Narrator: Jeffrey Cummings
Series: Lumatere Chronicles,
Also in this series: Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn
Published by Brilliance Audio on 28 September 2010
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Magic, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes
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Also by this author: Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn, Jellicoe Road
Place(s) Traveled to: The World of Skuldenore: Lumatere // Sarnak // Sendecane // Yutlind // Sorel // Osteria // Belegonia // Charyn
First Line: A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamt he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta is a book that I picked up in ARC form at one of my first BEAs but then it got placed on a shelf and forgotten about. I’d hear about it hear and there on the interwebs and would think to myself that I have to get to that book soon. But time is a fickle thing and it just never seemed to be the right moment for this story. Then it came up during a search I was doing on audible.com and I thought while I may not have time to read it I am always on the look out for a great audio and so I used one of my credits to make it mine. After listening to this story, you can bet that I’ve been kicking myself a lot for not making it a priority sooner.
Its hard to describe just how awesome Finnikin of the Rock is. The world is just so vivid and real and its characters are all so brilliantly drawn. I loved how they all interacted together and I loved how the POV of this story would switch from one to another. And while it was crazy, disjointed sometimes I never minded that the POV might switch after just a few paragraphs. Which is something that normally bugs me…a lot. That is a testament to just how powerful a story this was. Because if I am honest then I just wanted to be in all the characters heads all the time in on giant chaotic mess of narration.
This story is an epic journey and while its the start of series all the events are wrapped up nicely at the end of this book that if you never move on to the second one, Froi of the Exiles, you can be happy with how things ended. Although, I for one am currently dying to get my hands on Froi as I just want to be immersed in this world for as long as possible. I loved every moment of this story. I cheered when things were going well, I yelled when Finnikin was making yet another bonehead decision when it came to Evanjalin, and I almost wept during flashbacks and witnessed the horror that the people of Lumatere have gone through over the last ten years. I fell in love with every character, every page and every word of this story. The words just flowed over me as I listened to this story and created such a vivid picture that I could almost see the events unfold before me like a movie.
The characters in this book are all flawed. They don’t always make the right decisions but they are human and mistakes happen. But one thing they all have in common is that they think they are going down the right path…the one that will lead them back home…to Lumatere. The plotting and pacing of Finnikin of the Rock are spot on and there is always that hint of tension and suspense and wonder about what might happen with the next turn in the road. There is heartache and tragedy in this book enough to make a reader weep. But beneath it all there is a wonderful message of hope. A message that no struggle is too great that it can’t be over come and defeated.
The narrator, Jeffrey Cummings, is absolutely fabulous in bringing this story to life. All his character voices are spot on and he holds true to them all, most of the time. Cummings does occasionally slip here are there but with so many characters that is to be expected and it never detracts from the story at large. Overall, his words add a magic to this story that I’m not sure I would have felt if I’d read the print version of it. His voice weaves a spell around you that makes everything that happens in this story seem all the more real.
If you are a lover of fantasy books then this one is a must read. This is perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkein and Kristen Cashore. Its a rich and vivid tale and I can’t believe that I waited so long to experience it. My only consolation is that I can now dive right into the second book and that the third isn’t far off from publication. I can’t recommend this one highly enough so run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick this book up! You won’t regret it.