The Summer Tree : Fionavar Trilogy

  • by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: Fionavar Trilogy
  • 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Summer Tree is the first novel of Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry. Five university students embark on a journey of self-discovery when they enter a realm of wizards and warriors, gods and mythical creatures - and good and evil....It all began with a lecture that introduced five university students to a man who would change their lives, a wizard who would take them from Earth to the heart of the first of all worlds - Fionavar. And take them Loren Silvercloak did, for his need - the need of Fionavar and all the worlds - was great indeed.And in a marvelous land of men and dwarves, of wizards and gods, five young people discovered who they were truly meant to be. For they are 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 the wrath the Unraveller and his minions of darkness intend to unleash upon the world....


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Obviously the first book of three

I would have given this one 3.5 stars if I had been able to, but please don't take me wrong. I love this series and found the narration here to add significantly to my enjoyment. Many characters are introduced in this, the first book of the Fionavar Tapestry. Simon Vance gives us a clean and easy to follow interpretation of the, possibly too many, different regional groups that we meet herein.

If you like books that delve in to character development, Kay very rarely disappoints. Additionally, the world he creates is different enough to be fantasy without being so strange that it becomes completely ridiculous. Here, not only do we get a world that becomes the setting for the story, but a glimpse of things to come and an interweaving of that world's legends with our own.

In true Kay fashion, we are introduced to so many different characters and groups that is can become confusing. The narration, giving each of these characters and groups a unique voice, should go a long way to saving this one for those who haven't read it in print. Also, and true to many a first-of-trilogy tomes, a great deal of this book is spent introducing us to people, concepts, lore and mythology of the world within the story. This can make it feel a bit long at times, mostly because we don't yet know why much of it is important.

If you can read this with the understanding that it is the first book of three, it is a wonderful introduction to story and character. However, without reading the "rest" of the story, this book does fall a bit short of being able to stand on its own merit.

I do believe that this trilogy is worth reading and that the story and characters become more compelling with each successive book. I also think that you need to go in to this one with the understanding that it is the first 1/3 of a story and so much of it is spent giving us enough knowledge to follow and enjoy the second and third books.

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- Nissa

Amazing, but I do wish it was longer

Like other books by this author, this book almost reads like poetry. It stands with The Silmarillion as one of the two books who's mere choice of words has brought tears to my eyes.

Story wise, much of the general plot is highly LotR-like. It doesnt help that the writing style is so similar either (and I think the reader might actually be the person who read the audio versions of those books that I listened to)... Hell theres even a magic ring. However, despite all that, the specifics of the plot are NOTHING like LotR - oh sure theres a Dark Lord in his fortress over there behind that volcano (not kidding), but the similarities more-or-less stop there. I think the most notable difference is that the gods/goddesses aren't sitting this one out. Oh, and the wizards actually do things (other than talk).

Also there are no hobbits.


Humor aside, this really is a good book, I've left out most of what makes the story good (and different) to avoid spoiling things. My only complaint is that I prefer much longer books (+20h) and it hurts me to spend credits on these shorter ones, despite how worth it they may be. If your someone that appreciates language as much as a good story you'll get a double treat out of this one (also, the reader is perfect for this book).

One warning though, this is not for kids.
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- Jake

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio