Friday, July 22, 2016

Review - Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1)
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genre: High Fantasy 
Age Group: Young Adult (with mature content)
Source - Purchased 
Published - September 2008

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.

Quick Thoughts: There are many amazing things about this book. I love the characters. I love the world. I love how the magic is just as much to blame for the problems in this society as the people are. In this age of refugee crises and border control debates, I found this novel especially relevant and it made me even more emotional. I loved this book and I cannot wait to continue on with the series.

Full Review:
To put it simply this was one of the best fantasy stories I've ever read. It was carefully constructed and written extremely well. After several failed attempts at reading this, I finally sunk my teeth into this book and read the entire thing. I'm so glad I didn't give up on it.

The heart-wrenching story of Lumatere and its people grabbed my attention and pulled me into the story after just a few chapters. This story took on an approach to fantasy I haven't seen very often before. I do think the story is a little confusing at times, but Marchetta drops you into a political mess that is ten years old. I expected to be  scrambling for answers and context. She does a brilliant job infusing information and history into the story with flashbacks and discussion. The story didn't feel info-dumpy and it is well developed. 

The characters were what really grabbed my attention. Not only were they complex and interesting, the ways they grappled with the problems they faced felt real. The culture and customs of Lumatere felt fleshed out and throughout the book I felt the peoples' desire to return to their home country in a real way. The emotional roller coaster is intense, but satisfying.

I enjoyed this book very very much and cannot wait to read book two!

My Last Review - Blameless by Gail Carriger


  1. I'm glad to see that you liked this one! I've been wanting to check it out for such a long time! Awesome review; you've just made me want to read it even more!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Thank you! You should check it out! They are amazing. I already finished book two and recommend that one too.