Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

RATING: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy

(Lumatere Chronicles #1)

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock–to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she’ll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

Literary Awards: A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2010), Australian Book Industry Award for Book of the Year for Older Children (2009),Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards Nominee for Book of the Year – Older Readers (2009), Booklist Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels for Youth (2010), Aurealis Award for Young Adult Novel (2008), Aurealis Award for Young Adult Novel (2008), Sakura Medal Nominee for High School Book (2010), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2011),Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction (2010), YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults (2011),YALSA Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults (2011)

*****

POWERFUL.

Marchetta’s stories are never easy, but I love them nonetheless. And Finnikin of the Rock ousted (On the) Jellicoe Road as my top Marchetta favorite! This is because I am more inclined to fantasy than contemporary. Not to mention Marchetta knows how to make me grin so wide and squeal so loud with Finnikin’s and Evanjalin’s not-so-easy relationship. *sigh* However, I was heavily disappointed with how the Lumaterans dealt with the impostor king and his men. Yes, Finnikin, I am with you on this, too. And for that, marry me instead of her! =)

Finnikin is the ultimate leader: skilled in fighting, fluent in several languages, compassionate with his fellow exiles. Hardened by their ten-year-exile, he refused to be coerced by a novice into believing the heir to the throne, Balthazar, is still alive. He cannot have hope and have it crushed again. His convictions are pretty much my convictions. His beliefs are my beliefs. And so naturally I felt when he started to fall for Evanjalin… She confused me. She’s so unpredictable that I love her one minute, then I hate her the next. Those several tug-of-wars between Evanjalin and Finnikin was like a damp towel that I do not need. But her intelligence, iron will and determination… I want them! The guile and strength on such a fragile girl is enough to earn my respect. Other notable characters are Trevanion, Perri the Savage, and the thief. I cannot wait to read your story, thief. =)

The story is unbelievable. Can you imagine Marchetta wrote contemporaries before this book? I can’t; it’s a whole different ball game and still, her writing worked. But there are tiny holes in the plot. You might not notice them at first read, but it is there. The only bad thing I cannot let go is how the impostor king and his men ended up. It went against what Finnikin believed and I totally agree with him. It is not a strategic move of a good monarch; it is an indulgent action of a vengeful orphan. Tsk. Tsk. I really did not like that.

Finnikin of the Rock’s story is undeniable. You should definitely read it. Marchetta’s definition of fantasy is delightfully soaked in blood. =)

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

  1. I have this checked out from the library and started it… but sadly put it down and read other books. Will need to pick it back up because you’ve really renewed my interest! Although with Marchetta, I trust it’s going to be excellent. Great review!

  2. I really liked this book, too! And now you’ve convinced me that I need to read more by Marchetta, as soon as possible. :D I also see that you’re reading The Ask and the Answer now. I loooveee that book so much! Can’t wait to see what you think of it!

  3. I’ve been browsing around your blog & I like your reviews :) Aaah this brings back memories. Holly crap this book was good, I was hooked from the minute I started it. I just finished the sequel, “Froi of the Exiles” & it’s great your looking forward to reading the thief’s story, because this book was incredible. Darker, heavier, and even more heart-wrenching than the first.

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Lumatere Chronicles #2: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta « reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

  5. Pingback: Book Review: Lumatere Chronicles #3: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta « reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

  6. Pingback: Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes | reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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