Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)

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.

  Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I haven't felt this baffled after reading a book since I read Twilight and realized I was the only girl in my entire high school who hated it. But unlike with the Twilight Saga, I was pretty sure I would love Finnikin of the Rock; firstly because it's been entirely too long since I've read a true fantasy novel, and secondly because Marchetta is one of the most popular authors on GR and many reliable reviewers seem to adore her. But if Finnikin of the Rock is any indication, I won't be jumping on this particular bandwagon anytime soon.

I had one main issue with this book, and the rest stem from it: it's one the most boring stories I've ever read. The "plot" is extremely far-fetched, almost laughably so, and no visible effort is made to make it seem more plausible. Finnikin of the Rock reads like the textbook account of a supposedly astounding historical event and the normally prominent difference between the writing styles of scholars and fictional authors is next to nonexistent in this book.

Finnikin is a washed-out and pathetic version of Sir Lancelot from King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.

There were a few parts where I genuinely felt affection for him, but they were too muddled in with the droning narration and tedious dialogue to mean anything for long.

Without a doubt, Evanjalin is the most maddening character in the book. She's a lying, cheating, conniving bitch, and even questioning her is blasphemy? That's so ridiculous, it's actually funny. Take this, for instance:

"[Evanjalin] omits rather than lies, Finnikin. For a purpose. One that will humble us each time."

Now, I'm all for girl power and everything, but are you freakin' serious? Your charity case betrays you over and over and over and over, and you aren't even allowed to be mad because she's some sort of holy being? What. The. Fuck?!

Finnikin of the Rock's synopsis describes it as a tale of friendship, betrayal, romance, pain, and loyalty, but the only feeling I felt while reading this book was ennui. I'm not sure I'll be continuing with this series, but the reviews for Froi of the Exiles have, against my better judgment, managed to pique my curiosity. I'm not sure I'll be reading anything else by Marchetta, but I'll give her one more chance with this series. It'll certainly be the last one if I don't find a significant difference between Froi of the Exiles and Finnikin of the Rock.

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  1. WOW ,,, I can see that you really hated this book ,,, honestly i never heard of this book before but guess what? there is no way in hell I will read it ;) as always GREAT REVIEW.

    1. It's actually really popular with most contemporary or fantasy readers, so you might just end up liking it, because I'm one of the very few who didn't.


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