My Reading Brain

Finnikin of the Rock

By: Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles (#1)
Summary:At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin 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.

In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.

Review: My main issue with this book is that it is one of the most boring stories I have ever read. It is a far-fetched plot, almost laughable, and it did not make it plausible.

I found Evanjalin to be the most problematic character. The attitude she displayed and the lies she told were insufferable. Because of keeping the truth to herself, she ends up creating problems for herself. It did not hold her actions accountable, which was even more frustrating. Evanjalin’s strength seemed unauthentic to me, even though I usually enjoy strong female characters. Marchetta’s aim was to write a strong female character rather than a multifaceted woman with strength. It defined her. Each character extols how strong she is, which became tedious after a while. Yes, I understand. She’s a strong woman. Several other characters were also facing hardships, but no one recognized their strength or hardships except Evanjalin. Even before her identity was revealed, the gushing had already started, and it can't all be credited to her being their queen.

I felt bored while reading Finnikin of the Rock, even though it was supposed to be a story about friendship, betrayal, romance, pain, and loyalty. There is no guarantee that I will continue with this series. Overall, it disappointed me with the characters and the narrative, and it remains to be seen if I will continue the series.