I have wanted to read this book for a very long time. Kristin Cashore recommended it on her blog when it was first released in Australia, and I kept meaning to order it via the Internet and never got around to it. Now it is finally out here in the US, and I checked it out from the library.It was definitely worth all the waiting and anticipation. This is a fantastic story...characters, plot, world-building and all.There are several twists and turns through the story, and fairly early on I thought I had things figured out. I did, in my defense, figure out the biggest plot twist way in advance (of course I'm sure a lot of people did), but the thought that I knew everything that would happen? What a joke. Melina Marchetta would cackle at the thought.There were lots of different countries and races of people that had me pretty confused throughout, but I was intrigued enough by it all that I didn't find it annoying.The characters were all fantastic. Marchetta has a way of making you want to be on their side before you even have a chance to get to know them. I loved the relationships Finnikin had with his father, his mentor and Evanjalin.If you like YA fantasy, you definitely have to do yourself a favor and pick this one up!