Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles #1)
By Melina Marchetta
Candlewick Press

To Sum It Up: At the young age of nine, Finnikin and his two closest friends, Lucian and Prince Balthazar, draw their blood, pledging themselves to their kingdom, Lumatere. Despite their blood oath, during the five days of the unspeakable, the royal family is massacred, leaving Lumatere under the mercy of a false king. Lumatere’s despair crescendos when a powerful witch, Seranonna, curses Lumatere as she is burned at the stake under the false king’s orders. The curse leaves those inside Lumatere’s walls trapped within, while those who managed to escape are locked outside of their beloved kingdom. They are left to wander as exiles, with no land or property to their name. Finnikin manages to escape just before the curse steals over the kingdom.

Years later, after giving up the hope of ever returning to his precious homeland, Finnikin is confronted by a silent novice named Evanjalin. She swears that Prince Balthazar is alive and insists that with the Prince’s help, they can finally break the curse that has bound Lumatere for all those years. Finnikin and his trusted mentor, Sir Topher, decide to follow the mysterious novice on her quest to find the lost prince and restore Lumatere to its former state. Finnikin once made a pledge to his kingdom, and now, after all this time, he still holds himself to it.

Review: The thing I most enjoyed about Finnikin of the Rock was the setting of the book. I’m a huge fan of the whole fantasy and Middle Ages kind of setting, and Finnikin of the Rock morphed both of these into one! Marchetta is truly creative; I give her props for creating Lumatere and its people! Everything just sounds so cool; I’d give my left leg to be able to live in Marchetta’s world. Not only is the setting realistic in the whole knights and kingdoms sort of way, but there is also a great dose of witches and magic mixed in. The book is just that cool!

Besides my love for the setting, I also loved the characters and the storyline. I really liked Finnikin; I admired his loyalty and perseverance. Sir Topher was also pretty cool. But my favorite characters hands down were Finnikin’s father, Trevanion, and the Lumateran Guard. One moment they would be poking fun at one another, and in the next, they were defending each other in battle. The soldiers were like one big happy family, and I wanted to be a part of it! I also really enjoyed the dialogue between all the characters. It was just so easy and realistic, not to mention funny at times.

The one thing, or should I say person, I did not like about Finnikin of the Rock was Evanjalin. Evanjalin was all right at first. She was mysterious, strong, and a tad bit sketchy. But that was how she was supposed to be. I even respected her and looked forward to her biting comments. Near the end of the book, however, she started to change. In my opinion, under the circumstances, I thought that Evanjalin should have been getting stronger when in actuality she was getting weaker. She was turning wimpy and whiny on me and I did not like it! This annoyed me to no end. I felt as if Evanjalin had let me down.

In the end, I did enjoy reading Finnikin of the Rock quite a bit. I loved the setting and most of the characters. Marchetta really did a fine job creating this book. The reading was fast paced—a real page turner. Finnikin of the Rock has it all: action, sarcasm, mystery, romance, you name it! This is one of those books that almost everyone can enjoy.

All in All: I have to thank Lee for recommending this book. I’m glad that I read it, and I won’t be shy when it comes to me asking her if I can borrow the sequel, Froi of the Exiles! Go Froi! :D


  1. I love this book! It's the kind of fantasy I like to read, as you said it has a bit of everything action, romance etc. I haven't read Froi yet, I mean the thought of being inside of his mind is kinda scary.

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed Finnikin of the Rock too! I know what you mean about Froi, he's one of the sketchiest characters I have ever read about. But I'd like to see more of the Guard's life and I'm hoping that Froi will turn around. Either way, I'm still going to read it!

  2. Love the Review. Thought I would let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Check out my blog on Thursday July 12th, 2012 for more information


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