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.
Originally reviewed on March 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5
This was my first introduction to Melina Marchetta's writing. I had no idea what to expect and I was hoping for a rich story. Melina Marchetta did not disappoint at all. This may be my first, but it will far be my last.
I discovered this book while on the GR page of Megan Whalen Turner's The King of Attolia. I'd just finished The Queen's Thief series, and I happened to see that readers who have read MWT apparently also enjoyed this. Oh how grateful I am that I clicked on this, for it is certainly a treasure of a novel.
What lies in these pages is a story so powerful, it will resonate within you. This is a story about people trying to reclaim not just their lost kingdom but their home, their family. The story of these people will grip you and make you feel so much, both happiness and sorrow.
While Finnikin of the Rock doesn't focus too much on world-building (which I believe is quite essential in fantasy novels), it totally makes up for it with the cast of characters. They are so engaging and real, and you can't help but feel for them and feel with them. I can't count the times this book has stirred emotions within me and made me tear up (which I assure you is quite difficult).
Finnikin is the hero of this story. All he wants is for the people of Lumatere to have a new home again, and roams all around looking for land. He is as lost as the others, and all he really wants is to search for his missing father. He has strength, compassion and kindness. He was obviously born to be a leader, which everyone can see except him. He constantly doubts himself which humbles him. Needless to say, I fell in love with him around a quarter into the book.
Evanjalin. I have mixed feelings about her. One thing for sure is I respect her, because of her strength, determination and perseverance. She is a strong female lead and a true heroine. I hated her in the beginning though, but she gradually grew on me. I can't say I love her. Probably because she has Finnikin's heart and he stole mine.
The other characters were an essential part to the story and not just some minor characters thrown here and there. They all had a part to play and helped to connect the dots about the mystery that surrounded the five unspeakable days.
This story was not only of loss, grief and darkness but also of hope, dreams and light. This was an absolutely wonderful read. Nothing I write will do it justice. The only advice I can give is to simply read it.
This review first appeared on Goodreads.
...somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.