Title: Finnikin of the Rock
Author: Melina Marchetta
“Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she 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.”
Finnikin and his two best friends make a pact when they are younger, then years later, Finnikin’s resolve in his promise is tested when he meets the novice Evanjalin. Evanjalin brings back painful memories and asks many hard questions, challenging Finnikin at every turn. Together, they must overcome fierce obstacles and face their past… but, will overcoming the past prepare them for the future?
When I read the premise for Finnikin of the Rock, the setting draws me in. I really enjoy books that have a more medieval setting rather than being just historical fiction. In addition to the setting, I am really looking forward to the dialogue between Finnikin and Evanjalin; it sounds like they are going to be at each-other’s throats a bit. I definitely like that Finnikin of the Rock appears to have a physical journey as well as an emotional journey… and I can’t wait to pick it up!
Finnikin is an amazing main character. Throughout the story, I root for him, connect with him, and love being there during his successes and failures. Early on, I see that Finnikin is going to be stubborn and a little controlling. He starts out expecting Evanjalin to do everything he asks… man, does that come back to bite him. Finnikin must undergo huge challenges throughout the book and it tests him emotionally. I really connect with Finnikin on a deeper level than in most stories and, more than a few times, I am shocked at how completely Marchetta draws me into the story. I laugh, (almost) cry, and feel huge waves of relief. I feel disgust, remorse, hope, and love-- not only for the characters, but also alongside them.
Evanjalin is one of the strongest female characters that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Her overall attitude is demure (HA!) but right away, I see the spark of attitude in her. She really does NOT take orders well, and she is constantly getting the group into troublesome situations. Out of all of the characters, I have to say Evanjalin is the one who has a knack for getting under my skin. The way she treats Finnikin really annoys me at times. Since Evanjalin and Finnikin are always butting heads (and NOT in a flirting way) it makes their whole relationship run hot and cold.
Marchetta has a beautiful writing style and she makes reading very enjoyable. Overall, Finnikin of the Rock is one of the best Epic Fantasy stories, and I definitely recommend reading it!
This cover is such a great hook! I mean, really, what draws the eye more than a huge jeweled-hilted sword? Not. Much. Add in a hooded figure fading into the background and that is one alluring cover. Not to mention the fantastic symbolism that the swirling red cloud at the bottom presents, and the way the dead forest seems to call me into the picture… basically, this cover is amazing!
* This book did have some sexual content, it isn't very graphic and it is easy to overlook but it is in there*
I give Finnikin of the Rock 4.5 out of 5 hearts: Very Highly Recommended
Find out more about Melina Marchetta on her website here: http://www.melinamarchetta.com.au/
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