Melina Marchetta is a goddess. She is one of my favorite authors in the ENTIRE world and one of the greatest in the YA genre. Even though I like to keep the recommendations on this blog to a minimum, mostly because it’s very rare for me to gush this hardcore, for all of my fellow authors and all of my fellow readers I just had to tell everyone about this series. The Chronicles of Lumatere is a fantasy series but like all of Marchetta’s novels, it’s a story about identity and finding your place in the world. So many people have fallen for Marchetta’s contemporary pieces but I still don’t think she’s ever received the recognition she truly deserves. Every single one of her books is so poignant and breathtakingly real and every time I finish reading one I learn so much, not only about the human spirit, but about myself. Jellicoe Road changed my life and Saving Francesca saved it. Growing up reading her novels served as a foundation for me, not only as a writer, but as a person and when I spotted my own flaws in her characters it helped me learn to accept them and more importantly love them. She is the pinnacle for me of everything I want to be and do and say as a writer and I think if every person on the planet read her books the world would be a more beautiful place.
I’d dabbled in reading the fantasy genre before but had never found anything that really grabbed me. I’ve always loved reading series and loved the idea of some epic journey of self-discovery but Marchetta’s mastery of contemporary fiction, combined with her foray into this new genre really put her in a league of her own. Because she’s fearless. She takes the most unworthy characters and turns them into heroes and she builds relationships where they don’t belong between people who seem too broken to be capable of such a thing. The Chronicles of Lumatere is pure magic and I guarantee that if you have a soul it will speak to it.
Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.
Evanjalin is determined to return home and she is the only one who can lead them to the heir. As they journey together, Finnikin is affected by her arrogance . . . and her hope. He begins to believe he will see his childhood friend, Prince Balthazar, again. And that their cursed people will be able to enter Lumatere and be reunited with those trapped inside. He even believes he will find his imprisoned father.
But Evanjalin is not what she seems. And the truth will test not only Finnikin’s faith in her . . . but in himself.