Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta, is a wonderfully well-written coming-of-age story that just happens to be set in an imaginary world. Finnikin lives a carefree existence in his home country of Lumatere until the Five Days of the Unspeakable. Half of the Lumaterans end up captive within the kingdom’s gates while the other half are forced to roam neighboring lands as refugees. Finnikin, apprenticed to the dead King’s First Man Sir Topher, has wandered for ten years, recording the names of his country’s dead and working towards finding land on which the exiled Lumaterans can settle. Enter Evanjalin, a mysterious girl who holds the key to reuniting Lumaterans in their home country. The interplay between the characters is clever and believable, and the plot carries you along to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. A great young adult/adult read!
Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta, Candlewick Press, $18.99, ages 14 and up