Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Finnikn of the Rock
I know I'm on the slow side on this one as it was released in 2008 I believe? Still, it was quite a good read and it seems to be part of a series.
So AMAZON SUMMARY. "2008 Printz Award Winner Melina Marchetta crafts an epic fantasy of ancient magic, exile, feudal intrigue, and romance that rivets from the first page.
Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems — and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
I'm impressed with how much this book managed to suck me into it's world and captivate my attention so much. This author, Melina Marchetta, has a strong talent in making the magical seem realistic while also capturing the sense of a nation, individual characters, and the landscape in which they dwell into such a fascinating story.
I'm a bit in awe.
I haven't come across many strong fantasy series that have stood out to this degree to me. I mean, this book seems to have captured what I imagine to be archetype of the 'fantasy genre' but making it something colorful, playful, yet filled with grim realities.
I suppose I'm a bit dumbstruck as well.
So let's start with Finnikin, Lumatare, and where this all started. So, once upon a time (HAR HAR HAR) there was a beautiful kingdom of Lumatare where many different people lived in harmony due to the boisterous nature of the country and the prosperity of the nation ruled by a gentle, wise king. The king and his wife were very happy together and had five children: four princesses and one prince. The two we care about are the prince, Balthazar, and the youngest princess Isaboe. We care about them more so because as they were the youngest of the lot, they were the one's that Finnikin (son of the captain of the guard) was able to interact with the most. So one day Finnikin had a haunting dream and could not put it to rest in his mind. He gathered his two best friends, Balthazar and Lucian of the Monts (a people that lived in harmony with Lumatare), and they took a blood oath to the goddess to protect Lumatare in their own ways.
The kingdom enjoyed it's prosperity until one tragic night the king, his wife, and their children were murdered by an imposter king and the kingdom was thrown into such disarray as different miseries befell the people of the land. One misery was when one of the forest dwellers placed a curse on Lumatare so everyone who was inside Lumatare was trapped in a dark smoky veil that propelled them to stay inside Lumatare while it kept everyone else out. The imposter king and his corrupted men were trapped inside, but so were many citizens of Lumatare. There were even more Lumatare citizens trapped on the outside and were left landless and lost.
Finnikin was trapped on the outside of the veil with Sir Topher (the king's first man; think of him as an advisor of sorts) and travelled the land learning the different languages of Lumatare's neighbors and searching for anyone who had survived the imposter king's attack as well as the days of the veil.
It gets more and more intense and I know I'm summarizing it rather poorly so I'm just going to stop.
I will say that I fell in love with different characters and appreciated all the different aspects and flavors they brought to the story and now I'm seeking out the sequel to this book.
Some SPOILER LAND stuff. It's all serious business now.
I was completely thrown off that Evanjalin was Isaboe. Completely and utterly. I am delighted at how much that took me by surprise. I was originally suspecting that she was someone who was very close to the royal family, but for her to be Isaboe? WHOA.
Finnikin was hilariously cute with his struggle over his falling in love with Evanjalin/Isaboe.
I love all the men who are part of the King's guard. They're all fantastic.
Froi, I'm not sure what to make of him still. I'm glad we were able to witness his growth, but I'm hesitant with how much we saw of him. He seemed a little redundant sometimes, but underutilized at other times.
Meh. I think I'm good.