At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere.
And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.
Until the ‘five days of the unspeakable’, when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an impostor king takes the throne. A curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.
But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light…(Source:Goodreads)
I have wanted to read this book for a very long time. Kristin Cashore recommended it on her blog when it was first released in Australia, and I kept meaning to order it via the Internet and never got around to it. Now it is finally out here in the US, and I checked it out from the library.
It was definitely worth all the waiting and anticipation. This is a fantastic story…characters, plot, world-building and all.
There are several twists and turns through the story, and fairly early on I thought I had things figured out. I did, in my defense, figure out the biggest plot twist way in advance (of course I’m sure a lot of people did), but the thought that I knew everything that would happen? What a joke. Melina Marchetta would cackle at the thought.
There were lots of different countries and races of people that had me pretty confused throughout, but I was intrigued enough by it all that I didn’t find it annoying.
The characters were all fantastic. Marchetta has a way of making you want to be on their side before you even have a chance to get to know them. I loved the relationships Finnikin had with his father, his mentor and Evanjalin.
If you like YA fantasy, you definitely have to do yourself a favor and pick this one up!