And then the dark forces of the curse entombed the kingdom, separating a people in two. This is the story, as told to those of us who were born to see such days, recorded here in the Book of Lumatere so we will never forget.
Summary: (From melinamarchetta.com.au)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 imposter king takes the throne.
And 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...
Review: This is a story written in third person and is about dwindling and fiery hope, about redemption and guilt, regret and love, about finding those who you love and going back for those who you left behind. Six long months I waited for this novel and I was not disappointed. Melina Marchetta, my favourite author in the world managed to once again weave another original and amazing tale.
The first thing I will say is: how does Marchetta write such original stories? When you think about the basics of her stories they sound very genial, but whenever she writes it screams originality. This was her first fantasy story and I must say that she pulled this one off.
Her story was a little complicated, she created a whole new world and learning the names of every country, every town was a little difficult at the beginning but as the novel went on you learned a lot about each and I commend Marchetta highly on being able to give so much detail to every town she created that little bit of history we were given made the story that much more realistic and moving.
Finnikin was the main character and was...well awesome. I loved how he was so determined and good natured, I read a Q&A about FOTR on her website and Marchetta said that she had trouble writing Finnikin because he kept appearing too weak or too arrogant, but I think that she crafted him wonderfully. Evanjalin was a great character and was a kick ass female heroin, Finnikin and Evanjalin's relationship was fantastic, complicated and once again, realistic, especially considering the time era. My favourite character though had to be Perri the Savage, he was delightfully miss understood and I loved that Finnikin's father Trevanion trusted him whole heartedly and gave him a chance, despite the rumors that circulated around him, when I explain it that way it sounds corny doesn't it? Well, it isn't.
But Trevanion was staring at Perri. “You,” he said. “If anything happens to me, protect my boy.”
I loved that towards the end of the book we got a look from the misunderstood Froi's point of view, he was perceived as such an awful character at the start of the novel, but he was so...sweet, after my initial hate for him I felt a little bit of sympathy towards him and when I read his perspective it made my feelings of sympathy stronger and caused me to really like him.
The others pretended that deep down he wasn't bad. That he didn't come from evil. But she knew. She saw the badness. She saw it now and shivered. Page: 244.
Melina's wonderful style shone through in this novel, her flashbacks, dream sequences and just writing was beyond enjoyable to read.
A lot of brutal things happen in this story and Marchetta is never too frank about them, which I liked, she implies a lot of what happened to the women and the reaction of her characters say more then the harsh sentence ever would.
Marchetta threw in so many twists and turns it made this almost 400 page novel one I powered through, one twist had me gaping because it was popped in at the most random time and I didn't know whether it was a dream or wishful thinking. One of the biggest twist of the novels I'm glad to say I guessed (yes, I guessed it, whooo) and it was a great twist indeed.
So, overall: the plot? Engaging, amazing, awesome, fantastic, wonderful and amusing. The characters? Gah, amazing. I loved each and every one of them for every flaw and everything that made them glorious. The twists? Amazing, fun, beyond interesting. The writing? Don't get me started on how fantastic it was, how the story was intricately weaved and just so beautiful that I can't believe someone has that much writing talent.
I want you read this book, I love it. I want you to read each and every novel of Marchetta's because each is so wonderful I want you to be able to experience it.
Are you in the U.S? Are you going insane and really want this novel? Well, you can get your hands on it Spring 2010, a little while away, but you can always try and find it on the net.
Five out of five, I think that my review says enough, please, read it when you get the chance.