16th April: A bit on Jellicoe and counting down Quintana

Quintana of Charyn will be released in the US in a week’s time. Some wonderful US industry reviews below from Horn, Booklist, PW and Kirkus.  If you haven’t read Froi of the Exiles, don’t read the reviews but thankfully no Quintana spoilers.

Also, soon I’ll be off on a short location recce with Kate Woods and Sue Taylor (director and producer of Jellicoe) , so hopefully there will be some news to share in the next couple of weeks. Lack of film information doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  It just means that so much is done that can’t be revealed until everything is in place.  But  one of the greatest joys of the last week has been the photographs sent by Peter Lawless who is a film Location Manager. After reading the script he has photographed some of the places which may be perfect for filming specific locations.  My favourites are below: The first two depict the narrow stretch of the river that separates Taylor and Jonah. Just imagine that hidden behind those trees is Hannah’s house (the facade of the house will be built especially for the film). The other photograph is obviously one of the trees auditioning to be the Prayer Tree. This is all located about a 6 hour drive north of Sydney in Northern NSW on the Never Never River close to Bellingen in an area aptly known as The Promised Land.  We, of course, will be staying in a house by the river, pretending that we’re guests of Hannah.

river with rope

Hannah's side of the river

Prayer Tree_2222

The Quintana Reviews

Horn Books

Fans of Finnikin of the Rock (rev. 5/10) and Froi of the Exiles (rev. 5/12) have had a nail-biting wait for this final book: Froi’s heartbreaker ending was followed by a stunning epilogue that brought back hope—and two characters previously thought dead. Here, everyone—both friend and foe—is hunting for Quintana, queen of Charyn, pregnant with the future heir. Marchetta has a complex plot to wrap up, but she orchestrates the whole magnificently, using multiple points of view to bring all to a glorious conclusion: not only does every main character (there are at least six) find resolution, but even minor ones turn out to have major roles in the story. The protagonists’ affiliations (with lovers, family, and friends) are realistically complicated; the romantic relationships shimmer with sexy scenes and sharp-witted dialogue. Despite its length, the book will mesmerize readers with several hair-raising moments that ratchet up tension; memorably detailed descriptions provide vivid images of the setting; and Marchetta’s themes of belonging and forgiveness are powerfully wrought. Fans of Megan Whelan Turner and Elizabeth Wein should find this exceptional series especially compelling.

Jennifer m. Brabander

Kirkus Reviews – Starred

Fans of Finnikin of the Rock (2010) and Froi of the Exiles (2012) will find deep satisfaction in this finale to the Lumatere Chronicles. This trilogy, taken as a whole, is stronger than each of its distinct parts.

Marchetta, known for her mastery of character, shows herself here to have conquered the intricacies of plot, worldbuilding and theme. All three books demonstrate both the heights and depths of human nature. If the first two books depict two young men with depth and reality, this third applauds the growth and courage of Princess (or Queen, depending who’s talking) Quintana—who is not immediately likable but becomes more admirable as the narrative progresses. Omniscient narration alternates three major stories: of Froi, who searches for Quintana in Charyn, of the residents of Lumatere, and of Quintana, who is in hiding to protect the life of her child. Peppering the tale are details of Quintana’s thoughts and longings, which broaden understanding of her personality. A multitude of plot twists and surprises bring together events that seemed complete in the first two books and emphasize the importance of Quintana’s story.

Readers will have a hard time forgetting the complex, deeply human characters that populate this multifaceted narrative.

Booklist Review Starred

With previous instalment of her mesmerising Lumatere Chronicles, Marchetta allowed readers the satisfaction of piecing together parts of the puzzle that is saga of the lands and peoples of Skuldenore, but the entire picture remained tantalizingly incomplete. Now, with this brilliant final volume, the remaining pieces snap perfectly into place. Froi sets out to find and protect pregnant Quintana, his strange and savage love, raise an army against the usurper, and prevent war. As in the previous volumes, the narrative is complex, alternating between Froi’s journey and the concurrent events in Lumatere, but here the plot is more straightforward, while the previous volumes’ excellent features—world-building, plotting, and characterization—continue to shine. Marchetta builds on the reader’s knowledge of this world, adding rich sensory details to enhance the sense of place. Marchetta skilfully expands our understanding of the large cast of characters, most from the earlier books, through her masterful depictions of relationships. Of special interest is the portrayal of the often-unlikable Quintana, whose very existence is the catalyst that offers the promise of peace and hope. As Froi gains understanding of the disparate pieces that make up Quintana, readers put together the intricately plotted pieces that make this vivid and wholly satisfying story complete. A stand-out fantasy series.  HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The multiple copies that you order now may not be enough to satisfy Marchetta’s legions of fans, who have been buzzing about this trilogy’s conclusion for months.  — Lynn Rutan

Publisher’s Weekly Review starred

Marchetta triumphantly concludes the trilogy that began with Finnikin of the Rock, as the kingdoms of Lumatere and Charyn attempt to bridge past atrocities through a new generation of leaders. Although tragedies arise, unity and healing are core themes, compared to the horrors of the previous books. As the title suggests, Quintana—the rightful ruler of Charyn, hidden following the uprising in the kingdom in Froi of the Exiles—is at the center of this final book. Forces conspire against Quintana while her beloved Froi tries to find the queen before her enemies do. One of the hallmarks of this series has been the complexity and attention Marchetta gives to both primary and secondary characters, creating a richly human cast of damaged but noble individuals; she frequently shifts perspective among them, highlighting the pain, joy, and experience that unites them despite prejudice, heartache, nationality, and other sources of division. Readers who have fallen in love with Quintana, Froi, Finnikin, Isaboe, and others will eagerly seek out what fate has in store for them.

28 thoughts on “16th April: A bit on Jellicoe and counting down Quintana

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  17. Claire

    Oh wow! I’ve swum in that river; I’ve jumped off that rope. The promised land would be an amazing place for On The Jellicoe Road.

  18. Cindy

    Those pictures are absolutely perfect! You couldn’t have picked better scenes. I am so excited for the Jellicoe Movie. It’s one of my all time favourite books. Do you have an idea of when it’s going to be released?

  19. Nashrah Siddiqui

    Oh my goodness! Every time you post photos from the On the Jellicoe Road my heart starts beating like crazy because of all this excitement! When I first read the book I fell into my own little dreamy bubble and imagined all the places from the book and to see it now in real photos is an amazing feeling! I can’t wait for the film, please keep on posting more photos!

  20. melina marchetta Post author

    We’ve always set out to make a Australian film that would have universal appeal in the same way the novel has. So I know that a lot of the focus of pre pre production is to secure distributors and sales agents, both here and overseas, So hopefully, a big Yes.

  21. Amy Oelkers

    INCREDIBLE reviews, and you deserve them all. You have a big group of fans in Minneapolis, MN that are ecstatic for you and Quintana. And those Jellicoe pictures are AMAZING!!!

  22. Meghan

    Those pictures look amazing. I am SO excited for the movie. Do you know if it will be released in the US?

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