Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication date: February 2010
ISBN: 978-0763643614
Source: Library

Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin was just a child when he and his two childhood friends made a blood promise to keep their homeland of Lumatere safe.  He was so young when the king and queen and all their children were slaughtered and the curse fell upon Lumatere, trapping those within and exiling those without.  Now, ten years later, Finnikin has been roaming the outer lands, waiting for the time when they could return to break the curse.  When he is mysteriously led to Evanjalin, a young novice who has strange visions, they might finally be ready to return.

Things I Liked:
This is a lovely fantasy, filled with unique and interesting different cultures.  I loved how Marchetta created so much history in one kingdom, and then several others as well, almost as side notes!  It reminded me of Lord of the Rings rich depth.  It is a story full of other smaller stories that you long to know about.  I liked the characters, though I think I was more drawn to minor characters than the major ones.  The story was interesting and kept me wanting to read on and see how things turned out.  I thought the inner workings of the minds of exiles and leaders was very interesting as well.  Some favorite parts:

"Balthazar, you are not the ruler of this kingdom yet, and even when you are, you will eat at the table like a human being." p 64-65
"That men could conquer kingdoms and fight armies of such power and might, yet not be able to offer comfort to one so beloved.  Where Finnikin's wish was to have the power to remove the ugliness of memory, Trevanion's was to have the gift of words needed to bring solace to his son." p 332
Things I Didn't Like:
I kind of knew what was going to happen very early on.  I'm not usually the kind of person to guess what's coming, but this one was fairly obvious to me.  I thought the ending wrapped up very neatly, without much difficulty for the main characters.  The fantasy elements involved in the ending were not very clear to me - I kind of had no real idea what was happening and was a bit disappointed in how they were described.  Also, Finnikin is something of an idiot much of the time.  Particularly in relation to Evanjalin.

Reminded me of Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore and also Crown and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith

s-factor: !@
some, not too strong

mrg-factor: XX
not usually descriptive, but plenty of jokes and innuendo

v-factor: ->->->
rather gory in its detailed descriptions

Overall rating: ***

How do you like your fantasy - high, low, paranormal, not at all?
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I do like a fantasy that immerses me, maybe this would be a good Sunday afternoon book...

    I always enjoy your reviews!

  2. It's definitely engrossing and you enter a whole different world! Thanks!

  3. I've been excited to read this for a long time, I first saw it recommended on Kristin Cashore's blog, so its funny you compare it to her books :)

    Even though you had some mixed feelings, I'm glad you still liked it overall.

  4. Allison, it does feel quite a bit like Cashore's worlds, though the characters and story aren't very alike. Hopefully you can enjoy it more than me!

  5. I like my fantasy any which way it comes! :)


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