Author: Melina Marchetta
Date of Publication: Sept, 29, 2008
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.
Finnikin of the Rock was one of those inevitable reads. I've heard fantastic reviews about Melina Marchetta's work and have always known that I would read her books, especially the Lumatere Chronicles. I finally took the plunge when P.E. recommended I read it and I think I found a new favourite.
This book is a high fantasy novel of the highest order. There is a distinct style of world building that is very different from anything I've seen before. Marchetta has manage to construct a world so intricate that it sometimes causes one to stop and marvel at it's perfection.
Culture isn't often incorporated into books but Finnikin of the Rock was nothing if not a tribute to the Lumatere's culture; a culture that was passed through stories. The stories were the first thing to catch my attention. They were epic tales of victory and love, teaching it's listeners the way of Lumatere and it's heroes.
My main issue with the novel ended up being one that the author created purposefully. Many people probably didn't even bat an eye at Evanjelin the main female lead, but couldn't get over her. She was a strong courageous leader but she lead through lies and deceptions. I hated her with a passion. She was conniving, deceiving, manipulative and she was the main catapult that moved the plot. If something happened to further the plot it was because Evangeline deceived someone to do something. She was too secretive and although that was half the point, I still wasn't happy. I didn't like Evanjelin for most of the book but I think she redeemed herself by the end.
I realize that Evangeline's role was all preplanned and led to a great end but while I was reading I hated her. Looking back I wouldn't be happy to judge the book based on a pet peeve and so I thought it was important to mention but Finnikin of the Rock is too good for me to base my review on just that aspect.
There is too much to love and appreciate in this book. The characters are fantastic. I adored Finn, he was such an amazing young man. I'm not a big reader of male POV's but his is unmatched. My favourite characters were the members of the King's Guard, especially Perri the Savage, Travanion's second in command. I think he was a great representation of how one's family doesn't define them. Perri was a lot like Sirius Black and I love Sirius.
Marchetta managed to build a vivid landscape and people in this book. I adored the images that ran through my head whilst reading Finnikin of the Rock. I can still see his bright red hair, the battles at sea and the curse replaying in my head. The history with the forest dwellers was one that I adored. It's something to relateable because we humans have done many things to others that we perceive as different. Marchetta has written a golden novel and everyone should give it a try.