Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 12 hours and 25 minutes (416 pages)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Lumatere series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I had heard wonderful things about this book and love fantasy. So, I was very excited to finally read this book. I ended up being a bit disappointed in the awkward dialogue and some of the characters.
I listened to this on audiobook and that may be part of the reason I wasn’t really drawn into this story. The voices on the audiobook were a bit over characterized and goofy sounding at points. I am not sure if this is what made the dialogue between characters sound awkward or if that was just how it was written.
Finnikin of the Rock and Sir Topher have not been home to Lumatere for many years; no since their kingdom was overthrown and put under an evil curse. However, Finnikin is called to meet a young woman with special powers named Evanjalin. Upon meeting her, Finnikin finds that she claims that the heir to Lumatere, Balthazar, is still alive. This leads Finnikin on a quest to put together a group to find Balthazar and retake Lumatere. However, Evanjalin has some deep secrets of her own that may change everything.
This is a decent fantasy story, but it took quite a while for me to really get engaged and interested in it…like over half the book. I didn’t really like the relationship between Finnikin and Evanjalin. Finnikin is too selfish, commanding, and his temper changes with lightning quickness. Evanjalin is too passive and secretive, with inconsistent flashes of stubbornness. I hate that Evanjalin expects everyone to trust her after she lies over and over again (granted she has good reason to lie), it was just so silly.
Finnikin’s unwillingness to interpret the prophecy about the queen of Lumatere in any other way aside from the one he thought was right was strange and drove much of the storyline. Prophecies are notoriously vague and to think there is only one way to interpret them is incredibly conceited. Pretty much Evanjalin’s lying and Finnikin’s stubborness drove this whole plot. If they had been honest and understanding to each other there wouldn’t have been much of a book here at all.
There were a number of side characters and they all lacked depth and really just weren’t that engaging. On top of that the plot was fairly predictable. There are a number of twists and turns thrown at the reader but none of them are all that surprising.
Overall most of this novel just fell flat for me. It’s an okay fantasy with a mediocre plot and characters. Sure there is a very passionate and combative romance between Finnikin and Evanjalin. But I didn’t really enjoy them as characters, the surrounding characters didn’t have a whole lot of depth either, and the plot came across as contrived and a bit confusing at times. Needless to say I won’t be reading anymore books in this series. It’s an okay fantasy novel, but there are much better YA fantasy books out there.