You know what, reviewing a fantasy is as big a pain in the ass as reading one, so here's my review of Finnikin of the Rock: Read it. It's Marchetta. It's great. Long, but great. One thing I want to say though is: Evanjalin kicks ass. Usually in Marchetta books, I'm drooling over the male lead (Jonah Griggs! Tom Mackee!). But as great a character as Finnikin is, Evanjalin is better. Like, I may need to start a "girl crush" shelf for her awesomeness. She's strong, she's smart, and she will have your ass thrown in a prison camp because she has a plan that she believes in. Ya Ya!Now that that's off my chest, here's the review I started before I tapped out:I usually stay away from fantasy because as a genre, I find it inherently tedious. Unlike dystopia where you take an existing world and just FUBAR the shit out of it, in fantasy you have to build the world from the bottom up, describing every river, tree, rock, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in the area. THEN you get to fuck it up. As a reader, it's exhausting -- and that's when it's done well! Apparently, it's exhausting for the author as well as Melina Marchetta said in an interview, "I remember the prologue of Finnikin nearly broke me whereas the Prologues of Jellicoe and The Piper’s Son stayed the same from the moment I first wrote them, give and take a word or two." So yeah, I had some concerns going into Finnikin, even with Melina! Marchetta! at the helm.Right away, however, the book caught my interest by delving into action described as the five unspeakable days. A kingdom is destroyed and divided, half the people trapped inside its walls at the mercy of an impostor king, and half the people exiled outside at the mercy of an indifferent world. The story begins ten years later with Finnikin, 19-years-old and living in exile with Sir Topher, the assassinated king's First Man. They've been traveling around Lumatere's neighboring countries for 10 years but a dream calls Finnikin to Sendecane and the temple of the goddess of light, Lagrami. In his dream, he heard the name Balthazar, the King's son and heir, and sole survivor of the massacre of the royal family during the five unspeakable days. Instead of Balthazar, though, a girl named Evanjalin is waiting for him at the temple.