I was at first hesitant to read Finnikin Of The Rock. I mean, I have complete faith that Melina Marchetta can write a great novel, but an epic fantasy? So I took a few chapters to get into the story, but after that I was glad I did pick it up.
Finnikin is the son of Lumatere's captain of the guard, and after 'the five days of the unspeakable', he's become the king's first man's apprentice. He meets the gifted novice, Evanjalin, on his travels, and she reveals that the heir to the throne of Lumatere is alive, and they can find him and take back their homeland.
The plot isn't as straightforward as the synopsis would lead you to believe. There are turns, unexpected twists, and revelations that keep you constantly at the edge of your seat.
Melina Marchetta doesn't create characters, she creates people. Finnikin, Evanjalin, Trevanion (who has the coolest name EVER, by the way), Sir Topher - hell, everyone - felt real and dynamic. I really felt for Finnikin and Evanjalin, and really rooted for their relationship.
The best thing about Melina Marchetta's books is - or at least, what I think the best thing about them is - the way they're written. Her prose evokes so much emotion from the reader. The style she uses is beautiful and vivid and heart-wrenching.
The only negative thing about this book to me would be the ending. It was the realistic conclusion to the story, and it was satisfying, sure. But it was dragged out longer than I felt it needed to be. I like my books to resolve the main plot, and then tie up the smaller subplots in a chapter or two, but this book had so many subplots and background stories that it couldn't end that quickly after the denouement.
Recommend it for fans of: Graceling, Mistwood, and Melina Marchetta's other books.
I give Finnikin Of The Rock a 4 out of 5.