Finnikin of the Rock lost a star for me because at least the first half of it was hard work... harder work even than Jellicoe Road... but because it was Melina Marchetta I persevered because I knew that once I got really into it a peeled back a few of the layers there would be gems that I'd be devastated to miss. And I was right.
By the end of the book I was glad of the hard work it had taken to get me there. It's always hard for an author to swing genres without either alienating their fan base or making a dogs breakfast of their new genre... overall I have to be happy with how she's done it. It's a new and interesting take on the fantasy genre that delves deep into relationships in the true Marchetta style. If she were to bring out another fantasy book... I'd be waiting for it with equally eager anticipation.