This is a review of “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta. It is the first book in The Lumatere Chronicles.
When Finnikin was nine, life as he knew it turned upside down. The royal family of Lumatere was murdered and the People of the Forest slaughtered. Finnikin’s father Trevanion, Captain of the King’s Guard, was jailed for treason, his wife Beatriss executed. Seranonna of the Forest People proclaimed a dark curse as she was burned at the stake, and the people of Lumatere were trapped inside the kingdom, those who were outside were exiled. A tempest that cannot be breached surrounded (and still does) the kingdoms borders.
Ten years later, and Finnikin and his guardian, King’s First Man, Sir Topher, have not returned home. They travel the foreign kingdoms, searching for fellow exiles and a place where they can begin to rebuild, a place to call home. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a novice who claims that the heir to throne of Lumatere is alive. Finnikin is suspicious, but cannot help but hope that his best friend from childhood, Prince Balthazar, is alive…
They begin the journey back to Lumatere, gathering fellow travellers along the way, including a nameless Lumateran exile they call Froi, and some fearless warriors.
Can they locate the heir to the throne of Lumatere? Will they find their loved ones? What of those trapped inside the isolated kingdom? And how will they breach the tempest when the time comes to return home?
I really enjoyed this book. It is a great addition to Australian Fantasy. It took a little while for me to really get into it, as I was coming out of reading another series, and the names and spelling of those names struck me as very stereotypical of the fantasy genre. But the story did grab me right from the get go, and never once did I want to put the book down and give it up. I am looking forward to reading the next novel in this series.