“Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta

The Lumatere Chronicles – Book 1

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆½

Synopsis: Ten years ago, in the peaceful country of Lumatere, a violent overthrowing of the monarchy occurred.  The King, his family, and many of Lumatere’s citizens were brutally murdered.  The King’s own cousin, a man from the enemy country of Charyn, gathered Charynite forces and launched a surprise attack on Lumatere, leaving a legacy of horror in its wake.

During the ensuing battle and inevitable chaos, the town healer was found and murdered.  As she was killed, she unleashed a curse on the land. A curse that sealed away Lumatere from the outside world. None could enter and none could leave.  Those who were able to escape in time became exiles. Many, having nowhere to go, died in fever camps.

Finnikin, the son of the King’s bodyguard, escaped with the King’s first man, Sir Topher.  For 10 years, Finnikin and Sir Topher traveled the land, trying to find Lumateran exiles, and searching for a way to break the curse so that they could return to their people and overthrow the Imposter King.

Soon, a woman appears in their life as a novice of the Gods. She claims that she knows that the King’s heir, Balthazar, is still actually alive.  And that she can bring Finnikin and Sir Topher to him.  With renewed vigor, they take on the novice and pray with all their might that she is correct .. that they now have a way to return to their once prosperous kingdom.

But Evanjalin the novice is not what she seems.  Will these exiled Lumaterans indeed find that the heir of the throne is still alive?  Will they once again be able to return to their country?  It all comes down to whether or not the words of Evanjalin are true.. or if she has something to hide….

Opinion: This was an amazing book. It started out a little slowly… but it more than made up for it.  It was thrilling and gritty and full of twists and turns you don’t see coming.

Gritty is certainly the best word I can use for this book… and even the series. The reason behind this is due to how true this novelist writes the realities of war and political conflict.  While some books depict war only in the context of what happens during the actual fight, this book focuses on the aftermath of a battle… and how it affects each citizen, towns, and countries alike. And it is absolutely not pretty.

For those who are highly sensitive to certain topics, I will warn you here that this book takes on the topics of wide-spread disease, genocide, murder, rape, and torture.  It does not dance around these topics.  It does not turn the “camera” away at the last moment.  It’s true and real and quite disturbing. It’s one of the reasons I loved this book.  Marchetta wasn’t afraid to show the truth of such delicate matters.  If you’re going to depict war, depict it realistically.  She did this perfectly.

I would highly recommend this book.  Please pick it up at your local book store, library, or use the link below to order your copy from Amazon. It’s well worth the read!

***Light-Hearted Photos deliberately chosen to Offset such dark subject matter

Goodreads.com Link: “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta

Amazon.com Link: “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta