10 years later Finnikin is awoken by the whisper of a name--Balthazar--and begins a dangerous journey hoping to find the young prince still alive. He is led by Evanjalin, a mysterious young woman who claims she can "walk the sleep" of the people trapped inside the castle grounds. Finnikin finds himself hoping that his country and his people can be saved, but can he really trust Evanjalin?
Most people who don't read fantasy books think that it's all about magic or fantastic creatures or things that just can't happen in real life. But good fantasy, nearly all good fantasy, is really just a commentary on things that DO happen in real life. It's easier to accept that these people in a fantasy world would rape and murder each other after a tragic event. We feel outraged reading about it because it goes against the nature of our souls. But these things do happen in our world--genocide, racism, rape and murder. We need to be just as outraged.
Marchetta is a realistic fiction writer who most recently won the Printz Award for the wonderful "Jellicoe Road." "Finnikin of the Rock" is her first fantasy novel and hopefully not her last. The standard elements of fantasy are in this book--the quest, the magic, the battle between good and evil. But Marchetta brings so much more to the genre with "Finnikin of the Rock." The characters are three dimensional and dynamic. The story is good, but the characters kept me reading. There have been quite a few strong heroine books lately (which is GOOD) but I really liked how Evanjalin and Finnikin needed each other to survive and to save their people. As strong and capable as Evanjalin is, she could not do it alone and neither could Finnikin.
There's some romance in the book, but just enough to satisfy girls and not too much to turn off boys. I wouldn't call this a "girl book."
I couldn't put this book down, except when I had to chase my newly walking baby-toddler in the library. Marchetta writes interesting quality books, whether they be realistic or fantasy, and I look forward to her future releases.
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