Sophie's Reviews > Finnikin of the Rock

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
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This review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.

"Then I choose to drown," Finnikin said. "In hope. Rather than float into nothing."

A recurring thought while reading this book: I don't know what just happened; all I know is that it was AWESOME.

Melina Marchetta stays true to her title as one of the best YA authors with her spellbinding storytelling and wonderful characters.

I will have to admit that I was bored in the first hundred pages, and that I did get overwhelmed by all the names and titles. Which is why I had trouble keeping up with the plot at times. Although this detracted a bit from my enjoyment of the story, it certainly didn't keep me from becoming engrossed in the plot line.

Things I admired:
-The gruesome past that Marchetta creates. It was a lot gorier and sadder than I thought it would be, and the description of it made the hopelessness and sadness in the kingdom more real and cutting. It was amazing because there's one thing I'm afraid of, and that's when authors make a big deal out of nothing. Which Marchetta definitely did not do.
-World building. Okay, this one is actually debatable because there were tons of times when I'd get thrown for a loop because of extra details and not enough explanation. However, explanations did make the book slow at times. But you have to respect these high fantasy writers. They don't get to bootleg places from real life; they have to create entire worlds out of their own imagination. And the complex world that Finnikin and his friends live in is one that I could completely believe in.
-Theme. Or what I thought was the theme. I thought Finnikin of the Rock spoke miles for the concept of hope, just like I believed Jellicoe Road did when I read it. There was something so uplifting about this destitute kingdom with so many hopeless, memory-burdened people being saved. It made me want to do that fist bump that Judd Nelson does at the end of The Breakfast Club.
-Characters!!! I cannot emphasize enough how much I admire Marchetta's skill in creating so many characters that all seem to have outstanding personalities. We have Finnikin, the sword toting badass, and Evanjalin, who is the antithesis of the damsel in distress. Evanjalin, who I did despise a couple of times for the betrayals she seems to make, is one of the strongest female characters I've read because of her unfaltering determination to support the greater cause. But there's also Trevanion and Beatriss, Froi...I love that they all had their own side stories, but none of them overshadowed the story in general. And, of course, the romance was equally sweet and special.

In conclusion, I liked this book, though there were some shaky moments when I thought I wouldn't. Melina Marchetta has a special voice, one equal parts humorous, humbling, and brilliant. Everything is meaningful, all the dreams and actions and words. Nothing happens without a reason in this story. The biggest way I learned that was through Froi. I had no idea that the nameless street urchin would play such a large part in the story, but he did, and now I very much want to learn how his story ends.
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Reading Progress

May 21, 2012 – Shelved
June 26, 2012 – Started Reading
June 30, 2012 –
page 108
27.0% "He held her face in his hands, her tears catching in his fingers, his forehead against hers. Cursed land, Sir Topher had said. Cursed people.\n \n This is SO DEPRESSING."
June 30, 2012 –
page 247
61.75% "And when Finnikin grabbed her to him and placed his mouth on hers, the others pretended that there was something very interesting happening in the meadow. The priest-king even pointed at the nothing they were pretending to see. \n \n *laughs through tears*"
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: fascinating-world-building
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy-pnr-supernatural
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: hauntingly-good
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: high-expectations
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: is-it-over-yet
June 30, 2012 – Shelved as: laugh-out-loud
June 30, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Stacia (the 2010 club) I still need to read Froi (book 2) before book 3 comes out. If you ever want to buddy read it at some point, let me know.


Sophie I've never buddy read with anyone before! What does that entail? (Sorry for being so clueless, heh.)

Anyway, I would love to do that (once I know what exactly I am doing). I have the second book already (:


Stacia (the 2010 club) I wouldn't be able to for a couple of weeks, so it's up to you if you'd want to wait that long or if you're wanting to go on ahead without me.

We'd just chat about it on each other's reviews as we read through it. Usually over a period of a few days or something, so you can always have another second book going at the same time if the other person is lagging behind.


Sophie That's fine! I have a bunch of other YA books clogging up my TBR, so I'll go ahead with those.

Sounds fun! Just tell me when you want to do it, and I should probably be able to.


Stacia (the 2010 club) Sounds good. I have to get through some gallies and group reads and stuff like that, then I'll get back to you!


Stacia (the 2010 club) How much of Marchetta have you read btw? Have you read On the Jellicoe Road yet? That's my favorite of hers.


Sophie I've read The Piper's Son, Saving Francesca, and Jellicoe Road. Jellicoe Road was definitely my favorite of all of them, though Marchetta's writing usually doesn't disappoint.


Sophie I'm very pleased I liked it, too! I was completely wowed by Jellicoe Road. It's probably going to be one of my favorite books for quite a while (:


Amanda The Book Slayer This was the first book I read by her and it blew me away. I hear Jericho Road is awesome though.


Sophie Melina Marchetta does seem to have mindblowing down to an art...


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