Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles)
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Finnikin of the Rock

Lumatere Chronicles

By Melina Marchetta

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Format: Paperback, 399 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 August 2011
2008 Printz Award Winner Melina Marchetta crafts an epic fantasy of ancient magic, exile, feudal intrigue, and romance that rivets from the first page. Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin's unpredictable behavior suggests that she 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. From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Melina Marchetta is the acclaimed and award-winning author of JELLICOE ROAD, the Michael L. Printz Award winner, SAVING FRANCESCA, and LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI. She lives in Australia, where FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, her first fantasy novel, won an Aurealis Award. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

"The world of this book is dark and beautiful and utterly believable; and, as I've come to expect of Marchetta's work, the characters are wonderfully complex. Here is an author who writes fantasy as well as she writes realism -- and in the case of Melina Marchetta, that's highpraise, indeed!" -- Kristin Cashore, author of GRACELING and FIRE -- Quote "A tremendous achievement; a wonderful story full of vivid characters and landscapes. . . .Spellbinding and fantastic." -- SYDNEY MORNING HERALD -- Quote "A hauntingly beautiful fantasy allegory. . . . A daring departure from Marchetta's previous books, and it works brilliantly." -- THE CANEBERRA TIMES -- Quote From the Hardcover edition.

EAN: 9780763652920
ISBN: 076365292X
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Dimensions: 22.71 x 15.57 x 3 centimeters (0.45 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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1 review(s)
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Janina Zabitzki on
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I am really glad one of my favourite authors ventured into a completely new genre. I love fantasy, and I am very happy to say that Marchetta excels in it – did I really expect anything else?

I would consider Finnikin of the Rock light fantasy – it is not as complex in world building as other epic fantasy I've read, but it is definitely unique and fascinating. Most of all, it lives off its engaging cast of characters – characters that became very dear to me during their long journey to reclaim a homeland believed forever damned. But I also loved the tales from the Book of Lumatere, told in whispers and with tears in the eyes, of lost family and lost friends, of a country wiped of the map, plunged into darkness, of a people suffering – under the gruesome reign of an impostor king or in fever-plagued exile camps, in a world where no one wants to be responsible for them.
As Marchetta herself writes, this is a story about a world "where loss of faith, loss of homeland and identity, displacement of spirit, and breakdown of community are common", a world where death and illness, violence and apathy reign. But it is also a novel about hope and a new beginning – a hope slowly building up as the story progresses, a hope delivered by a novice and the apprentice of the king's First Man. Evanjalin and Finnikin. Oh, how I loved the two of them together! Evanjalin is proud and not an easy character to love. I sometimes found myself questioning her motives, unsure of her decisions. Still, I respected her. I think it takes a lot to do what she did, to live with the pain she has suffered and continues to suffer and not break under it. But Finnikin, I loved right from the start. Not in a I-have-a-crush-on-you, but more in a I-want-to-be-friends-with-you kind of way. Finnikin is as lost as all the other characters in this book, desperately looking for a new piece of land, for a way to reunite the people of Lumatere. At the beginning, he banishes all hopes of a return home in fear of disappointment. He tries to be rational, to be hard, but you can see that he wants nothing more than to tell the tales of his land, speak its language and be together with his people. He is not a saint, and he can be a little bit of an arrogant prick, but in a really cute way. I adored his relationship with Trevanion and with Sir Topher, and I am with Evanjalin when she says that Finnikin is lucky to have two fathers who love him so much.

I can't tell you how many times I found myself tearing up reading about the loss and pain so many of the characters had to endure and found it remarkable that they fought on nevertheless, that they never gave up hope.

This book needs a few pages to build momentum – on my first read, the first few chapters really had me confused – but develops into a story full of twists and turns, dark and light, fine humour and love. The ending could be considered a bit anticlimactic, but I loved it! It really shows that the epic fight is in fact not the end of a story. Most of the work has to be done afterwards. I have to admit, though, I could have done without the last two or three pages. They were a bit too sappy for my taste.

Needless to say, I vehemently recommend this book.

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