Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finnikin of the Rock: Book Review

Novel: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | Goodreads
Release Date: February 9th, 2010
Publisher: Candelwick Press (Originally by Viking Australia)
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Challenge: None
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.
(Synopsis and Image from Goodreads)
Willa's Rambles:
    Somehow, I had forced myself to not read this book, because I'm not usually a big fantasy fan, and I love Melina Marchetta's contemporary novels so much, I guess I didn't want to ruin this amazing image I had of her writing. I don't really know why I thought Finnikin of the Rock would ruin it, but I did. And boy was I wrong.
   Finnikin of the Rock had a bit of a slow start, but most of Melina Marchetta's novels do, so I kept reading. The beginning has a prologue like Jellicoe Road, and I loved that section, so I had faith that I would come around. Then, the action began. Evanjalin was introduced and I loved her character from the start. I loved how strong she was, and how she believed in herself and put faith in herself like Finnikin couldn't do.
   The relationship between Finnikin and Evanjalin was complicated, and that is what I loved about it. Like the other Marchetta novels, the love is subtle - you know the characters and falling for each other, but it has this beautiful subtly to it that only Melina Marchetta can do. Finnikin couldn't trust Evanjalin, and refused to believe anything she said - for a while. After he realizes that he has to trust her, the fun of the story begins. The characters begin to work off of each other and the storyline just takes off.
   The storyline of this novel is amazing. It's complex, detailed and so full of detail. I could imagine the land of Finnikin and Lumatere to the fullest extent, and I built the world up inside my head. Each chapter had me begging for more! The quest of Finnikin and Evanjalin is long, and they travel through their land searching for not only Balthazar, but also for themselves.
   Melina Marchetta has crafted another amazing and beautiful novel with her characters at the top and the storyline into the clouds. I fell in love with the world of these characters and never wanted to fall back into my own.

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