Finnikin of the Rock is Melina Marchetta's brilliant fantasy epic about a people who have lost their kin and their country.
Finnikin pledged his life to protect his friends, heirs to the kingdom, and his country, Lumatere. When the Royal family is murdered, and his country is thrown into chaos, 8-year-old Finnikin is sent out of the country with the King's First Man. Finnikin has spent the last decade and change learning the languages of the land and trying to account for the exiled people of Lumatere. Now there's a rumor that Finnkin's lost best friend is alive and ready to bring the exiles back to their magically hidden kingdom.
This book starts so light, but it immediately turns rather dark. I kept waiting for the book to return to its lighthearted beginning, but it really doesn't which makes sense. Once you have experienced the horrors of war which the Lumaterans experience, there really is no return to lightness. It's only about finding new joy alongside living with the reminders of a nightmare. I didn't expect some of the twists and turns to the plot. I'm not sure if I missed some of the clues left behind, or if Marchetta actually does just pop some of the surprises out of nowhere.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. I would recommend it to fans of fantasy novels with solidly built settings.