Saturday, 27 July 2013

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.

But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.
  • Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Epic Fantasy, Dark, Magic
  • Age: mature young adult / new adult
  • Source: owned ebook
  • Buddy read with my darlings Nab & Basuhi & Hershey  
  • Read from June 24 to 25, 2012, read count: 2  , Reread Date: 24th July - 26th July 2013

FINAL RATING: ★★★★☆/★★★★★

This is not the first time that i have read this book. This is my second time and i love it as much as i did back then. My feelings stayed true to it, and that wont change easily as it seems. So, you should know that i am writing this review while having in mind that i have also read the rest of this series.

Melina Marchetta is captivating author. I love her stories, her writing style, her characters - basically everything. This series is for me one of her best works, when looked as one piece. And even though this book can be read as standalone, i strongly encourage you to read the other two books in the series too, as they get so much better as the story progresses (after all, they are masterpieces - at least for me).


I have to start with writing style - it was beautiful, captivating and magical. It felt like someone was telling you a story of Lumatere... a country which had fallen under a curse.

“Because any hope beyond that, my boy, would be too much. I feared we would drown in it.”
"Then I choose to drown,” Finnikin said. “In hope. Rather than float into nothing.”

I also love how she characterized characters: they all have faces. They are all well developed.

“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.”


The story is dark and beautiful, there is no other way of saying it. I can say that is unique, and also not unique cause i know of only one story similar to this one called Tigana, but i wouldn't call them the same. This story is about a country called Lumatere , now cursed land which doesn't allow anyone to enter or to leave. It began with royal family being slayed, and with witch cursing the land in her dying moments. The people in Lumatere are devastated cause they can't get out, and people out of Lumatere suffer because they have no home to go back to. On the other hand, in Lumatere sits an imposter king, terrorizing citizens. And then, there is a prophecy of heir who will return to break the curse. If only there is a heir left in the world. But people of Lumatere won't give up easily - Finnikin of the Rock, Evanjalin of the Novices and Sir Topher travel to find the lost heir to the throne, prince Balthazar.

The world building is amazing. Even though when you first read the book, 1/3 of it may seem like info-dump, but i assure you, it all becomes understandable. 

I also think that this story is more like a combination between mature young adult and new adult, so you know what to expect.



Finnikin of the Rock, son of the captain of the King's guard, searches and hopes to find his childhood friend, the rightful heir to the throne, Balthazar.

Finn, the main character of the story is not an usual protagonist. I don't love him, but more like him. He had his faults, and for some i blame him, but i also understood him. He wants to believe, but he finds it impossible to do it. He is complicated, maybe sometimes even more complicated that he should have been. But that is what i loved about him.


Evanjalin of the Novices, who has the ability to walk through the dreams of Lumaterans trapped in their own land, claims to have walked through the dream of the heir, Balthazar.

Evanjalin was absolutely complicated, strong leading heroine, and she does everything that she thinks is necessary for things to go as planned, also getting the title "Spawn of the Devil" by Finnikin. I love her, she is just amazing and fantastic character.


Froi is the thief from Sarnak we first encounter in the story. He did some things that cannot be forgotten, but he also reedemed himself as the story went.

Froi is one of the characters that is somehow left as a mystery, which is also good, since he is the one the next book is about. And i promise you, his story has so much to deliver. I don't remember how i felt about him before, i can only remember how i feel now, but its clouded since i know his "future" in this series. So, i won't comment him now.


Trevanion is the Captain of the King of Lumatere's guard, sent to prison for being who he is, when the impostor king claimed the throne.

Trevanion is fascinating, strong father figure and great man. I loved his relationship with Finnikin.

Sir Topher:

Man respected by others and also like a second father to Finnikin, he travels with Evanjalin and Finn to find the heir.

I liked him a lot. That's all.

Other characters:

There are so many wonderful characters and all of them were so well done... Lucian, Balthazar, Isaboe, Tessadora, Serannona, each one of them has a story to tell.


I cannot help but feel immense love toward this book, especially now that i have reread it - it made so many things clearer.

If you don't like the first book, keep in mind that they do get better in the second and third book. And although this book could have been read as standalone, second book ends with huge cliffhanger. And the story is filled with so much plot twists and uniqueness that i consider the last two books Froi of the Exiles & Quintana of Charyn masterpieces.


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