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Summer Tree, The: Book One of the Fionavar Tapestry Paperback – April 1, 2001
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From the Back Cover
And in a marvelous land of men and dwarves, of wizards and gods--and of the Unraveller and his minions of Darkness--Kimberly, Dave, Jennifer, Kevin, and Paul discovered who they were truly meant to be. For the five were a long-awaited part of the pattern known as the Fionavar Tapestry, and only if they accepted their destiny would the armies of the Light stand any chance of surviving when the Unraveller unleashed his wrath upon the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The language is frequently lyrical, far above the usual standard for fantasy writing; "words more strung with fire", to use one of Kay's own phrases, than any but the likes of, say, Bradbury's. The whole really IS a tapestry; a complex and intricate interweaving of different characters, plot strands, and fantasy elements. And so tightly and carefully woven that it's unbelievable - half a sentence in one book can subtly foreshadow a major event in another book three hundred pages later - yet it's never slow, as I'd expect given all the connections and resonances. You just don't normally find this level of plaited storytelling, even in the endless 300 pound series.
Obviously I was blown away by this trilogy - will probably read it every few years for life - but many of the Amazon reviews were negative and I'd like to address some of the comments. First, a number of the reviewers seemed to be giving Kay low marks mostly because he hadn't written some other book. For instance, some would have preferred a book in which all the characters came from the one world, not some from Fionavar and some from earth. Or some would have preferred a book that was more like Tolkien, or less like Tolkien, etc. I'd say that these are simply valid alternate choices as to the form, and he should be judged on the job he did, not downgraded because he didn't write another book entirely.
A few reviewers thought the plot cliche or even PREDICTABLE.Read more ›
My first introduction to Kay was the stand-alone novel, Tigana. It took me a while to really get into Tigana, but I really started to appreciate Kay's eloquent style, fleshed out characters and whit in dialogue and plot development. It wasn't until after I finished Tigana and thought about it that I realized how great of a book it is. I decided that before going on to read the rest of his works, I had better read Fianovar. I didn't quite find the same reading experience here.
While the characters in Tigana are well thought and believable, those in the Summer Tree are quite the opposite. The reader is given the names of our five heroes right from the get go but Kay doesn't feel that it's necessary to really introduce any of them. He goes on about these five as if you should already know them. Soon comes the mage, Loren, who will take them into Fianovar. This part I found laughable, as only one of the characters really seems to question the sense of this mage appearing out of nowhere and taking them to another world. The other four follow Loren blissfully into Fianovar and seem to go on once they get there as if nothing had really happened. Only on a few occasions do these four characters reference their own world, Earth, in comparison to this new fantastic world that they seem to accept so easily.Read more ›
Mr. Kay has changed my perception of the fantasy genre and his stories have increased my love for reading!
This book started it all for me with it's story of five college students who attend a lecture which ultimately changes their lives by offering them the opportunity to enter another world, where their personalities and previous life experiences combine with new revelations, ancient history, magical, mythological events and the oldest battle ever waged to give each a sense of their unique purpose and destiny.
Mr. Kay's book does not meander aimlessly down a narrow story path full of cliches, but keeps you constantly guessing, hoping, feeling and experiencing every unique and satisfying moment through the eyes of each well-developed character.
Though this book stands on it's own, you will cheat yourself if you don't read the other two books in the Fionavar Tapestry. I was overjoyed when I realized that this book was just the first of three! I have read the Trilogy four times myself and have loaned the complete set out to many friends of varied personalities and interests. Each one has had only positive comments. I never received one set back!!!
Do yourself a favor and indulge in every one of Mr. Kay's fabulous fantasies! This is just the book to start with!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This review is really for the series. I enjoyed it. Fun characters, plenty of action. The books are not especially original, you will see the Lord of the Rings everywhere. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Wally
Going through my old collection of fantasy books which I had packed away, I discovered my "Fionavar Tapestry” minus this volume “Summer Tree. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah J. Emery
A cliffhanger ending actually. Kay slowly builds an increasingly intricate world with characters that also gain increasing dimension as the plot progresses. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alder Yarrow
I found this book in a comics store, where the store clerk had stuck a little note on the shelf giving it high praise. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J9
Intriguing yet not simple. I'm going read the rest of Fionavar Tapestry. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Harry Potter type of stories. Magical!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was recommended by a friend, and I had my doubts. However, I was captivated before the end of the first chapter. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David W. Jurgens