The Lumatera Chronicles: Finnickin of the Rock
Absolutely love this fantasy series. A student read it and did a project on it in class. From that, I could see that it looked really good. Boy, was it! I couldn't put it down and immediately checked out the second book Frio of the Exciles.
Finnikin of the Rock deals with the overthrow of a kingdom and the excile of its people. Finnikin, unwilling at first, sets out with a strange girl Evangalin to recover the kingdom of Lumatere. This book has a major twist in it. (My student told me the twist, but regarldess the book was still fantastic.) The plot is intense but can be confusing at first keeping track of the character and kingdom names--the difficulty of reading fantasy!