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Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles) Paperback – August 9, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Lumatere Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Before the "five days of the unspeakable," Finnikin's homeland of Lumatere was a peaceful and plentiful kingdom. Then the royal family was murdered and a puppet regime rose to power. The people were divided: some escaped into exile in the other kingdoms of Skuldenore, while the rest were trapped inside a curse shrouding the kingdom walls. A decade later, Finnikin and his guardian roam the land recording stories and trying to improve conditions for the exiles. A beguiling novice named Evanjalin, who shares the dreams of the people trapped inside Lumatere, joins their small party. She claims that Balthazar, the true heir to the throne, is alive. Rejuvenated by hope, the group embarks on a series of adventures in their quest to reunite the exiles and rebuild Lumatere under Balthazar's rule. With this novel (Candlewick, 2010), Melina Marchetta has crafted a world that is both fanciful and frighteningly real, with parallels to today's civil wars and refugee camps. It is a dense tale that builds to a stirring climax after Evanjalin's real identity is revealed. Jeffrey Cummings convincingly varies his voice to portray a range of ages, accents, and emotions in this impressive reading. Listeners may struggle to keep up with the book's many characters and to grasp the geography of Finnikin's travels (the print edition includes helpful maps). It takes patience to get acclimated to this mystical fantasy, but those who stick with it are in for a rare treat.-Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In her latest title, Marchetta, author of the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award winner, Jellicoe Road, steps deftly into the fantasy genre. Ten years before the story’s start, assassins crept into the kingdom of Lumatere and murdered the royal family, with the possible exception of Balthazar, heir to the throne. As rumors circulated that Balthazar survived, a mystic cast a curse that created a magical barrier around the kingdom and prevented thousands who had fled from returning. Marchetta focuses her tale on 19-year-old Finnikin, the son of a former royal guard, who is serving in exile as an apprentice to Sir Topher, a former advisor to the murdered king. While aiding refugees, they meet a young novice who can enter others’ dreams and claims that Balthazar has chosen Finnikin to “take his people home.” As Finnikin gathers forces to return to the kingdom, intrigue and double-dealing ensue. The skillful world building includes just enough detail to create a vivid sense of place, and Marchetta maintains suspense with unexpected story arcs. It is the achingly real characters, though, and the relationships that emerge through the captivating dialogue that drive the story. Filled with questions about the impact of exile and the human need to belong, this standout fantasy quickly reveals that its real magic lies in its accomplished writing. Grades 6-10. --Lynn Rutan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Lumatere Chronicles
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780763652920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763652920
  • ASIN: 076365292X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You know when you see something truly breathtaking and your in awe over how beautiful it is, well I think that is the right thing to say about Finnikin of the Rock. It is everything that makes a story perfect, but the book talks about a dystopian world. Melina Marchetta creates a story that has hauntingly real imagery, with words that flow nicely like a calm lake. She gives enough description to easily understand the situation and the word, and won't have readers falling asleep. The maps in the book are easy to follow, and I found myself looking at it quite a few times. The world is well built and it's easy to picture, it is also unique in the fact that you can see the cultural difference between each land as the characters travel through it. The emotion is strong and well put and will have readers at lost for words. The readers can really feel sad, angry and horrified as they read about the exile and fever camps, and hear of the five days of the unspeakable. But you will also feel hope that maybe, by the end of the book the people will regain hold of Lumatere. The characters are developed nicely, in a way that will have you make a soft spot for each one of them in your heart. Evanjalin and Froi were probably my favorite two characters. Evanjalin was such a strong, passionate and hopeful women/girl in the story. Anybody would envy that, and I certainly was proud to read about a strong women lead. Froi was someone who you hate at first, but then after hearing his POV you really feel for him. He's just a mischievous s little boy who envies people around him and wants to belong. Something that anyone can relate to. A lot of the situations were truthful, and how they were dealt with was faithful to how I can imagine them being laid out. Example of this is Trevanion's & Lady Beatriss relationship.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
It has been ten years, since the dark days when the royal family was murdered. A curse was put on the kingdom of Lumatere, separating it from the outside world and trapping others inside. Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher have been traveling in the surrounding lands, since then. They have been making the Book of Lumatere by visiting refuge camps. Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young women with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar is alive. Evajalin also has an amazing power, she can walk the dreams of those in Lumatere.
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 definitely not what see seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself.
The characters were amazing. Finnikin was smart and an interesting person to read about. Evanjalin was also very interesting. I liked the relationship that builds between them and how they weren't best friends forever in five pages. That their relationship took most of the book to fully work out. The plot has it's slow spots, but overall is a compelling and entertaining. I kept on looking at the map at the beginning of the book and trying to figure out, where in the blazes they were at times. The world of Skuldendore was original. The writing was phenomenal. I seriously wasn't sure if Marchetta would be able to write fantasy, but she was and it was amazing. I recommend this book to those that love fantasy and those that don't. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I found this a tedious read, sorry. The first half of the book, it was like every other page I just wanted to throw the book across the room, either because the characters were infuriating me, or the author was inserting facts without context or incomplete backstory (with no reason to withhold information except that it increased tension...maybe?), or the logical flow of one sentence to the next or one bit of dialogue to the next just didn't make sense.

I didn't care about any of the characters until more than halfway through, when I sort of kind of had a little empathy for Evanjalin, when I wasn't wanting to strangle her. I pretty much hated Finnikin the whole way through, Topher was one-dimensional, Trevanion (what guy in this kind of world calls his father by his name to his face?) was all right but just kind of there. Froi was completely unlikable, until the very, very end when I had maybe a tiny bit of sympathy for him. Sort of. Evanjalin was manipulative and schizophrenic, going from teary-eyed sweetness incarnate one minute to verbally and mercilessly eviscerating the other characters the next. And then random things would happen like, everyone accuses her of lying because she apparently walks the sleep when she's not supposed to be able to, when just a short while before she'd revealed that she had done it before when she shouldn't have been able to. But of course the other characters conveniently forgot about that. I guess because it would improve the drama?

The plot felt cliche (a prophecy; a young boy who has lost his parents traveling with a wise old mentor; a headstrong, beautiful young woman who is more than she seems to be; banding together to go on a quest to save the kingdom, etc. etc.). The names were awkward (Skuldenore?
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