The Start Of A New Favorite Series. I CAN FEEL IT.

YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYYSSSS. As you may in fact know, Melina Marchetta is one of my all time favorite authors EVER. EVERRRRR. I’ve read and loved her contemporaries and I had just been putting off her fantasy books because, at the time, I wasn’t super into fantasy and I was a bit intimidated. I finally decided to read Finnikin of the Rock a couple weeks ago and OH MY GOD. I am a woman obsessed. I cannot stop thinking about the characters. The world. EVERYTHING. It’s every bit of magic that her contemporary books had for me — especially her signature character development. A few people assured me of this and they were so right. SO RIGHT.

Finnikin of the RockGoodreads // Amazon

THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING. (and I’m told it only gets better…and more brutal).

Before I discuss my feels, let me give you the down low on what it’s about if you aren’t familiar: Finnikin of the Rock is from the Lumatere Kingdom. Ten years ago the royal family was MURDERED (he was VERY close with them) and then this awful curse was put on his kingdom that doesn’t let anybody in or out of the kingdom. Some people had already fled but then the other half of the kingdom is still trapped in there and being ruled by an AWFUL new ruler. So, for the past ten years, all the people who had fled the Lumatere Kingdom have been scattered about various kingdoms living in mostly awful conditions. Finnikin and Sir Topher, his guardian, have been wandering around and taking a census of the Lumatere people. Finnikin is called to meet with a young girl who makes a big claim — that the heir to the throne is actually alive. She claims that they need to gather their people and return home with the heir to undo the curse.

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Just thinking about their journey gives me chills. And how complex those characters were.

Here’s just a glimpse of what I loved about it:

The world & history: I was a little nervous that this might be a little slow in the beginning as it set up the history and the world but I was just pretty absorbed from the beginning. I will say I looked at the map so many times, to get my shit straight, that I finally just had to take a picture of it so I didn’t have to keep flipping back. It helped to be able to picture their journey as they went from kingdom to kingdom and truth be told I got so into it that I almost wanted a paper print-out of the map so I could record notes about where things went down. I loved learning about the history of Lumatere and what went down and also their kingdom in relation to the other kingdoms in the land. On the same note, I LOVED finding out about all the kingdoms because they were all kind of known for different things. MAN, some of those kingdoms were brutal though especially to the people in exile. It was a heartbreaking ordeal how some of these exiles were living and being treated.

The “taking back the kingdom” plot and how it played out: I read two books in a row where taking back the kingdom was a thing (the other one is The Orphan Queen) and I love it! I loved as they traveled to the different kingdoms gathering the necessary people and telling the exiles (who have been living 10 years in limbo and crap conditions basically). The excitement just kept building as we got closer and then THE BIG REVEAL as they got closer (did not see that coming truthfully). There was this moment where they are standing outside of the kingdom and I just felt this surge of pride for what they were doing. How it was all orchestrated to get the people back there and all the sacrifice it took to get there. My heart was swelling with joy/sadness/pride/excitement/fear as they approached Lumatere. VERY EMOTIONAL.  I was seriously just doing a whole lot of this by the end.


The characters: It’s one of those situations where my love for them just grew to obscene amounts but I didn’t even realize it until we were closer to the end and things were going down. The reunions that were had amongst the exiled and how they worked so hard to get to where they were…MY HEART WAS BURSTING WITH LOVE AND PRIDE FOR THEM ALL. I LOVED Finnikin and Sir Topher and Evanjalin obviously but there were characters who came into the picture in smaller roles that I just loved so much and they made an impact on the story (and on me). I grew to love Froi (who the next book seems to be about?) even if there are still things about him that I can’t reconcile just right now. It’s classic Melina characters who just come alive and impact you in ways you didn’t see coming. I cannot wait to continue on with these characters.


* Do not read this paragraph if you want to read this book*

Some rambly thoughts and feels.

I sort of did not understand how the whole blood thing works. Like I *think* I got it but I also was confused?? Like the connection with the dead baby and how Isoboe walked the dreams? I had to reread those parts explaining it. I THINK I got it though. And ISOBOE. WHAT A BADASS. THAT REVEAL. How she brought her kingdom back?!??! GAHHH. Her reunion with Yata. OMG. And then when Finnikin’s dad reunites with his dudes. TEARS TEARS. And then the battle when Lucien carries Saro home. WAHHH. And the exchange between Lady Beatriss and Trevanion. MY HEART. Guys. I hear the next two books are even more feelsy and IDK IF I CAN HANDLE IT. ALSO, that ending was perfect and swoony and AHHH.


If you aren’t reading this series. YOU MUST. If you consider yourself a fantasy fan. If you love Melina Marchetta’s books (and aren’t a fantasy reader) you should STILL give them a chance. There’s magic kind of stuff but a lot more of this is political, people in exile and about bringing a kingdom back….AND ALL ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS.


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. YES YES YES!!!!!! I actually only just read this the other week and wow I’m still reeling from just how powerful that book was. It was such a high caliber fantasy read, and it took my every emotion. LADY BEATRISS AND TRAVANION MAKE ME HURT!! But all the reuniting scenes had me tearing up, as did the struggles they all faced in what was taken from them. She did so well showing the realities of such brutality without making it seem as some sort of gratification. I’m still so hungover from this one I haven’t attempted Froi yet!!

  2. Cannot wait to read this book!! *-*

  3. I have never heard of this series before, and I am totally finding these books! I love fantasy. Great review, and thank you for telling me about a book I need to get my hands on!

  4. When I saw on Goodreads you were starting this series, it inspired me to do a reread. I LOVE THESE BOOKS SO HARD. Seriously, the next two books are EVEN BETTER. Yes, I said it. BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

    Sorry for the all caps, I just have a lot of feelings. So glad to see you loved this book!

  5. I am so happy right now I could cry. I KNEW YOU WOULD LOVE THIS SERIES. the themes MM tackles are pretty much the same in all of her books, regardless of what genre they fall under – you always get that overwhelming theme of identity and THATS what makes me connect so much with her characters. Watching them try and figure out who they are and what kind of people they want to be FASCINATES ME.

    I was so totally with you re Froi when i first read finnikin. I was kind of ambivalent towards him because of his past transgressions but also a bit curious because i knew about Froi of the Exiles – the shape his own story takes is incredible and i can’t wait to see what you think! his character development is really something to behold – and the way it’s dealt with is right in a way that only MM can pull off – she doesn’t make any excuses for him. it’s up to you as the reader to decide whether he is redeemable and worth his own story. she never justifies his actions; she lets you decide. and i LOVED that.

    Lady Beatriss and Trevanion BREAK MY HEART THEY BREAK IT.

    also HAHAHAHAHAHA jamie this is the easiest book re feelings; the others just keep on sliding in the knife and laughing as you writhe in pain and choke on your own tears. CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO READ THEM.

  6. HELL TO THE YES. So glad you loved this Jamie. Froi and Quintana are like worlds better, if that’s even possible, and I’m so excited for you to read them. Also, was the ending scene of Finnikin not the cutest damn thing that ever happened in fiction? *flails*

    Also, I’m very glad that you like the taking back the kingdom trope, because that’s a LOT of fantasy novels. :-p The Storyspinner is another good one. (It’s not officially revealed for a while, but it’s so obvious to everyone that it’s really not a spoiler.)

  7. I’ve been meaning to read this one. Sounds like an awesome series, and those covers! Who could resist?! I’m glad you liked it so much, and I hope the series just keeps getting better and better. This only makes me want to read it more.

  8. I love this series so much too. It gets even better with the sequels, I thought I loved the first book but the second and third were even better — they made me love characters I never thought I could and introduced/showed more of ones that I ended up loving even more than Finnikin and Isaboe. 🙂

    OH! And, in case you didn’t know, there’s also a sort of spin off/companion short story about Lady Celie called Ferragost and it’s really good (there’s been talk of her writing more of that story too).

  9. I feel like a small bit of order has been restored in the universe now that you have read this book! I love, love, love the opening of this one too. So awesome.

  10. I’ve had Finnikin sitting on my shelf for a few years now. I know it’s going to be something I’ll love yet I haven’t picked it up… NOW IS THE TIME! I AM GOING TO READ FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK THIS YEAR!!! 😀

  11. I saw this post on my bloglovin’ feed and actually clicked it because the front cover of the book looked incredible, as soon as I started reading your review I was intrigued, the more I read it I started to love the book, therefore, I will HAVE to buy it. Thank you for this review! 🙂
    Angelica x

  12. Jamie, I can. not. wait. for you to meet Quintana.

    Brace yourself for ALL THE FEELS to hit you in the next two books.

  13. I’m so glad you enjoyed Finnikin of the Rock, Jamie! It’s such a great series starter, and you’re totally right about Marchetta’s signature style + characterization showing up here. It’s only the beginning of your feels – there’s more ahead!

  14. I’m probably late to the party but… YES YOU MUST CONTINUE! I finished the series recently and I’m still a little book hungover. I mean, I thought Finnikin of the Rock was perfect but this woman shattered my expectations of ‘perfect’ with Froi and Quintana. YOU CAN’T BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE FEELS.

  15. Gosh I need to jump on this train. I’m wanting to get addicted to some series books, so this is perfect. Thanks!


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