“Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.”
At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere. And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.
Until the ‘five days of the unspeakable’, when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an imposter king takes the throne. And a curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.
But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light...
…Blood sings to blood….those born last will make the first and Charyn will be barren no more
Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home … or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior’s discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood … and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.
There’s a babe in my belly that whisper the valley, Froi, I follow the whispers and come to the road….
Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn’s unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict. When the forces marshalled in Charyn’s war gather and threatens to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves….
“Ferragost” – A Lady Celie of the Flatlands short story
Lady Celie of the Lumateran Flatlands is visiting the Belegonian spring castle on the isle of Ferragost. Cut off from the rest of Belegonia by poor weather, she is confined to the island with four others, including the mysterious castellan of the castle. When the body of one of the guests is discovered on the rocks outside the east tower, Celie is not only considered a suspect, but finds herself embroiled in events that are entwined with her own kingdom’s cursed history, as well as the future of the entire land of Skuldenore.
Extract from “Ferragost” available in E book at http://reviewofaustralianfiction.com/The Castellan unlocked the door of the chamber and stepped back. It was a good enough invitation for Celie to enter first. She walked to the trestle where she had been seated two nights before and then crouched. He did the same. She suddenly felt crowded. But there was no time to reflect on the fact that Mr Banyon smelled of pine and sandalwood and sea salt. Because in the cold light of the day, the last smeared traces of blood were there on the ground before them.Celie felt quite pleased with herself, despite the idea that there was a murderer amongst them all.‘Well if I had to be inspired by those fanciful tales told in the old tongue,’ she said, ‘I’d say it’s best to write a list of suspects.’
‘Thank you for your advice, Lady Celie,’ he said, his voice anything but thankful as he got to his feet. ‘What say that we begin with you?’
‘Me?’ she asked, standing too soon and bumping her head on the bench.
‘As a suspect, of course.’
‘Why would I possibly be a suspect apart from the fact that I was a guest here on the night of his death?’ she said.
This time his eyes met hers and all those times Celie imagined he could be weak in spirit were swiftly crushed by the force of his stare.
‘Perhaps he found out that you were spying for Lumatere.’
‘Spying,’ she said, almost choking out the word. Then she laughed prettily. Her aunt said that when girls laughed prettily, they seemed innocent of all wrong doings.
‘Castellan Banyon, do you have a name?’
‘Yes, it’s Castellan Banyon.’
‘Well, what I mean, Sir, is that my name is Celina-May of the Lumateran Flatlands but my family and friends call me Celie and I know that Belegonians possess two names.’
‘And still my name is Banyon to you. Is there a point to this except an attempt to sway me away from the notion that you’re a spy for Lumatere?’
Celie laughed again. ‘My brothers will be highly amused by your suspicions, Sir. I’m actually quite flattered.’
She pushed aside the chronicles and made room for herself to sit on the trestle, preferring its height. She was all confidence on the outside, removing a stray of thread on her cloak and flicking it aside.
‘The King’s Man came with a chronicle that his Majesty sent ahead to me,’ the Castellan said. ‘It’s an account of events that occurred in his palace this year. The King is always keen for me to know of any strangeness that may cause interference with his stay. There were events that stuck in my mind. One, for example, was the case of the missing palace seal at the beginning of winter.’
‘Oh the poor animal,’ she cried out, ‘they’re such beautiful creatures.’
‘I’m speaking of the royal seal placed on correspondence, as you would know,’ he said. ‘It went missing for a day. And then there was a case of disappearing letters. One moment they were in the scribe’s quarters, next moment gone.’
‘The keys to the fourth tower also went missing for a day. I’ve visited the capital, Lady Celie. There’s not much in the fourth tower except for two empty chambers and the grand library.’
Celie leaned forward. ‘I do think the palace in the capital needs you, Mr Banyon. The Constable there seems to have no idea what he’s doing if these disappearances are taking place.’
The Castellan leaned closer himself. They had the same colour eyes, hers perhaps a shade darker.
‘Do you know what all three events had in common, Lady Celie?’
Celie feigned contemplation.
‘They always took place when you were in the capital.’
‘Well, I am very flattered to say the very least,’ she said. ‘I don’t tend to stand out in a crowd, Mr Banyon. ‘And here I am, Lumatere’s master spy.’
Reviews: Finnikin of the Rock
“…a hauntingly beautiful fantasy allegory…a daring departure from Marchetta’s previous books, and it works brilliantly…”
Ronni Phillips, The Canberra Times
“Finnikin of the Rock is made all the more enjoyable by its tough, sensual, flawed, brutal passionate and compassionate characters.”
Chris Thompson, Viewpoint Magazine
“ Magic, romance, intrigue, and adventure all play their parts as this dense, intricate epic unfolds, and flawed, memorable heroes fight for their kingdom’s redemption.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“ A shining story of romance, adventure in all its gritty realism, and high ideals.”
School Library Journal (starred review)
“ This standout fantasy quickly reveals that its real magic lies in its accomplished writing.”
Booklist (starred review)
“ Even readers who tend to avoid fantasy will find themselves fully engrossed in this harrowing tale.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“A rousing and complex plot filled with political intrigue.” — Kirkus Reviews
“ Marchetta is a marvelous storyteller. . . . Finnikin of the Rock has all the makings of a classic.”
Finnikin is a ripping fantastical adventure. In a word: marvelous.”
2011 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
2011 School Library Journal Best Books of the Year List
2011 Publishers Weekly Best YA Books of the Year List