Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin of the Rock

by Melina Marchetta


Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp on manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she 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.

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Book #1 in Series

Wonderful, amazing, beautiful, absolutely brilliant…

I need more stars! ★★★★★★★★★★

This was such a powerful story that got straight to my heart. After finishing it I was left speechless – Melina Marchetta has this effect on people. The characters are so well defined, the story is so complex… All that I’ve felt while reading Jellicoe Road I felt again while reading this book, and these 2 stories are nothing alike.

“…Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”

What I liked
It is hard to tell because there are so many things on this list, I would never finish – I liked the storyline, the characters, their evolution, the description, the twists in the story, and the ending (that precious ending – it was perfect). To keep it short: it was an emotional roller-coaster and it felt so good.

What I liked, but it was not really to like
The world described in this story – all that suffering of the people in exile and the ones trapped in the kingdom – it was heartbreaking. It hurt to know what happened (during those “5 days of the unspeakable” and after that), it was absolutely cruel, and knowing what Evanjalin felt that each time she walked through those people’s sleep was unbearable.

What I didn’t like
Scratch this … what was not to like?

Judging by the other books from this author I had one fear – I thought that the beginning was supposed to be slow, but that was not the case.. I found it rather interesting and full of events from the very first page and this was a very pleasant surprise. This is definitely one of my favorite books and I can’t wait for the sequel (even though it was so beautiful and perfect that I didn’t feel the need to see what happens next)

Characters & favorite quotes:

– Finnikin
I am starting with him because he is the main character and the reason for all 416 pages of “the story, as told to those not born to see such days, recorded in the book of Lumatere so they will never forget.”

“Balthazar pledged to die defending his royal house of Lumatere. Finnikin swore to be their protector and guide for as long as he lived. Lucian vowed he would be the light whom they traveled toward in times of need.”

– Evanjalin
A young novice that in the beginning does not tell as much, but as the story unfolds there are no words enough to express all that she holds inside, all that she had lived in those 10 years since the “five days of the unspeakable”. Also she is the best female character I’ve read about in a while.

– “It takes great character to handle Evanjalin and Froi,” Finnikin went on. “You would have much to fear.”
– “What is the worst that can happen?” Aldron scoffed.
– “She could have you imprisoned in the mines. Or sell you to the slave traders of Sorel,” Finnikin said with a shrug.

– Sir Topher

“Let’s accept our path, Finnikin, and hold our tongue, as the novice does so beautifully,” Sir Topher replied.

– Froi

“You never do anything stupid like that again,” she whispered with fury. “You could have been killed, you idiot boy. It’s part of your bond that I give instructions, not you.”
Froi mumbled, and Perri leaned closer to listen. “That’s very rude, Froi. And quite impossible for her to do with a bond.”

– Trevanion

“Finn, listen!” Trevanion said, his voice raw. “I prayed to see you one more time. It’s all I prayed for. Nothing more. And my prayers were answered. Go east, I’ll lead them west.”
“We have a dilemma, then,” Finnikin said fiercely. “Because I prayed that you would grow old and hold my children in your arms as you held me. My prayers have not been answered yet, Trevanion. So whose prayer is more worthy? Yours or mine?”

Happy midnight reading!

Book excerpt:

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