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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock

by Melina Marchetta

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lumatere Chronicles (1)

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1,082917,702 (4.13)78

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English (90)  Tagalog (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
“There are worse things than a lie and there are better things than the truth!”

I think what surprised me the most in this book is its worldly, grown-up sadness. Maybe this is what it means to be an exile from the country torn in half by a curse and treachery? You grow up looking into the dull eyes of starving children and desperately learn all the languages you can to plead with the rulers of the country where the refugees are in need of urgent help... which is what Finnikin has been doing since he was a twelve year-old boy.

Finnikin travels through the lands neighbouring Lumatere - his country which seized to exist ten years ago - trying to help the refugees to survive in exile as The King's First Man in training. There is a prophecy alive which might end the curse and save Lumatere, and Evanjalin is the girl who knows what to do with it. A girl, who leads a team of men through danger, battles, adventure, self-search and sacrifice.

Evanjalin and Finnikin are complex, bitter, stubborn and ever so interesting characters. There is depth here, sarcasm, weariness and resolute will to fight till the end.

“She bewitches you," Trevanion said. "And she is yours for the taking. Any fool can see that. So take her and get whatever needs to be gotten out of your system."
"Maybe you are right, Trevanion," he said, turning back to his father. "But it is her hope that bewitches me, and that hope I may never get out of my system, no matter how many times she's to be gotten. Can you not see it burning in her eyes? Does it not make you want to look away when you have none to give in return? Her hope fills me with... something other than this dull weight I wake with each morning.”

The same goes for wise Sir Topher, grieving Trevanyon and feral Froi. I loved them all, and I really enjoyed this superb fantasy. Don't get thrown by YA label - this is a violent, dark, realistic and chilling story. Highly recommended.

( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Last summer I got this book from the library, read the prologue, and set it down in favour of something else. There was something about the prologue that didn’t catch my attention, but I figured I would give it another shot later, and after seeing good things about it on tumblr I gave it it’s second chance.
After getting three chapters of proper nouns thrown at me without any context, I was already weary. We get kingdom name after kingdom name, language name after language name, with nothing to ground them on, no context to base them on, nothing to make them make any sense. The names themselves ranged from solid fantasy names to …. Wait are you serious that’s actually the name?
After about five chapters I said to my mom, ‘this reads like someone’s first fantasy novel except they didn’t actually read any fantasy beforehand.’
I have a lot of problems with this book. The plot was fascinating, but not enough to outweigh all the things that made me groan in despair.
Finnickin, the main character, was entitled, obnoxious, and impossible to care about. He had moments where i would actually like him! And then he would say something that would just make me sigh and not really care again. There was only one female character in the novel, Evanjalin, and she was great! (until the end when her only validation seemed to be around finding a husband yes I’m being serious). Finnickin’s father, Trevanion, was a character who baffled me because I think I was supposed to like him? But if he died I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash because he was so dull and unlikeable? He was Finnickin's father but Finnickin only ever referred to him by his first name and their relationship was... just odd. All of the characters were distant, and I like unlikeable main characters usually, but not these.
The dialogue in this book was a nightmare. Every time someone spoke I would cringe through it (or get distracted and check tumblr because ‘yawn they’re talking again’). It was all very forced. It was like reading someone try really hard to write genuine fantasy dialogue except… they didn’t know how.
I kept finding logic errors and things that didn’t make sense which... shouldn’t happen… There’s a moment in the beginning that will stick with me forever because I was so confused and bewildered when Evanjalin goes running after a thief and Finnickin throws the money in his hands onto the ground to chase after her. I don’t know about you, but if I was a refugee from a destroyed kingdom I probably would be tight for cash and couldn’t afford to throw it away to run after someone. Doesn’t he have pockets? I’M PRETTY SURE HE HAD POCKETS.
But the problem is that things like this would happen all of the time. Or just simple sentences that made no sense would jar me out of the novel. (Another example, after Finnickin manages to reunite the King’s Guard that had been split up for years, there’s a line that says something on the lines of ‘and for the first time ever the men of the King’s Guard were going to separate’ and it’s like… no they’ve been separated for years???)
I just spend the entire novel frustrated because the concept of the plot is great! An exiled people fighting for their kingdom that is under a black spell and currently being ruled by an impostor king. That’s cool! But… the writing was impossible to get through.
Her small scale battles were good, I liked when there was action (and no one was talking), but when there was finally a large scale battle I suffered because it was all flash and there were no consequences. They came, they fought, the battle ended with wild out of the realm of possibility success and oh these few side characters you never even knew died isn’t that sad?
Ultimately, when I finished, I read the author bio and found this gem: "About Finnikin of the Rock, her first fantasy novel, she says, “I was told often that I couldn’t write fantasy unless I had read all the greats and knew the conventions well, but I think the first step to writing good fantasy is knowing this world we live in well. I wanted to look closely at that world — where loss of faith, loss of homeland and identity, displacement of spirit, and breakdown of community are common — because these are the scenes in today’s media that affect me the most. In this sense, the book is a search for identity in the same way that my other novels are.”
So, yes, the moral of this story, friend, is that if you want to write fantasy, you need to read fantasy. Because if you don’t, the people who read your book who DO read fantasy, will see straight through it. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
First things first. One thing i know after reading this book is the desperate need to have more ginger heroes.

I mean look at them bumps. LOOK AT THEM!!!

The story was unique, with a hard theme of war and suffering, intertwined with the severity of duty and obligation viewed trough two young minds. The story had enough realism to separate it from being a basic young adult fantasy, yet kept the elements of young romance.

The fantasy was layered with magic and mysticism in a way that didn't overpower the story. I liked it.

Finnikin is a wonderful male hero, strong, kind and caring. And wonderfully ginger. It was refreshing to take a step back from the tall dark and handsome, or the icy blondes we are accustomed to.

I liked the worldbuilding a lot, the descriptions of people of Lumatere, with their characteristics was a good touch. ( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
Some ten years ago, Lumatere was a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. Finnikin of the Rock, son of the Captain of the King's Guard and best friend to the young prince, was enjoying an idyllic childhood. Then came the five days of the Unspeakable, when Lumatere's rulers were overthrown and many of her people exiled, while others remained trapped within the curse-sealed gates of the walled kingdom. Finnikin was left with Sir Topher, the king's trusted adviser, and the two have spent the intervening years traveling the surrounding kingdoms, trying to help Lumatere's scattered people. When Finnikin has a dream drawing him to a distant convent of the Goddess, he hopes to find news of the lost prince. Instead, he finds a girl named Evanjalin. Finnikin is disappointed at first, but it soon becomes clear that the girl is more than what she seems. Will she be the one who helps Finnikin and the scattered people of Lumatere return to their homeland?

This is an impressively well-written fantasy, but it was not for me. I just found the whole thing a little too gritty and brutal, what with all of the rape and torture and death and vengeance. I disliked all of the characters to some extent, and I saw the big plot twist coming a long way off. I can see this appealing to readers who like their fantasy with darkly flawed characters and plenty of gore, so if it sounds like your thing, don't be put off by my review. ( )
  foggidawn | Feb 22, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marchetta, Melinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cummings, JeffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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.
Last words
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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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No descriptions found.

Now on the cusp of manhood, Finnikin, who was a child when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and replaced by an imposter, reluctantly joins forces with an enigmatic young novice and fellow-exile, who claims that her dark dreams will lead them to a surviving royal child and a way to regain the throne of Lumatere.… (more)

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