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


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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 (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Monster Of Books on February 11, 2010
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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Woodard on August 8, 2009
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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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Handler on October 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I had to read this book for a school assignment. I picked it because I enjoy fantasy and because I saw many good reviews here. But when I read it it turned out to be a big disappointment. My first problem with this book is the sex. It's the classic case of too much, too little. It is too much to be considered kid-friendly but the way it is described is extremely awkward and seems unrealistic. The world building is another big issue. You are made aware of the basic politics of the kingdoms, who likes who essentially, but not much more. Melina Marcheta never even tells us the names of the rulers, or why they dislike each other. Add on to that the "Viking" invasions briefly mentioned by Finnikin, which are never mentioned again. Another time Finnikin talks about "the sixth-century fighting techniques of the Lucanites" without reference to what century Finnikin is in or who the Lucanites are. The climax of the book is also extremely disappointing. I won't spoil anything, but it was a big letdown for me. There are also occasionally revelations at the end of chapters that are never acted on, such as when Trevanion says that Evanjalin has his mother's name. On the back cover of the book it says that Melina Marcheta says that a major influence in her writing of Finnikin was the plight of refugees and the loss of homeland. However when I read the book I found the scenes with the exiles to be the worst. They don't seem at all reminiscent of their former life, or seem to have that loss of identity, When Finnikin went into an exile camp that experienced plague I expected to be horrified with the details, but it was just a minor (very minor) shock. The characters' emotional development, or lack of it, is lacking.Read more ›
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