"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

I'm a hypocrite when it comes to fantasy books. I say, when asked, that I don't usually read or like fantasy books; they're not my style. But lately I have found myself reading a lot more fantasy and generally I like it. I think one of the problems to starting fantasy books or fantasy series, as most fantasy books are part of a series, is they are usually so massive, they are just daunting to start. Though not completely daunting at 400 pages, Finnikin of the Rock,  by Melina Marchetta, was a hard book for me to start and also to "get into". I read well over 100 pages before I felt any kind of rhythm with the book and it was probably around page 200 before I actually felt compelled to keep reading.  As I was contemplating this I was struck by a thought.  I think the reason that almost all fantasy books are long, part of a series, or hard to "get into"  is because the author is compelled to introduce us to almost everything---lands, language, gods, people, creatures, even food and clothing.  Suddenly it made perfect sense to me why I have such a hard time getting started in these books, I am not always sure I feel like doing all the work required to pay attention to all those details.

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.”-Booklist
The 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.

1 comment:

  1. Anne, you always have awesome YA book covers :D This looks like a knockoff of The Sword in the Stone.

    I have an award for you. Congrats :) Here are the details.

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