Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

October 4, 2014 Review 27 ★★★★

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Won
Pages: 399
Release Date: September 29th, 2008
Series: The Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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 of 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.

bec (2)
FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK is a book I’ve been eyeing of in libraries for a very long time
, but I never once borrowed it. I wanted to read it sure, but it just never made it’s way into my check out pile, a fact I am kicking myself about now.

After a few stop and starts because of uni, I ended up reading until 1AM to finish this marvelous fantasy. I can remember I was up to chapter 5 and hadn’t read it for a few weeks. When I finally had the chance to sit down and just read it the characters and the world quickly grew on me. It was so hard not to just dig through my tbr pile and start FROI OF THE EXILES. Everything is in perfect balance and really, as a massive fantasy fan, how could I not enjoy this novel?

It’s so hard to pick a place to start because I honestly really liked everything in FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK. The world was really interesting. So rich and diverse in the cultures that inhabited the lands. And the writing didn’t get overly descriptive when it came to describing the world, which is something I’ve encountered in a lot of adult fantasies. As a result the plot never felt like it dragged on too much and the pacing was kept fairly fast and consistent.

Another thing I liked about the word: it was fairly dark. Marchetta wasn’t afraid to get down to the nitty gritty. Rape, genocide, the bloody parts of war were all discussed. So was sex and what not. FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK is certainly a novel I’d label upper YA because of this (which also suits the age of the main characters).

The characters were all amazing. Every single one. Evanjalin was strong and stubborn, but also wise and caring. Finnikin is a character I’m going to gush nonsense about if I try and say anything substantial. Froi was an awesome young boy who I ended up liking more than I expected. Everyone had amazing development, even the secondary characters like Froi. And the way the romance develops between some of the characters! It’s slow and perfect and filled with feels! Just the way we like it.

The only thing I can fault is that we didn’t get to see as much of the villains as I would like. We were just told they were evil, overtook Lumatere in this way probably for this reason, and that’s it. The focus was more on taking back Lumatere more than discussing why it was invaded in the first place. Maybe this is discussed in the sequels. I really hope so. Because it’s the only thing that’s missing. I love getting to know my villains as well as I know my heroes.

FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK is a book I should have picked up a long, long time ago. With an interesting world, good writing, and amazing characters that grab your attention and don’t let you go, this novel would be a really good introduction for those new to the fantasy genre. For veterans who have been traversing fantasy lands for years it’s a nice little read with elements that add up to make a wonderful story.


Oh my gosh, Bec isn’t writing a ransom review! What is happening?!

Well basically I’ve been really busy with uni. Even now, on my midsemester break, I’ve had to study every day in an attempt to catch up on lectures I fell behind on while studying for exams (we had an exam a week for two months). I also have an assignment to do and *overwhelmed by stress* As much as I love doing the ransoms, they can take a bit of time (searching for the perfect gifs takes a while) so writing out a review like this was just easier at the time. I’ll probably be sticking to this style for a while, at least util uni is over for the year.


Rating Report
Overall: 4.2

27 Responses to “Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta”

  1. manda |

    Yes! So glad you liked this. I’m a huge fan of the series and you definitely should continue on to books 2 & 3 when you have the time. I don’t want to say much because of spoilers, but you do get to find out more about the world in the next books.

    Oh, and good luck with uni. It can be veeeery time-consuming, I’m amazed you have time to read & blog at all!
    manda | recently posted…A World Without Princes

    • Bec

      I’m planning on marathoning the rest of the series as soon as uni is over or the year. I can’t wait to find out more about the world!

      Thanks! Uni is so stressful at the moment but I think after this semester it will get better :)

    • Bec

      This review is completely spoiler free I promise :)

      haha I felt the same! It’s one fantasy everyone talks about and I hadn’t read it… Yes read it ASAP! It’s lovely :D

  2. Alise

    I’ve heard so much about this series but never really gave it a second thought. Now I really want to read it though :P The characters all seem pretty great. I had NO idea this was mature YA, though! I thought it was almost MG. Good thing I know now xD

    • Bec

      haha I know. Don’t stay up that late often XD

      It’s not overly dark, but it is darker than some other YA fantasy novels.

  3. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I’m SO happy you liked this one!! It’s my absolute favourite fantasy of ever. ^-^ And I’m quite hard to please with fantasies, lol. I always feel the beginning is rather slow and draggy, but omg, the world building?! It is absolutely astounding. XD I’ve even reread it, but I haven’t read Froi Of the Exiles yet. It’s on my to-do list.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Goodbye September || Stacking The Shelves #33

    • Bec

      That’s a big title! I think the Throne of Glass series is my favourite YA fantasy right now, but I read so much and love so many. Worlds are my favourite thing about fantasy!

      We should try and read Froi together later maybe :P (Though I don’t know how long I can wait)

  4. Puiman

    I loved Finnikin of the Rock! I can totally gush about Finnikin too! The rest of the series is equally awesome. I binge-read the other two books earlier this year :)

  5. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Another book that you reviewed that I haven’t read yet – but it’s on my TBR (and on my shelf – oops). The fantasy land sounds really great in this one, and thanks for noting the whole upper YA thing cos that would have been unexpected for me. While I enjoy ransom reviews, I also enjoy this format as well! Great review Bec :)
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Indulgence Insider #10: Movie Week

    • Bec

      I’ve only read two Marchetta books, which is kind of sad because she’s a fellow Aussie. She’s a good writer from what I’ve seen so far! I hope you like her writing :D

  6. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    haha, I love any format of review you choose Bec, but I do hope things calm down for you soon!

    Anyways, I STILL NEED to read Finnikin of the Rock – or anything by Melina Marchetta for that matter. *groans* I SERIOUSLY must get on that soon! I’m pumped you enjoyed this one so much, especially coming from a fellow fantasy-lover. The world-building sounds cool, the characters seem awesome and I like that’s it’s a bit darker and grittier than the usual YA-fare. I like the term upper-YA too! Fantastic review Bec ^^
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday *94*

    • Bec

      Aw thanks :) I have another 3 weeks of classes, then 3 weeks of exams before it calms down :(

      We seem to have similar taste in fantasy so I reckon you’ll love it! Read it soooooon!!!

  7. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Oh, yay, I’m so glad you liked this book! I read it a few years ago, just before FROI was about to be released and I FELL IN LOVE. I just pretty much adored every single aspect of this book, even if the beginning was a tad hard to get into. I just – yep.

    And I haven’t finished the series yet, even though I bought FROI on release day. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

    Maybe I should give FINNIKIN a re-read, and then binge read the rest of the series once uni is finally over. Yep, I like the sound of that idea. A lot.
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Five Reasons To: Listen to Sleeping At Last

    • Bec

      Once you get past the start though you get lost and it’s AMAZING.

      WE SHOULD FINISH THE SERIES TOGETHER! After uni is done. I have so many series to marathon after uni is done…

    • Bec

      She does seem to have written a lot of contemporary back in the day, but she writes fantasy BRILLIANTLY!

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