Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta + SIGNED Froi of the Exiles

14 March, 2012 Giveaways, Reviews 70 comments

Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta + SIGNED Froi of the ExilesFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Published by Candlewick Press, Viking Australia on February 9th 2011
Pages: 399
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library, Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

Oh my sweet… just gimme the next book now!

First, a cavet: This review will probably be the most unhelpful review you might ever read because nothing I say will do the book justice. I’ll just use this space to ramble and hopefully it makes some sort of coherency.

I remember the first time I heard about Melina Marchetta and her special fragrance of awesome she regularly emits

Yup, that’s me! (Especially when writing 1 star reviews.)

whenever she publishes a novel. I had seen reviews of On the Jellice Road, Saving Francesca, and The Piper’s Son popping up left and right in my GoodReads feed all proclaiming that this woman was the cat’s meow. But still I resisted the urge to hop on the Marchetta bandwagon for whatever reason. I was the Grinch sitting comfortably on my hill watching all the citizens of Whoville fangirl.

Finally, my co-blogger, Kat Kennedy, shook me fiercely and demanded I get off my ass and head to my local library. Naturally, I did exactly as she said because when the Boss Lady gets bitchy, you don’t ask questions. Unless, of course, you don’t happen to favor your head. *shrug* Your choice. Always your choice.

So, I stared at the book when I got home and silently told myself, “This better be good or I’m going to troll the shit outta Kennedy’s review.” It wasn’t a threat, it was a promise.

At about 15% into the book, I completely forgot about my vow to make her previous trolls look like cute bunnies.

At about 25% in, even though I checked the book out from the library, I purchased the Kindle edition for my iPad so I could read late into the night while my household slept.

At about 35% in, anyone who attempted to talk with me while I was glued to the book was met with silence or a growl. My

This is actually me glued to my iPad taken by my husband for mockery at a later date. Don’t worry. Vengeance will be mine!

husband made the snide remark that the iPad would be permanently affixed to my forehead if I remained in “that ridiculous reading position.”

At about 40% in, while at the bookstore, I raged because they didn’t have Finnikin in stock. What the hell was their problem anyway?!

Somewhere between 50-100%, my husband began to worry I would run away to Australia and proclaim my love to Melina Merchetta. I won’t pretend the thought didn’t cross my mind.

Its been quite a long time since I added a book to my “All Time Favorites” shelf and out of all the books that reside there none ever truly came close to competing with my number one favorite: Harry Potter. Until now. Oh my god, this book was amazing!

Melina Merchetta, you humble me. This is one of the best books I have ever read. The rich world building. The realistic characters. The heartbreaking romance. You created a world I never wanted to leave.

Authors please take note. THIS is how you create a believable world, societies, and cultures. THIS is how you write a strong female character. THIS is how you show the unfair treatment of women in a society, having a heroine rise above, and yet your book still proudly waves its feminist flag. THIS is how you create memorable minor characters. THIS is how you write from a male point-of-view without him sounding like a wannabe. THIS is how you write an epic book.

Badass, Marchetta. Badass.

A piece of advice from the hard-to-please, Grinch of Book-land: Read this book. It is amazing, fantastic, brilliant and everything in between. When US readers get their hands on Froi of the Exiles, and later this year Quintana of the Charyn for those lucky Aussies, I’m sure GoodReads will resemble nothing short of gnats flying into the bright, blue light. And I will proudly be one of them.

*clears throat* Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.




And now for an awesome giveaway. I swear, this is our best yet! Secretly, I am envious of the future winner because I would love to cuddle this book in a corner.

To celebrate Froi’s release, we are giv­ing away 1 *SIGNED * hard­cover copy of Froi of the Exiles, the second book in The Lumatere Chronicles! Please see details below before enter­ing.

An addendum by Kat Kennedy:

There’s a little story behind Stephanie and I receiving a copy of Froi of the Exiles, signed by The Goddess (Melina, duh!)

I had tried to get an interview with Marchetta, which was just not going to be possible with the timeframe and all the commitments that Marchetta has.  So I had a sad.  A very big sad.  I roamed around the house like a ghost for days.

I couldn’t enjoy things I used to enjoy, I paused often to wipe away stray tears, my super hot husband tried to distract me with his body – his efforts, alas, in vain.

Then something happened.  Marchetta, knowing of my plight, contacted me and promised me a signed copy of Froi.

That was lovely.  Really, really lovely.

So I cheered up and went about my life, exercised my husband, dreamed of funding my own Melina Marchetta convent – you know, the usual.

But, of course, it’s Marchetta and (folks, if you haven’t read her, you’ll find this out for yourself) you always get so much more than you bargained for.

So when I received the signed copy of Froi of the Exiles from Marchetta… I also received On the Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca – both also signed, personally to me, by Marchetta.  The small letter that came with these gifts has been framed and the books are currently occupying the ultimate highest honored place on my bookshelf.  I’m sorry these books can’t be included in the giveaway as well, but I just wanted to demonstrate what an awesome writer and person we’re dealing with here.

I mean, really.  WHO DOES THAT?!

Marchetta.  That’s who.

Contest Rules:

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open to anyone (US and International)!
  • When the winner is chosen, it will be announced here and the winner will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
    Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

70 Responses to “Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta + SIGNED Froi of the Exiles”

  1. Sofija Kapranova

    I once was a Grinch too… People were telling me to read any book by Marchetta and I kept refusing. Then I’ve read Sav­ing Francesca and fell in love. Then I’ve read The Piper’s Son and decided to include Marchetta in my wish. Now I am going to read Finnikin of the Rock. I am afraid what I may do after that)))

  2. Rogue

    As always, great review! 🙂

    I love Jeliioce Road! It is seriously the best book I have read in a long time (right by HP and Unearthly).
    Can’t wait to read the others!
    Rogue recently posted…Mad Monday [2]My Profile

  3. Rosanne

    Marchetta is the most amazing young-adult writer out there. Others should take note *cough* Stephenie Meyer *cough* Currently planning to move to Australia after I’ve convinced my parents. There is no other way to ensure my future happiness otherwise 😛

  4. Chachic

    I’m loving all the Marchetta love that has been going on in the blogosphere recently. <3 She's such a brilliant author. Like you, I was amazed at how nice she is. I just about fainted when she agreed to do a guest post on my blog for Queen's Thief Week AND offered to send me a signed copy of The Piper's Son (she threw in The Gorgon in the Gully as a surprise).
    Chachic recently posted…If I Stay by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  5. Kaethe

    I’m sorry you couldn’t get an interview, but what a marvelous thing to do! I like knowing that Marchetta isn’t just a fabulous storyteller, but is also a fabulous human being.

  6. Shelley

    What a wonderful review and amazing giveaway. You guys are so good to you’re followers.

  7. A.J.

    haha This is an awesome review! Finnikin was amazing. I’m so glad you loved it. 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

  8. Carl

    I’ve been chasing Melina’s books all over the net. If I’m very quiet I can sneak up on this copy of Froi. Sshhhhh…

  9. Lexie B.

    Lovely review. I really, really need to read all of Marchetta’s books; her readers seem to love her and every one of her books more than life itself, even those none for being picky (or Grinches . . .). I actually have a copy of Jellicoe Road–two, in fact–but I’m so reluctant to read it. I know that when I do, for a while afterwards, even otherwise enjoyable books will seem rather pointless. I’ve demanded of my local B&N that they get all of her books in stock (because currently they don’t have one), and I think when they do, I will just buy them all and read them in a row. Then I’ll at least be able to put off my inevitable disappointment in all other books.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway. I can’t imagine how difficult it was to part with this, but I’m sure wherever it ends up, it will be treasured till the end of time.
    Lexie B. recently posted…Teaser Tuesday (13)My Profile

  10. Ashley

    I have been dying to get Froi ever since I read Finnikin… these are the times I wish I lived in Australia.

  11. Stella C

    I can’t believe you are giving away a SIGNED cover!! OMG I think I might die. THANK YOU SO EFFING MUCH!

    • Kat Kennedy

      It was really, really lovely, Maggie. It’s always heartbreaking when you realize that an author whose work you enjoy, is not a person you would get along with. But this was so wonderful – especially since she is my absolute favourite author.

  12. juanita

    Jellicoe Road was my first Melina book, and it really was amazing. Still haven’t read Finnikin yet though.


    I own two books by Melina Marchetta, and I have yet to read them. Clearly, I have been missing out and need to rectify this. Plus, she sounds like a really awesome person to give you signed copies of everything.

    Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Keertana A.

    This is so exciting! I just finished Finnikin of the Rock and I loved it! I can’t wait to read the next book! 😀 Your book review was lovely! It made me laugh and I completely sympathized with your predicament – my bookstore didn’t have Finnikin of the Rock either! Also, I sat up till three in the morning to finish it. I simply couldn’t put it down!(:

  15. Peggy Martinez

    Great giveaway! Your review was awesome and your hubby taking that picture made me laugh out loud!! LOVE it! Thanks for an amazing giveaway 🙂
    ~Peggy @

  16. Bonnie

    What an amazing giveaway… I can’t believe you’re giving this up! You must really love your readers. 😀

  17. Kate C.

    That was so amazingly cool. Someday, I hope someone cares enough about my books that I can be so amazingly cool. 🙂

    Also, I love the comment about your super hot husband not being able to distract you with his body. hahaha
    Kate C. recently posted…I Need a Little Understanding…My Profile

  18. Meghan

    Thanks so much for this contest! I would love to win. Melina is one of my favorite authors.

  19. Angie

    I can totally understand the emotions you went through as you read Finnikin of the Rock. I did the same thing, except my parents were the ones who were commenting on my behavior. I love Finnkin of the Rock so much and can’t wait to read Froi of the Exiles!!!!!

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!!! Your review was great!!! Totally captured the essence of Finnikin of the Rock’s plot and everything that makes it soooooooooo amazing!!!

  20. Nadhirah

    i’d love to win the book, it seems interesting :D!
    thanks for the giveaway!

  21. AJ

    Melina Marchetta is insanely talented. I’ve been waiting for Froi for months (essentially the moment I finished Finnikan)!

    I so wish books were available digitally day and date.
    AJ recently posted…John CarterMy Profile

  22. Kate @ Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy

    Great review! I loved Saving Francesca as well as Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son. Surprisingly, although fantasy is more my thing, I wasn’t a huge fan of Finnikin of the Rock, but I have heard stellar reviews for Froi of the Exiles from people who felt the same way about the first book, so I’m really looking forward to it!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    Kate @ Epic (Chocolate) Fantasy recently posted…Goddess Interrupted by Aimee CarterMy Profile

  23. Robyn

    I regretfully have never read one of Melina Mar­che­tta’s book. (insert gasp here) I stumbled on the review of Finnikin of the Rock on Good Reads today and was intrigued. How could I have missed such an amazing author. My Kobo is already waiting for the download of Finnikin of the Rock. An autographed copy of Froi….oh yes please. What a fantastic giveaway. Thank you so much for doing it an good luck to all. 🙂

  24. Jessie

    This is one of the books and authors I see lauded everywhere. It’s always nice when it can be truly worth the hype – both a KatKennedy and a Stephanie Sinclair recommendation? Who am I to resist? I love straight fantasy so it’ll be interesting to read one from an author with such beloved contemporary titles!

    Also: Marchetta should teach classes on the art of class, with cameos from Jay Kristoff for how to interact with fans. Amazing what she did for Kat.
    Jessie recently posted…Blog Watch Wednesday!My Profile

    • Kat Kennedy

      Seriously, Jessie, I think you’re going to love Marchetta. She is a class of her own and, thought she is my absolute favourite author, I can testify that she is beyond brilliant.

  25. Alexa O

    I have heard so much about this women and how amazing her books are, but so far I’ve steered away from this series because I haven’t really read any high(er) fantasy since seventh grade. But I’m definitely starting to lean towards it now.

  26. Sarah

    Amazing review! Goodness, I can’t believe I haven’t saw this giveaway when I was trolling your blog. But anyway, I have read Finnikin of the Rock and I absolutely loved it but I didn’t get to write a review because come to think of it, I never have the guts to write a review on my favorites. I fear that I wouldn’t do them justice. So I applaud you and all your epicness. And yes, I agree Marchetta is bad-ass, and I wish to whoever’s listening that her books would be available in the Philippines. >.<
    Sarah recently posted…Random Ramblings (12): Man, I’m Still Alive!My Profile

    • Stephanie Sinclair

      Thank you! It is incredibly hard to write a review for a book you love and have a huge amount of respect for. Hopefully, with the continued success of this series it’ll be more widely available!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge