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Finnikin of the Rock

by Melina Marchetta

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010
399 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4361-4

Ages 13 and older

As children, Finnikin, his friend Prince Balthazar, and Balthazarís cousin Lucian vowed to protect their homeland. But a vicious attack followed shortly after. The king and his entire family, including Balthazar, were assassinated, and a sorceressís spell sealed the kingdomís borders. In the ten years since, Finnikin has lived in exile, attempting to aid his fellow refugees while learning diplomacy as he travels from land to land. Now nineteen, Finn and his guardian meet Evanjalin, another refugee and young religious novice. Evanjalinís visions, in which she walks the dreams of those within the closed borders of their land, say Balthazaar survived and can lead them back across the impenetrable barrier to reclaim their home. As Finn and an ever-growing band of followers accompany her on a confusingly circuitous journey back to their homeland, he moves back and forth between emotional extremes: his distrust of Evanjalin is paired with his fierce desire to believe that Balthazar, his friend and true heir to the throne, survived. Once the complex history is set in place, Finnís story unfolds on a richly realized stage, combining intrigue, action, appealing characters, vivid personalities, and a satisfying love story.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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