Finnikin of the Rock: Book Review

The fantasy genre has an endless array of novels and one trilogy that I came across almost a decade ago is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. Keep reading to find out if this fantasy novel is something you should add to your reading list.

Finnikin of the Rock Summary

Finnikin, Sir Topher meet Evanjalin and travel across the land to seek out their people and to return to their forsaken homeland Lumatere. On their journey, they come across a Lumaterian boy who is a thief. The group takes him in even though he is full of spite.

Finnikin and the group travel to Belegonia where they meet Lord August. Finnikin wants Lord August to spare some land for their people but Evanjalin wants them all to return to Lumatere and break the 10 year curse. When the group arrives to Sorel, a group of soldiers approach them. Evanjalin tells them Finnikin is the King Balthazar and he is taken to the mines.

Finnikin of the rock book
Finnikin of the rock novel

In the mines, Finnikin is reunited with his father Trevanion. As they plot to break out of the prison, the weight of Lumatere is upon their soldiers. Trevanion is the leader of the first guards and with their power, the people of Lumatere can finally return home and challenge the false king and hold him accountable for his harrowing actions.


This is my second time reading this novel and I will be honest; I did not remember much. That is probably because I’ve read about 300 novels since then. Even though I knew this was a dark and grim fantasy novel, actually reading it is a different experience.

It is not for the light of heart so avoid it if you aren’t a fan of dark fantasy. Besides that, there isn’t that much action. Finnikin of the Rock reads like a fairytale and it does come across as one. A group of forsaken people who are under a curse want to return home. If that doesn’t sound like your typical fairy tale, I don’t know what does then.

When I was thinking about this novel, I was eager to read it and dive back into this wonderful fantasy world. But now that I have read the novel, I feel like it wasn’t as great as I remembered it. That is why I won’t be continuing the trilogy and leave it at this. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it but it felt lacking in its world building.

That might be because I have been reading novels with in depth world building and this novel is not that. Its selling point is its protagonists and returning home. And even then, that didn’t feel like enough.


I didn’t expect my review to go this way but I don’t think I will be recommending this novel. It might have been better as a standalone novel in my opinion. Instead, we get a Lord of the Rings type walking around the world novel that is hard to summarize in an interesting way. You’re better off reading a novel that does more in depth world building. 

Finnikin of the Rock Hardcover version

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4 thoughts on “Finnikin of the Rock: Book Review

  1. Tanaz Masaba says:

    I have read this book ages ago and had the exact same thoughts—there’s no reason for this to be a series. The book works just fine as a standalone.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      Agreed. Even though I will say I enjoyed the third and final installment of the novel the most during my first reading


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