is much more eloquent than I on the subject of the very talented Ms Marchetta.

Here is her review.

I don’t think any Australian girl twenty years or under should miss the phenomenon that was Looking for Alibrandi, Marchetta’s debut novel set in Leichardt, Sydney. Written from a sixteen-year old Italian-Australian’s point of view, Marchetta explored race, cultural identity, exams, boys, and growing up. In her second novel, Saving Francesca, the main character a teenager with a similar background, but this time dealing with depression, family obligation, and (of course) growing up. Personally, I preferred Saving Francesca – I found it funny, insightful and so honest I cried (several times). I have just re-read Saving Francesca in anticipation of her Continue reading

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