—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In this impressive companion to FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, the focalization shifts from Finn to Froi (perhaps the most intriguing member of the first book’s superb supporting cast), enabling Marchetta to explore the political machinations working beyond Lumatere and to examine human interactions... Where Finnikin was about the reclamation of something lost, Froi’s story is about the building of something new in the wake of physical and sexual trauma at both an individual and societal level. Fans of the first book are no doubt expecting to be challenged by its sequel, and they will not be disappointed by this thrilling, romantic, and utterly unforgettable tale.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Marchetta's close attention to detail slows the pace initially, as she lays out the boundaries and topography of her imagined world. But dedicated readers will be richly rewarded, as soon enough the tale is transformed into a lush tapestry in which each stitch is a nugget of history and each splash of color a rounded character that engages readers' emotions. The expertly crafted ending is designed to leave fans old and new waiting with keen anticipation for the next entry... Expect significant attention for this highbrow, high-fantasy sequel.
—Booklist (starred review)
This intricately plotted novel has richly drawn and well-developed characters. This is Marchetta’s strength. She is truly a master of formal, stylized high fantasy. . . The characters and their conflicts, particularly Quintana—one of the most fascinating characters in the fantasy genre—will keep readers glued to this absorbing sequel. Recommend this book to fans of fantasy authors Christopher Paolini or Megan Whalen Turner.