Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finnikin of the Rock

Marchetta, Melina. 2010. FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 978-0763643614 [Suggested Grade Levels 8–12]

After ten years of exile from all that he knows, Finnikin’s life takes a dramatic turn when he meets Evanjalin, a young dream walker, who tells him that the last remaining heir to his homeland is still alive. A decade prior, the royal family of Finnikin’s homeland was slaughtered, the people driven from their land, and the kingdom cursed, effectively preventing anyone from returning. Now there is promise of rebirth through Evanjalin’s visions. Son of a former royal guard, Finnikin allows Evanjalin to lead him towards gathering his people and returning to the kingdom of Lumatere and his King, Balthazar. Yet returning is not as easy as one would hope. Political intrigue and a nation of ostracized people create a fascinating world that is hard to put aside.

Like an elaborately embroidered tapestry, this story encompasses high action and intrigue, colorful characters, and a complex story structure. The initial events in the story provide a foundation that readers will find easy to build upon as events escalate quickly within the storyline. Dialogue creates well-rounded characters that are vibrantly realistic in action and emotional development, enabling the reader to invest in the story and its ultimate conclusion.

This book would be a strong inclusion in the study of genres. While it is a fantasy novel, it has well developed characters, plot, and complexity of events. It would also make a strong comparison with a science fiction classic such as DUNE, by Frank Herbert.

Other books of political intrigue in a fantasy setting:
Turner, Megan Whale. A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS. ISBN 0061870935
Rothfuss, Patrick. THE NAME OF THE WIND. ISBN 9780756404079

By Christine J. Rayl

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