Author: Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Young Adult/Adult-ish
Publisher: Viking Australia
Released: September 29, 2008
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com 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.
In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.
For Fans Of: Eragon, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Harry Potter Series.
My Review: I absolutely love fantasy and adventure books. So I was thrilled with Finnikin of the Rock. It has everything a fantasy and adventure novel should; action, sword fighting, archery, romance, regaining the kingdom, fighting and conquering the enemy, and secrets kept and secrets come to light.
I loved Finnikin as the hero. He wasn’t cocky like some heroes you read about and yet he wasn’t this humble, follow the rules kind of guy either. He knew what he had to do and he did it. He reminded me of knights of old with chivalry, honor and getting the job done to save the kingdom and the people. He was grounded and had brains. I liked him best of all because he wasn’t self-sacrificing for the better cause like most heroes are.
Evanjalin (love that name) is one tough cookie. I almost didn’t like her at first because of how demanding and unlady like she was. After reading her story, you do find out why she is the way she is and I began to really like her in the end. However, she still had this air about her that she knew best, which got annoying after a while, but the ending sheds light on why.
Reading this book made me want to go out and travel and have adventures. (I was reminded a lot of my World of Warcraft days, since that is what this book really reminded me of. A computer game, not a book. Nerd.) I really enjoyed the mystery of why Lumatere was cursed, why Evanjalin walked the sleep of others, and how it all tied in together. It was a very well written book, full of lovely and not so lovely descriptions. It is a world I would love to visit. Melina Marchetta has a talent for capturing her audiences and leaves them wanting more. I enjoyed her writing style very much.
Now I only have one bone to pick with this book. Well it’s more of the people who categorize books into their respective genres that I have a bone to pick with. I am not at all ashamed to read ‘blush worthy’ books. I mean if they get too ‘blush worthy’ I won’t read them, but this book had quite a few sexual innuendos. If I was young and naive, I wouldn’t have picked up on them, but since I’m not, I understood them all and thought that this wasn’t appropriate for young adults. That is my personal feeling. It wasn’t as ‘boom laid out in front of you’ like some scenes from A Discovery of Witches were, but if felt that it was too suggestive for a younger audience. That was my only problem with this was finding Finnikin on the young adult shelf at my library and then reading things in there that were found in the adult books I’ve read from the library. I’d gear this to more of an ‘early twenties on’ kind of novel.
Given that was the only problem I found, I enjoyed every bit of this book and will be reading the rest of the series (with hopes they are this good).