Monday, October 24, 2011
Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
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.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THIS BOOK IS SO AMAZING, JUST GO READ IT RIGHT NOW.
Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I'm going to fill you in on Melina Marchetta's Finnikin.
But seriously. Just take my word for it. Go read it.
Anyhow, for fans of epic fantasy, this is an astounding YA take on the genre. First of all, I love books with maps in them. I guess I should probably clarify that. I love when you open up a book and there are maps for a whole new world that you have never experienced. Granted, sometimes an author just doesn't quite get the world building right. But Marchetta nails it. By the time I wasn't even halfway through the book, I had a feel for where each kingdom was in relation to the others and what each kingdom was all about. It didn't take me long to be all "YEAH LUMATERE!" I was lost, completely lost in this book's pages as I read.
Marchetta's writing was enchanting. I felt like I was sitting around with a Lumateran scribe who was telling me about the history of her people. It wasn't too flowery, but it wasn't too light, either. It was just right. It was so beautiful, considering how dark the story could be from time to time. I would not recommend this for younger teens. It felt like an ancient fairy tale. And I felt so much. I felt so much for each of the characters. ESPECIALLY Evanjalin. But I even felt for the countless, nameless Lumateran exiles. I felt so much for a world that was dealing with some pretty dark days. A world that doesn't even exist. (Even thought I sort of wish it did).
There are a handful of characters in this book, and they were all well-written, but I just want to take a second to talk about the awesomeness that is Finnikin and Evanjalin. They are my very favorite kinds of heroes/heroines. They are both mostly good, but they are not without their flaws. Finnikin could be seriously so stubborn, I wanted to smack him upside the head. Evanjalin was impulsive half the time without explaining (or even forewarning) what she was going to do. But at the same time, Finnikin was so fiercely loyal and Evanjalin was just so strong. They were real. I thought about them and this book constantly when I wasn't reading it. Seriously. I work a mindless part-time job and usually the only thing on my mind is how much time I have left until I get to go home. While I was reading this, all I could think about was what was going to happen next. Even now, after having finished this roughly 24 hours ago and I'm still thinking about the characters. And I have to wait until NEXT March until Froi of the Exiles comes out in the U.S. Major sad news for this girl.
Also, WOO HOO for no insta-love. And a relationship that I swooned over.
AND that cover? Uh, hello beautiful. I usually prefer paperback editions of my books, but I may just have to go out and buy the hardcover edition of this.
I feel like I'm blundering my way through this review. So just trust me--this is a book that you need to read if you're a fan of fantasy. It's amazing. I promise.
Overall: 5 / 5 Stars
Check it out:
Happy reading and until next time,