Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Finnikin of The Rock

 Book: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Released: September 29, 2008
Publisher: Viking Australia
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

"Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best." 

   Finnikin is just a boy during the Five Days of the Unspeakable. His beloved country of Lumatere is invaded by soldiers who assassinate the royal family and place an impostor king on the throne. During the five days of the unspeakable many of the people of Lumatere flee before the borders are magically sealed and the land is cloaked darkness.  

Finnikin, the son of the Captain of the Guard and best friend of the murdered Prince Balthazar, escapes with Sir Topher, the first man of the assassinated king. Now, ten years after the Unspeakable, Finnikin and Sir Topher have been traveling to the surrounding kingdoms to find the Lumaterran exiles and locate a piece of land for the cursed people of Lumatere to settle. But when Finnikin is summoned to a convent by a messenger they come across Evangelin, a novice who claims to have been walking the sleep of Balthazar. Convincing Finnikin and his mentor that the heir of Lumatere is alive, Evangelin leads then on a path towards home and hope.

But is Evangelin really what she seems? Will she lead them to the heir who will save their people? When the startling truth is revealed it will not only test Finnikin's faith in Evangelin, but everything he's known to be true since the five days of the unspeakable. 

After reading Jellicoe Road (another of my faves) I knew that Melina Marchetta is an author that I would follow anywhere. So when I found that she had a written a fantasy novel, I couldn't resist. "Finnikin of the Rock" was Melina's first foray into the fantasy world. She has since written two sequels, making "Finnikin" the first book of "The Lumatere Chronicles." This trilogy is my favorite, even before, *gasp* "The Hunger Games." Why, you ask? Because of the characters.

   Melina writes this entire cast of characters that are complex, real and surprisingly easy to relate to. Each character is memorable and unique. It's what keeps me coming back to this novel. I've read Finnikin of The Rock twenty times, if not more, and I'm still thinking about them all.

   Then there is the world in which the characters live. Every single place mentioned, every culture is important to this book. Sometimes it becomes confusing to keep it all separated. However, the little details that Melina weaves into her bigger picture storyline is phenomenal, so soak it up! It also helps that there is a map at the front of the book to reference when you forget where our characters are. 

Finnikin of the Rock is a beautifully written epic fantasy, about the meaning of home and the power of holding on to hope.

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