book review: finnikin of the rock

I am rating this 4.6 out of 5 stars!!
I really don't think i could write a review that would do justice to this book, but i'm going to try anyway.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin's faith in her . . . but in himself. 

The Plot
I thought that the book had a fairly simple plot: to reclaim the cursed kingdom of Lumatere. But following this had so much depth and such rich character development. For about half of the book, it didn't really seem like the plot was gonna be complex or anything, but meeting more of the characters and finding out more truths just opened up so much more layers of the story. Finding out how petty things in the past had played such a significant role in the present and the future was just so captivating and discovering the twists and finally seeing the story make sense was such a joy. Admittedly, it was a little hard to get into the story. But the plot gradually gets better and better and builds so well that at the end i'm left so overwhelmed.

The Characters
This book definitely had a lot of focus on the characters and their relationship between one another. Being written in a 3rd perspective, it wasn't easy to really get to know the characters, especially because we couldn't read their thoughts. But somehow, the way they interact with one another and the bond they had and the love and protectiveness they showed through their actions was what made the characters so lovable and so wonderful to read about. I love how honest the characters are, even if some were problematic. Some of the characters were so rational and mature that sometimes it hardly felt like i was reading a Young Adult high fantasy. At times it had a Game of Thrones vibe to it (the brutality and suffering that happens).

The Writing
The writing at first didn't seem special at all. In fact, i was actually quite bothered with how Melina Marchetta kept not describing people and settings enough to let me fully envision what i'm reading.  She always moved to the next scene before wrapping up the previous one with necessary descriptions and explanations. BUT. Somehow, for some weird, strange reason, it really worked for this book. Halfway through, i had totally forgotten about how bothered i was with the lack of description for things, and i found myself already being placed inside the story. Because Marchetta skips unnecessary and irrelevant parts and just goes straight to the part where something significant happens, it kept me reading and turning the pages and didn't leave room for me to get bored with filler paragraphs or chapters. I noticed that the book had a ton of dialogue, and i think that's what makes up for the lack of description of the characters. The way the characters conversed with one another already has it's own voice in describing their relationship and character. I don't know how Marchetta did it, but she freaking DID IT. Another way to describe Marchetta's writing is it's like a storyteller telling you a fairytale. They leave out the unnecessary parts and emphasize on the good parts.

This book isn't the kind of book that will impress you from the beginning, or even halfway through(it might, for some people). It will unravel its charm towards the end and when you finish, when you get to think about what you just read and place the discovered pieces of the puzzle together. It'll overwhelm you when you realise the important role the characters(even the minor ones) played, and it'll fill you with warmth when you realise that it felt like you were in the book, with the characters, freeing your kingdom together.

I think my rating would've been higher if the book had managed to capture me into its charm right from the start. But really, other than that i loved it.


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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.