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Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales) Hardcover – April 23, 2013

10 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Aetherial Tales Series

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Editorial Reviews


“Even the most jaded fantasy reader will quickly fall under the spell of [Warrington's] characters and the warm, intimate voice Warrington uses to tell us their stories. Highly recommended.” ―Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction on Midsummer Night

“Solid wordplay, great pacing and a thrilling conclusion will definitely earn Warrington some new American fans.” ―Publishers Weekly on Midsummer Night

“A powerful sense of wild landscape and strong characterisation, plus a resonance of ancient magic, make Midsummer Night a truly compelling read.” ―Liz Williams, author of The Ghost Sister

“The sequel to Elfland is beautifully written, an elegantly constructed book . . .” ―Realms of Fantasy on Midsummer Night

“A heady cocktail of urban fantasy and wild romance, invigorating and intoxicating. Warrington's writing has lyrical beauty and her characters are a delight to discover.” ―Justina Robson, author of Keeping it Real on Elfland

About the Author

FREDA WARRINGTON, who was born in and lives in Leicestershire, England, is the author of twenty novels. This is her third Aetherial Tales novel, her first series to be published in the United States. The first, Elfland, was named Best Fantasy of the Year by RT Book Reviews.


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Product Details

  • Series: Aetherial Tales (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765318717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318718
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Smiley on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had a great time reading Elfland, and also enjoyed Midsummer Night, so was looking forward to this one. But despite a promising beginning, this book soon lost me and became a drag to finish.

Grail of the Summer Stars is a more direct sequel to both Elfland and Midsummer Night than the latter is to the former, although it could still be understood in isolation. It introduces a new protagonist, Stevie, who begins the book as curator of a metalwork museum, and reintroduces Mistangamesh from Midsummer Night. I was initially drawn into Stevie's story and intrigued by the mysteries that confront her. Around halfway through, though, it becomes a save-the-world sort of fantasy novel, and falls increasingly into cliché.

Whether you like this installment may depend on what you liked about the previous ones. For me the heart of the earlier books was the interpersonal relationships, and the fantasy aspect added some fun spice. This book is very heavy on the fantasy elements, and I found the characters hard to believe in or care about, perhaps because those fantasy elements define the key characters' psychologies. Mist was a particular problem for me--he's such a generic love interest (of the hot 30,000-year-old reincarnated dude variety) that I never believed in him or found him interesting, and thus had no investment in his romance with Stevie. Meanwhile, many of the characters' crucial choices make little sense ("okay, I'll help you destroy the world if you let my friends go".... that makes sense how?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Grail of the Summer Stars is the third in Freda Warrington's Aetherial Tales series, following Elfland and Midsummer Night. Each novel can stand alone, though they have some overlapping plotlines and characters, such that each novel will be more meaningful and resonant if you've read the others. Grail of the Summer Stars has more overlapping elements than either of the two previous books and is connected more strongly to each of them than they are to each other.

Warrington introduces us to Stevie Silverwood, a metalworking artist and museum curator who has always been a little odd, seeing things no one else could see -- and whose past before age 15 is a mystery even to herself. Her quiet life is disrupted when her old college sweetheart, Daniel, sends her a triptych of fantastic paintings along with a cryptic note, and goes missing. Her path soon crosses with that of Mistangamesh, an Aetherial man whom we met in Midsummer Night. He is hunting for his brother, Rufus, intending to kill him. Their subsequent search for Daniel and for the paintings' meaning draws them into a millennia-old mystery involving Mist's family and a megalomaniacal plot that could destroy both the Earth and the Spiral.

Like the previous Aetherial Tales novels, Grail of the Summer Stars features beautiful prose and themes of finding and being true to oneself, of love, of troubled family relationships, of art as a manifestation of magic and as a form of magic in itself. Warrington expands on another corner of her Aetherial world here, and it's hard to imagine that there's any end to her treasure trove of ideas.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love literature. I love art. What I enjoy most about Freda Warrington's work in the latest of the Aetherial Tales, "Grail of the Summer Stars", is how she weaves all of the things I love into one wonderful novel. I have read the previous Aetherial Tales, and was amazed each time with the way each book told its own story, while the "Aetherial World" motif continued, and what a world it is! It contains imagery and characters that you quite simply fall in love with as they face trials and challenges that seem insurmountable and extraordinary, but still ring true. The art world in this book is depicted on a mundane level with Stevie's work as a museum curator and becomes overlaid by her friend Daniel's magical and surreal art. It happens much the same as the mundane world merges and entwines with the Aetherial realm in all of the books. It is always a risky task for an author to maintain the balance in this type of writing, but with "Grail of the Summer Stars" it is handled brilliantly. Reading Fred Warrington's novels is like being snug in front of a fire listening to a master storyteller spin a yarn that seeps into your dreams and stays with you even after you awake.
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By silver elves on March 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While we like Elfland better, the Grail of the Summer Stars ties together both Elfland and Midsummer Night. It reads a little slowly, but at the same time that may be because we like to take it a bit at a time, savoring it. Freda Warrington speaks to our hearts and seems to understand us, and our own inner understanding of ours'elves, more than nearly anyone else writing today. It is as though she is writing about our own lives, in a rather more dramatic and the world may end at any moment fashion. The world is coming to a huge crisis point but we expect these elves will be back in Faerie before the pollution really hits the fan. At least we hope so. And if not, we will, like the characters in this book, come back again and attempt to shape the ideas of Man toward more harmonious living once more.

The Silver Elves authors of The Elven Way: The Magical Path of the Shining Ones
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