At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere. And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood.
Lumatere is safe, until the "five days of the unspeakable", when the king and queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace, and an imposter king takes the throne. A curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.
But 10 years later, Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin - a girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the land of light.
©2008 Melina Marchetta; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
It was difficult to follow in the beginning as there were so many foreign names to try to remember - people and places, especially because the characters were displaced for so much of the story. By the end, however, when I had a better scope of things, it turned out to be a fantastic tale with satisfying ending. Not what I'd expected from Melina Marchetta after reading Looking for Alibrandi but I'm happy nonetheless!
Molina Marcgetta is best known for her young adult contemporary coming of age dramas, many of which are rightly considered Australian classics. The first instalment of the Lumitare chronicles shows us that Ms Marchetta's ability to suck the reader into a complex world by making you feel like family to her protagonists transcends genre and target audience,
This fantasy is thrilling and full of wonderful surprises and characters who are utterly loveable despite their flaws and emotionally complex journeys. The fabulous narration supports the strong story and characters and adds extra light and shade to what is already a beautiful world. The combination of flawless writing and narration will have you invested in each and every individual you travel with on the quest to reclaim a lost Kingdom and bring home it's exiled people. While parts of this story are incredibly harrowing, they only make the reader more determined to find happiness for all the lost citizens of Lumitare.
You'll return to this story again and again and each time, you'll see something you hadn't before. Enjoy your first taste of the world we have been gifted with by a wonderful author and narrator.
"Mispronounced words were distracting"
I have really mixed feelings about this one. The audiobook was so, so good in some ways and really not good in others. Wren's narration was well done for the most part and some of his voices - like those of the older men in particular - were brilliant. But other voices were awful - Froi's was one that was very grating. And certain words and names were so badly mispronounced it drove me batty every time I heard them. I could also hear him swallowing at times which wasn't very pleasant. But I found myself loving the book perhaps even more than I did the first time, nonetheless. Still, I probably wouldn't recommend this as a way to experience Finnikin - certainly not for the first time.
"Top Title, Top Author, Top Reader"
The best ever.
Evanjalin is a continual surprise throughout the book. She's gutsy, independent, fit and ruthless to her own detriment when she believes there's a need.
All characters were read as the author wrote them. Tom Wren trusts this author completely. His voice reading this text has the music and rhythm of poetry. Frankly, they are all excellent.
Yes. Over and over. I've just begun listening 4.
There are so many beautiful quotes to call upon from this book. A short one repeated several times is this: “Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.”
― Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock
And a longer passage: “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 lend 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?”
― Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock
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