I've come to be a huge Melina Marchetta fan since picking up her Lumatere Chronicles series. Yet, although I enjoyed Quintana of Charyn, I don't think it was Marchetta's best work. I'm still giving this book 4 stars, because this book is still amazing, and if this was any other author that I don't hold to such high standards, this book would have blown me away. I can't help but compare Quintana of Charyn to Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles, though, and since I thought those two books were absolute perfection, it's almost perversely disappointing to get something "just" near perfection from Marchetta. But, I digress.
Unlike the transition from Finnikin of the Rock to Froi of the Exiles, in which the focus really shifts from Finnikin's world to Froi's world, Quintana of Charyn doesn't shake things up from its predecessor. The title seems to imply that the series will now focus on Quintana, but it's a bit of a misnomer, since Froi is still the centerpiece. I adore Froi, so I didn't mind that the book focused on him. In fact, I can't get enough of Froi. (Did I mention how much I frakking love Froi?) However, you do get the occasional point of view from Quintana, as well as a lot of insight into the lives of other beloved characters such as Lucian, Phaedre, Finnikin, Isaboe, etc. Yes, in Quintana of Charyn, you'll find the same beloved characters you found in Froi of the Exiles, and with 500+ pages of books, they get flushed out and grow as people even more. But, that's a lot of book devoted to character development, with not enough book dedicated to plot development (in my opinion). The story in Quintana of Charyn is very slow moving, and I found myself impatient for resolution. Then, when resolution finally, finally came, I thought it felt a bit rushed. There's really not much more I can say than that without getting spoilery - I wish I could give you examples, but since they'd all reveal what happens in the end, that wouldn't be very nice - so you're just going to have to take my word for it, or not.
With that said, I still found my self satisfied by the book's ending, and felt that the series was wrapped up nicely in Quintana of Charyn. Even so, I crave more from the land of Skuldenore, and can only hope that Marchetta will return to that realm at some point in the future. She's built such an amazing world, that it would be such a shame not to! If she doesn't, though, at least she gave us the gift of Quintana of Charyn, and a perfect ending to her fantastic Lumatere Chronicles series.
At least I still have Ferragost to read! Even if it's just a short story, I will take what I can get.