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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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1,5131077,835 (4.09)1 / 81

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Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
It took me a while to truly get into Finnikin of the Rock. For a moment I wanted to rate it three stars, but it truly does deserve more than that. The book is well written, the world well conceived. The characters, in particular, were a joy.

Marchetta's world is a fascinating place. The politics, social situations, and problems are all things commonly reflected in the world situation today. While the book may be heavy for young adults - the subject matter is surprisingly mature - it easily transcends the trappings of that age group. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
3.5 stars, sadly.
God, I so wanted to like this book.
I heard such amazing things about it.
And it's not like I hated it. I really did like it. It didn't grab me from the start, and I kept waiting for it to - but it was intersting, and there were some twists and turns that added interest to the story as it went along, and that I wasn't exactly anticipating.
But I didn't love it.
The writing was what threw me off from the start. It was very solid at moments, almost beautiful at times, but at others it just felt too stilted and strange, like things that I expected to be commented on were cut away, living the very bare gist and nothing much more. I'm not exactly sure how to put it into words, but needless to say, it annoyed me.
And I was not hooked. I was not worried. Honestly, I didn't care for the characters all that much. I found the romance contrived; I didn't love Finnikin and Evanjalin just as much as they seemed to love each other.... I didn't buy into it.
In sum, this book wasn't as amazing as I so desperately wanted it to be. I am going to read the next book in the series, though, because I am a bit curious as to what will happen and I still entertain the hope that I would like the second book more... Though I'm going to maintain this hope at a reasonable minimum now. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
This sort of medieval-set fantasy story is so much more than a love story or war story or basic good vs evil story. Marchetta created a fully developed set of nations with rich histories, religions and traditions. The book is dense and long, and incredibly detailed. It's slow to start, but well worth pushing through. At first I found myself getting a bit bogged down by detail, but as I continued, I became completely engrossed in all the layers of the story.
I'm not entirely sure why this is labeled YA instead of general fiction. It deals with horrific violence, torture, rape, and other dark subjects--and it does so in pretty blunt ways (although not too detailed.) Of course, many YA novels deal with dark subjects. It's also about hope, valor, persistence and self-sacrifice. It's just that this one is so richly developed, I believe it would appeal to may readers outside the YA market. ( )
  VanChocStrawberry | Apr 2, 2018 |
This was a really fun fantasy that was a quick, easy read! I enjoyed the characters - especially Finnikin and Evanjalin. I liked how they developed throughout the story and I loved meeting new characters. The world was super interesting, although a little confusing at first. There are so many countries to keep track of and many villages within Lumatere to remember as well. I found the plot to be a little convenient, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment. I was looking for something fun and light and that is what I got. With a little heartache in there too. ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
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. ( )
  eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marchetta, Melinaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cummings, JeffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wren, TomNarratorsecondary 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.
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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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Average: (4.09)
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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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