Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Title: Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles #1)
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: February 9th 2010
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin 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.

In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


Oh my god.


I have so many feels in me that I cannot even construct enough proper and coherent sentences for my review... but for you, I will try. But one more OH MY GOD before I start: OHHHHH. MYYYYYY. GOD. Okay, I'm done... Maybe.

There's a part of me that hates myself for taking so long to read Finnikin of the Rock because I have literally had this book in my shelf for four years now and I never bothered to get past the first two pages. But there's a larger part of me that doesn't care that I took so long because in the end, what matters the most is that I read it. And worshipped it. I'm pretty sure that Melina Marchetta isn't even a human being, she must be some kind of genius-goddess-writer-being because my whole Finnikin of the Rock experience was completely out of this world. Seriously. I am still not over the whole thing. Was it even real? I don't even know.

I just want to say, Finnikin has way too much teenaged angst for his age. I was worried he'd bust his gut or something with all the stress he had. (Bro, take a chill pill.) I mean, thanks, Lumatere for putting your future freedom into the hands of a eighteen/nineteen year old. But seriously speaking, all the weight of the world seemed to lie of Finnikin's shoulders. It wasn't only the future of Lumatere that he worried about, but also the uncertainty whether Balthazar, the heir, was alive and even the constant tug of darkness in his heart. Finnikin definitely wasn't perfect, even though he was intelligent, skilled and generally well-rounded, he always seemed to have a hard time suppressing his emotions which was technically against the nature of the Rock people. The unpredictability of his temper and the internal battle regarding his true nature gave him a vulnerability that took away the harshness that threatened to change him. It made him all the more human. I mean, what teenager can say that he's traveled practically all over the nation as an ambassador for this countrymen who were exiled and even those that weren't? That's a heavy burden to carry but still he managed to do it -- of course, not without challenges.

Evanjelin. Oh, man. Don't get me started on that girl. She is literally the Queen of Mindfucks. Evanjelin will make you think one thing end then BOOM SURPRISE it was totally this other thing the whole time. I'm not saying this in a negative way because while she may have screwed with my brain, everything made sense and I found myself nodding along to every twist untangled. But Evanjelin's shady-ness wasn't why I liked her so much, it was mainly because of her strength that completely blew me away. I had never met such a stubborn/determined, brave/reckless, and confusing protagonist ever until her. I can't even properly say what I think of her because it was all so amazingly confusing but in the best way possible. My mind is still recovering from her mindf---ing. But wow, what a gal, such a great and inspiring character. Melina Marchetta is a genius. That is all.

The twists! Don't even get me started on the twists! All I am going to say is that Melina Marchetta was able to connect EVERYTHING with ANYTHING. I don't even know how she was able to do that but just pay attention as you read along... but still, no matter how close you look, you pretty much won't be able to catch 99.99% of what the words of Finnikin of the Rock is hiding.

The only aspect of the book that was sort of iffy for me was the budding romance between Finnikin and Evanjelin. It was very unexpected even though I knew it was going to happen. I didn't really feel it grow between them nor did I see it happening, it just happened. But after a while, I gave up on trying to figure out how it started and just started enjoying it because I have so much ship for those two. They weren't two puzzle pieces that fit each other, no, they clashed and didn't make particular sense together but they still fit, in an odd way. They complemented each other and also contradicted the other, which added spice and a uniqueness to their relationship. Honestly, it took a bit too long but it got there and when it did, Hallelujah!

I cried waaay too many times in this book. I kept telling myself Louisse! *sniffles* Stop crying. *cries* Stop crying. *cries even more* I'll pay you to stop crying. *sobs even more* Just stop. *sobs even more* But even bribing myself didn't work so I had to cry everything out. And I did. I hope that my tears feeds Melina Marchetta's evil writing muse for a long time. *whispers to future readers* Save yourself. *runs away*

I have so much love for so many characters in this book -- even Trevanion, Finnikin's dad, who pretty much just grunted most of the book. I'm kidding, he did a lot in the book. If I ever went to war, he'd be the man I'd want to stand behind, his Guard and him are certified badasses. But if there's one person who I didn't expect to love but 100% adored, it would be Boy Froi. That little bastard thief grew on and got to me and I found myself full-on sobbing at most of his scenes, I don't even know why. I look forward to reading his book (which I thankfully already have, woohoo).

Melina Marchetta has found a creepy, slightly fan in me. I may have to buy all her books just to satisfy my Marchetta fangirl needs. You need to read Finnikin of the Rock. You NEED it. And even if you don't love it, read it for the sake of reading the rest of the series because from what I heard it gets even better. Honestly, I don't think I can take even better because I may spontaneously combust if The Lumatere Chronicles gets even more amazing, haha. But seriously, read it. *peer pressures you through the computer*



  1. Wow, sounds like a great book! The feels!!! And love the cover! :) I'll look out for this one.

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  3. Hi Water Clan Leader! :D When I saw you reviewed this book, I HAD to tell you how much I LOVE IT TOO!! The whole series is amazing, so I can't wait for you to get into it - but how fantastic is this first book - you've really hit on all the major things I love about it: the complex characters - how they aren't completely good or bad and the romance (which I agree is surprising, but I think it's because I wouldn't have thought they would like each other! Their courtship is weird!) and the twists and the wonderful way in which Melina builds her plot so that everything means something. And I freaking adore Trevanion and Beatriss! :D I can not wait for you to read the second book!

  4. OMGG Ur making me so excited. I still haven't read this book in all the amount of time I've had it but seriously i need to get down to it. This one is on my TBR. Thank u for the exciting review, you've honestly made me so excited about !

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz