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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
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Finnikin of the Rock

by Melina Marchetta

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lumatere Chronicles (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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  JulieCovington | May 29, 2016 |
I did like it, because I'm a huge sucker for stories about father-son relationships, and this one was quite lovely. I also appreciated how Marchetta dealt with some of the harder themes--honestly, but still sensitively; this was a hard, often heart-breaking read, and pretty bloody in places, but none of it was solely for shock value. That being said, there were a few weaknesses. The book is long, but even so I felt the resolution came too quickly and painlessly--there was a lot of telling rather than showing in the last few chapters, and I was disappointed we really didn't see much of the villain at all. (Also, the villain seems rather blandly, stereotypically evil, so the final showdown feels a bit anticlimactic, since the characters have gone through deeper moral conflict elsewhere.) And perhaps it's because I just finished reading [b:Witchlanders|9917925|Witchlanders|Lena Coakley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1304529790s/9917925.jpg|14810604], but having the main female character sworn to silence seemed cliched and unnecessary. Finally, I thought the weakest parts of the book were the fantasy parts. This and Witchlanders were my first forays back into high fantasy after a long break... and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to take it back up again. I just didn't find the magicky parts enjoyable, and the world-building wasn't anything particularly new either. To be honest, this reminded me a lot of early Wheel of Time books. ( )
  9inchsnails | Mar 7, 2016 |
I suspect this book will appeal to fans of "Tigana" and "Kushiel's Dart." It's full of lyrical language and beautiful prose, and (in my opinion) devoid of good storytelling and likable characters. It's further crippled by a world that just doesn't make sense.

I stopped reading about 40% through. By that point, too many major world-building problems were apparent. Magic was hinted at, but hand-wavy and left unexplained. I got the sense that this author is of the "anything goes" school of thought. If a magical fog works for the story, then in it goes, whether it makes sense in context or not. The lack of explanation insured that the motivations of characters were mysterious. There were lots of beautiful, heart-wrenching descriptions of Lumatere refugees, but not a single explanation for why they 1) haven't tried to penetrate the magical fog surrounding their homeland, or 2) why they don't just get jobs and settle in the neighboring nations who were kind enough to offer them land and hospitality. There's a big tribalism theme going on here. Apparently no land but Lumatere is good enough for these people--and readers are never shown or told why. If it's a religious zionism thing, then fine, but that ought to be made clear.

The main characters have cute banter with each other, but zero depth. Finnikin is yet-another-redhead-adolescent-boy-destined-for-great-things-in-a-fantasy-novel. In the beginning, he seemed like he might break out of that trope, being practical about helping his fellow refugees while they all yearned for the good old days. But he goes along with what others want, and devolves into complaints just for the sake of manufactured conflict between him and the other characters. It's hard to like a hero who argues without taking action to back it up. Oh, and he goes whoring in a brothel just 'cause it's fun (and to manufacture conflict between him and the female lead).

Evanjalin is your typical adolescent-girl-who's-an-expert-at-everything-but-exists-just-to-bolster-the-hero. She also makes the snarky comments typical of a Spunky Female Protagonist(TM). Other characters repeatedly comment on how strong she is, although her ideas are stupid and only work because the author made it so. She has magic (which she hardly ever uses and never explains), she speaks multiple languages and can fight like a warrior and hunt like an elf, but no, she wasn't raised royal or anything. She just kicks ass for no apparent reason. And she wants nothing more than to help the menfolk rule. If someone tries to rape her, she'll risk her life to save theirs, 'cause she's just nice like that. She appears to have no sense of justice.

If you read primarily for likable characters and a good story well told, and you're in the mood for epic fantasy with magic and a dash of romance, then I suggest you pick up something by Michael J. Sullivan. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
LOVED THIS BOOK. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
LOVED THIS BOOK. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marchetta, Melinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cummings, JeffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes or a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter.
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

-- If This A Man by Primo Levi
Dedication
For Marisa and Daniela,
because I have always loved being a Marchetta sister...
First words
(PROLOGUE): A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamt he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.
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At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere. He stands on the rock of three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and the prince's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe: but then the unspeakable!… (more)

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