Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finnikin of the Rock

My favorite fantasy is that which manages to reflect the real world back in on itself. Although I enjoy good versus evil, and humor, and supernatural creatures, I really admire the fantasy that leaves you a little solemn and thoughtful.

"Finnikin of the Rock" by Melina Marchetta is fantasy, but at its heart, it is a refugee story. When Finnikin was a child, the royal family of Lumatere was murdered. The assassination triggered a civil war, with some factions fleeing the country. With half the people seeking refuge outside the city, and the rest of the population in conflict, a curse in the form of an impenetrable barrier descended around the country, preventing anybody from leaving or re-entering.

Although a magical barrier is very, well, magical, the conditions people face on both sides of the wall are heartbreakingly realistic. Finnikin struggles with trying to find a new place for his people, while still holding out hope that they can go home. The descriptions of the camps and the living conditions are heartrending. And yet you hold onto that thin thread of hope that weaves its way through the story.

Marchetta has a sequel coming out, due to be published in less than two weeks! I only hope it can live up to my exceedingly high expectations.

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