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416 pages, Paperback
First published September 29, 2008
At the age of nine, Finnikin's world is shattered by the five days of the unspeakable: the royal family of Lumatere is brutally murdered, an imposter seizes the throne, and a curse binds all who remain inside the kingdom's walls. Those who escape are left to roam as exiles.
Ten years later, Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, are summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, the heir to the throne of Lumatere and Finnikin's childhood friend, is alive, and she can lead Finnikin to him. Even as he suspects this arrogant young woman, Finnikin also begins to believe that Lumatere might one day be raised.
"Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?"
"Speak, Finnikin wanted to shout at her. Lay blame. Shout. Rage. Rage!"
"Men who in Lumatere had voices loud and passionate, who provided for their families and were respected in their villages. Now they sat in silence and relied on their children to translate for them as if they were helpless babes. Finnikin wondered what it did to a man who once stood proud. How could he pass on his stories without a language?"
"You are evil," he seeted.
"Oh, the way that word is thrown around!" she said. "Everything is evil that humans can't control or conquer."
"Perhaps they would act as a deterrent. He could not believe anyone who heard such stories of wickedness would allow it to happen again."
- The writing is gorgeous. It has a poetic touch yet the book remains dauntingly mysterious
- Complex and developed plot
- The characters – I would die for them
- WE ACTUALLY GET A POSITIVE REPRESENTATION OF A FATHER/SON RELATIONSHIP IM SCREAMING
- I felt like I was being stabbed in the heart, multiple times
- Melina Marchetta is the author
- S L O W B U R N
- I cried harder for this book than I did while watching TFIOS (and that’s saying something)
- THE PLOT TWISTS
- Everyone should read this book
- LIKE SERIOUSLY
- READ THE BLOODY BOOK
- I should have read this sooner
- That’s my only regret
- There are no real cons
- My BR partners ditched me so I couldn’t scream about the book to anyone
- No cons
- This list shouldn’t exist
“Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.”
“Because any hope beyond that, my boy, would be too much. I feared we would drown in it.”
"Then I choose to drown,” Finnikin said. “In hope. Rather than float into nothing.”
“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.”
”You asked me once what my magic was.
That is my magic.”
”Hungry,” Froi muttered.
“And we’re not?” Finnikin snapped back.
“He’s a boy,” Sir Topher admonished, “who needs to eat. You were the same at his age Finnikin.”
“No I was not.”
Sir Topher snorted with disbelief.
“All of you stay here,” Finnikin ordered. “I will get us food.” He pointed a finger at his father. “No fighting with the locals!”
Froi liked the way Moss said “our boy” as if Froi belonged to them instead of belonging to no one. Sometimes during their travels, he had imagined there was someone inside Lumatere searching for him. But there had been no mother like Lady Abian or father like Trevanion waiting. No kin who recognised him as theirs.
“They meant no harm,” she heard Tesadora say at her shoulder.
Phaedra walked away, scrubbing away tears, not realising she was crying. She was tired of feeling shame. She was tired of feeling helpless all the time.
"Did you hear what I said?" Tesadora asked, gripping her arm.
" They say were dirty," Phaedra cried, pulling free. "Luci-en says were useless. Your queen says were murderers. I overheard the Mont lads say we should be rounded up and set aflame. Were barren. We worship too many gods. Our bread is tasteless. Our faces are plain. We cry too much. Our fathers abandon us. We dont understand kinship. Were pitiful!"
Phaedra shook her head. "If your people mean no offence, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children, Tesadora. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of the careless words passed down by their elders who meant no harm."
Tesadora stared a moment and then a ghost of a smile appeared on her face.
"Strange things happen when we stand face to face with our enemy, dont they, Phaedra of Alonso?"