That said, once I made it through the introduction to the land and characters in Finnikin of the Rock I settled in to read a highly imaginative and exciting tale.
Ten years before the story’s start, assassins crept into the kingdom of Lumatere and murdered the royal family, with the possible exception of Balthazar, heir to the throne. As rumors circulated that Balthazar survived, a mystic cast a curse that created a magical barrier around the kingdom and prevented thousands who had fled from returning. Marchetta focuses her tale on 19-year-old Finnikin, the son of a former royal guard, who is serving in exile as an apprentice to Sir Topher, a former adviser to the murdered king. While aiding refugees, they meet a young novice who can enter others’ dreams and claims that Balthazar has chosen Finnikin to “take his people home.”-BooklistThe main characters are multi-faceted, intriguing, and worth rooting for. Their dialogue is interesting and enlightening. The action exciting and the budding romance is tender and sweet. This book was the favorite book of my Mock Printz team and many students were very disappointed that it didn't win any of the ALA Awards handed out this week. There is a lot to like in Finnikin of the Rock, especially for fantasy fans.
*I listened to this novel in audio book format.