Friday, March 8, 2013
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Finnikin knows heartache.
When he was a young boy and a friend of the prince, his beloved kingdom of Lumatere was splintered when the king and his family were murdered and a curse left an imposter on the throne and half of a nation wandering as exiles. As the son of the Royal Guard Captain, Finnikin has been taught well in the art of survival and has wandered the land, learning and dreaming of a way to gather his people back together again in the kingdom that they love.
When Evanjalin joins his small party, his plans for the immediate future keep getting sidetracked as her own agenda constantly demands attention. In unfriendly lands among unsympathetic strangers, Finnikin, Evanjalin and those they gather on their way never loose hope that Lumatere will be one kingdom ruled by the true bloodline once again.
Oh, to read some wonderfully solid fantasy. To read about characters with depth who have to make hard choices and who do so with strength and grace. To have a plot that keeps me engaged and that surprises me with poignancy and heart. I loved how attached these people were to their land. I loved the relationships between parents and children, between friends and neighbors, between kinsmen.
And even though I guessed a major spoiler about 50 pages in, it just didn't ruin it for me because when all was finally told, I didn't really get the half of it. It's a painful and occasionally gruesome story and not all ends tie themselves up beautifully - which made it feel uncomfortably real sometimes. This was the first book since my twins were born that just demanded my attention and made me frustrated when bottle feeding time was over because I really wanted to know what was going to happen.
I think that means I loved it.