Title: Finnikin of the Rock Author: Melina Marchetta Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1 Publisher: Candlewick Press Date Published: September 29, 2008 Buy: Amazon
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.
“Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.”
Before I say anything… I should say this, this is only an attempt at trying to justify why everyone should read this book, nothing I can say will ever be enough, I don’t think I could even COVER everything.
There was so much HYPE about this book and how awesome it was so I finally decided to see what it was about (yeah I hadn’t even read the synopsis properly… just checked out some of the reviews). I was intrigued and added it to my TBR list where it stayed for a long time. One day (yes one day) I was taking a leisurely stroll through the library wondering if they had anything good to read and I came upon this book. Seeing it, I was caught in a dilemma, I had no reason now to put off reading this book and well I still wasn’t sure I WANTED to read it but I put my big girl pants on and checked it out. I am glad I did that (see I AM capable of making good decisions when it comes to books).
This was my first Marchetta book. (and yes I am a fan now because I am in love.. which sounds creepy but what the hell). The one thing I love about all Marchetta books is the issues she discusses, they are something a lot of people can relate to. Sometimes I’d find myself giggling because of this connection I felt, I mean this book isn’t funny, it’s pretty damn serious, but I was giggling because it made me sad (see I am weird, but I don’t have to justify my weirdness to you or do I?). It just really got to me. The main issue in this book was homesickness, this is of course putting it lightly. The citizens of Lumatere have not been home for 10 years. 10 FREAKING LONG YEARS. I can relate to this because I move around a lot. The longest I’ve ever lived in a place was for 3 years and 7 months back when I was a kid. Of course I wouldn’t say I hate moving around, I love it but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss home. Being away for 1.5 years (which it has been now…) grates on me, I mean it’s not that I want to live there but you miss it. Now I should stop rambling and get back to the point. Some of the other things discussed in this book are the idea of what is home, the idea of belonging, rising up to your responsibility and maybe even forgival. In the end though I believe this book was about hope and never giving up.
The fantasy part of this book is absolutely brilliant, I love how Marchetta has incorporated gods into this book yet she didn’t make it into a religious thing (I don’t particularly like it when that happens). Finnikin was a great character he was nice and helped everyone, he tried to be responsible, he had little tantrums but he tried even after he had lost hope. Sometimes though, I felt that this book looked down on women, mostly because of how they were portrayed. Evanjalin seemed like the only strong woman in the book for almost 2/3rds of it. But of course it does change towards the end where we meet some of the other stronger women. Evanjalin was an interesting character. I am not going to say anything about her so as to maintain her mysteriousness,because she is a portrayed as a mysterious person(HA no dark and loomy and mysterious guys here… only Finnikin).
I think the only part I DIDN’T like in this book was the romance. I know everyone else did, but the romance bugged me. It was the reason why I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. It was towards the ending though that the romance started bugging me. I cannot elaborate without spoiling stuff so I won’t.
I hope the next book as good but I did like Froi in this book and since the next book is about him, I think I probably WILL love the next book but you know because I am so awesome I will probably read the book ages later and then hate myself for not reading it earlier.
These were two of my favorite quotes, I cannot find the other ones on goodreads anyway so I’ll add these two, besides if I set out to add all my favorite quotes from this book, I’d probably end up with enough for a novella.
“Sir Topher finally looked up. “Because any hope beyond that, my boy, would be too much. I feared we would drown in it.”
“Then I choose to drown,” Finnikin said. “In hope. Rather than float into nothing.”
“Finn, listen!” Trevanion said, his voice raw.”I prayed to see you one more time. It’s all I prayed for. Nothing more. And my prayers were answered. Go east, I’ll lend them west.”
“We have a dilemma, then,” Finnikin said fiercely. “Because I prayed that you would grow old and hold my children in your arms as you held me. My prayers have not been answered yet, Trevanion. So whose prayer is more worthy? Yours or mine?”