The three of them used to make pledges and enjoyed playing games - especially the one to capture the legendary silver wolf. One night, when Finnikin was nine, he had a dream where he had to sacrifice a pound of flesh for Lumatere. The next day, he made Lucian and Balthazar stand on the Rock of Three Wonders, at the crest of his village and make a blood pledge to protect the royal house of Lumatere. Three days later, the day of the Unspeakable occured. After Trevanion refused to prostrate himself before the Impostor King, the new king punished him by accusing him and his betrothed Beatriss of the Flatlands of treason, sentencing Beatriss to death and Trevanion to life-long political imprisonment. Finnikin was present when the sentence was passed, and later recalls that it took three men to hold down Perri the Savage.
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Shelves: reads Dear Finnikin of the Rock, what happened? You and I were supposed to be enjoying the beginning of a beautiful friendship, walking into the sunset together. Alas, no walking into the sunset was meant for us. Dear Finnikin of the Rock, what happened? You seemed to have the whole package, after all.
But just like in the aforementioned "Friends" episode, the delicious-seeming ingredients just did not produce a mind-blowing final product - to my utmost disappointment and sadness. Sadness, you hear that? Never ever, not even for a moment, was there any sense of danger to our characters.
Never ever was there a feeling that they are about to embark on a journey that could be painful and lead to losses. No, nothing like that - even if we are faced with prison mines, a battlefield, a refugee camp plagued by deathly illness. No, everything was presented in a bright and happy light simply as another adventure at the end of which Finnikin and friends would - of course! My second stumbling block was the characterization of Evanjalin.
I think there is a difference between a strong female character who is able to be a tough leader - and a bratty liar who is worshiped, for no apparent reason, by everyone she comes in contact with. So many things would have been much easier and much less frustrating had Evanjalin at any time decided to just talk to her companions instead of manipulating them into doing what works for her. And what does everyone do after learning about the aforementioned manipulation and lies?
Thirdly, a question - how exactly does the nation of slightly over people develop several ethnic subgroups that are very distinct and apparently almost never intermix, all while living in close proximity? It just does not appear possible, and felt quite grating throughout the story. Fourthly, so many storylines and ideas seemed to be introduced just to be dismissed a few pages later. Evanjalin and the priest-king getting sick with the fever? Nevermind, all is behind-the-scenes fine without anything ever coming out of it.
Being attacked by a seemingly brutal tribe? An upset man whose beloved has a child with another man? It was getting a bit ridiculous. Anyway, I was more than willing to overlook the flaws - I do that all the time, in the countless books that I love. But with this one, I just could not. Without you by my side. It was not meant to be, Finnikin.
Finnikin of the Rock
Later, they travel to a town in Sarnak. Finnikin and Evanjalin go to the market to buy food. Evanjalin runs after the thief. She chases him into an alleyway but there are four men there. Finnikin comes and they both start fighting the men. Evanjalin and Finnikin fight the men, then steal a horse and ride to Sir Topher.