If not, is anyone here immoral enough to see to it that that happens? I promise you, the relationship I have with Finnikin of The Rock is serious. We're in love (even if the book doesn't know it). I am currently thinking about grabbing the book, strutting it in front of all the other books in my shelf and saying.. "guys, this is how it's done."
Because guys? THIS is how it's done.
Here's the thing, a few months back, I didn't care about how good an author's writing is. As long as they could get the story across, I was happy. Then, I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and was reminded just how much the beauty of words can make me love a book. And then.. Marchetta came along. 20 pages into the book, and I already know why people worship her so much in the YA community. She's a brilliant, brilliant writer.
I love High Fantasy, but lately, I've had somewhat sour experiences with the genre. Just to get across how much I loved this book (as if I hadn't already), I'll compare it with said experiences. The last fantasy books I read were Shadow and Bone, and Seraphina. I was lukewarm about both, which sucks, because I expect nothing less than a blown mind when it comes to fantasy.
You see, my biggest problem with Shadow and Bone was how simplistic, and "okay" the writing was. Finnikin ain't got none of that, my friend. With Seraphina, my biggest problem was how disconnected I was with the characters. Again, Finnkin of The Rock comes out clean.
I could feel the struggle of Finnkin, and I got so attached to the story, I might suffer from a terrible book hangover. Can we talk about the relationships in this book for a second? Finnikin's relationship with his father was filled with so much respect and love. I don't know if there's such a thing, but Marchetta pins down the "manly" love a father and son share. It didn't feel awkward or sappy. Actually, Marchetta pulls off writing from a male perspective so well. Everything from needing to prove himself as a man, to how he reflects his feelings for Evanjalin was done perfectly.
Oh.. Evanjalin. She's a weird character, I'll give you that. For a good portion of the book, I wasn't sure what to think of her. Then she started showing intelligence and elegance in the way she talks, that it was hard not to like her. She was manipulative too, and some people had trouble with that, but I love manipulative characters. (Also, her name's pretty cool.)
I always have trouble recommending fantasy books to everyone, even if it's as good as this book, because fantasy, especially high fantasy, is not for everyone. I'm not saying that because it's complex, but because they tend to have so many elements thrown in and some people get bored by that. But if there was ever a chance you want to give High Fantasy a try, for the love of coffee, let it be this one. Once you get past the very first few pages, things start to get interesting really quickly.
Another thing that I liked about this book, is that is reflects the era it is in, without excluding the goriness and ... inappropriateness? Nothing irked me more with Seraphina than how everything was "pure", especially that it too, was in a medieval setting. Now I understand this is YA, and I shouldn't be expecting George R. R. Martin action, but I still liked how Marchetta doesn't shy away from writing a dialogue between men with all the dirty jokes that come with it, and the thoughts that go through a guy of Finnikin's age. The 10 year old in me was happy.
This was a roller coaster of feelings. From a witty dialogue that had me genuinely laughing, to fast paced action scenes, and tragic ones that had me bawling like a kid.
Final words: The existence of this book makes me happy.
Personally, I think it was smart of her, albeit very risky. One of the men later says that the prisons were Trevanion was were extremely dangerous. But then again, there was no way Trevanion would've left the prison and endanger his son's life. But.. what if Finnkin had visited him in the prison, trying to convince him to escape it? Hm.. I think Trevanion would've still refused to leave because he feared it might get get finnkin in trouble. There was no other way than what Evanjilin did.
And Froi? Where you able to sympathize with him even after he tried to rape Evanjilin?
For me: Absolutely. At first, I thought he was a good for nothing boy, but when I read those scenes from his perspective... the feels you guys. Marchetta really makes you feel the pain of an orphan whom in Sir Topher's words "knows no other way but ugliness". The way he developed into this responsible, somewhat honest boy was amazing.
What was your favourite Evanjilin/ Finnikin scene?
Mine was definitely when she was about to die, by Sir Topher in the meadow. This is partly because Froi is then one describing it, and I liked the way he did. So simple, and yet it very emotional.
OK, so mine is a little random. There are TON of deep and beautifully written phrases that I can quote from this book, but know what my favourite is?..
"Finnikin of the Rock? Son of Trevanion of the River?"
"The very same," she said.
[...] "Is he with his guard?"
"No. With a whore." she explained.
I don't know why, but this scene made me laugh. There was so much win on Evanjalin's behalf, that I loved it. Pure.Win.