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The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book…

The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1) (original 1984; edition 1992)

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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3,077751,845 (3.96)1 / 167
Title:The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1)
Authors:Guy Gavriel Kay
Info:Harpercollins Pub Ltd (1992), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay (1984)



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English (72)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All (75)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
The Summer Tree - Kay
Audio performance by Simon Vance
3 stars

This was not bad fantasy, but I was warned that G.G. Kay’s earlier books were not as polished as his more recent work. This is the first book of a fantasy series that Kay wrote in the 1980’s. It felt very derivative of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I found myself checking off the expected fantasy tropes; dwarves, wizards, a quest, and of course a trilogy. The magical entrance of five Canadian university students into a parallel world is very much like a trip into the Wardrobe and Narnia. There was little world building and the story jumped almost immediately into epic conflict.

Oh well, I probably would have loved it if I’d read it in 1984. I might continue the series to the end to satisfy my curiosity. However, I will read rather than listen. Usually, I love Simon Vance, but his Canadian accents was horrible and the female voices more than annoying. It’s good to know that one of my favorite authors and a favorite audio performer have both improved with time. ( )
  msjudy | Feb 16, 2017 |
I am so mad at myself right now. Guy Gavriel Kay is an author that many people in my life have recommended I read. I always put it off because I always had other books to read that seemed more interesting and so this book kept being pushed back farther and farther. That was such a mistake.

I think you can probably tell how this review is going, but just to clarify: I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. On the surface it doesn't seem that interesting. It involves Five men and women find themselves flung into a magical land and (of course) they all have a role to play in the upcoming drama and conflict. On the surface this seems so cliche and boring. It is far from that. The writing is fantastic. Guy Gavriel Kay pulled me into each of the characters lives and inner conflicts so easily that I was concerned and sad and apprehensive as the overarching plot started to pull them all in and change their lives. Kay's writing is basically magical. The story starts out slow but soon enough it crystallizes into something hauntingly beautiful.

Beware though, this is a FANTASY story with all the tropes and trappings that this kind of story usually entails. This is a very Tolkien style story, with a band of people from different areas and cultures working together to defeat ultimate evil. Perhaps when the book was first published in 1984 this sort of thing wasn't totally played out. It is Kay's writing that elevates it from Tolkien rip-off to a beautiful story of an adventure.

This is only the first book in the series (of three) and I am so excited to read further.

I actually finished this book a while ago but couldn't find the words to articulate how much i liked this book. Just saying, " It's amazing, go read it!" doesn't really do it justice. but:

It's amazing, go read it! ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
Why can't I give it six? ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It...


So, why, despite the fact that one can make a pretty solid case for this book to be generic in most of its aspects, was I blown away by it? I think because Kay manages to convey one of the key aspects of a Romantic worldview so, so well: we, mortal humans, are part of a vast Whole that is mysterious, ancient, uncaring and unforgiving. This Whole determines us, but at the same time we determine parts of the Whole too. We cannot expect the Whole to do our bidding, that we have to do ourselves. In acknowledging this, and in doing this bidding, living our lives, there is heroism and honor to be found.

(...) ( )
  bormgans | Jan 22, 2016 |
I haven't read a book like this in quite awhile-- interesting use of contemporary people being pulled into a fantasy setting, not cutting back and forth between time periods the way some books do. The five people have different and interesting reactions to what happens to them. The last scene is a bit tough to take, although it seems like things will pull together in the next books, I guess if you want to get a feel for real evil...
I will read the next one, probably deserves an extra 1/2 star? ( )
  ehousewright | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Une idée de départ intéressante (cinq étudiants terriens partent dans un monde de fantasy, ce qui permet de s'identifier aux personnages) pour une série qui louche plus ou moins habilement du côté de Tolkien...
Mais tout cela est finalement assez lourd, justement à cause de cette façon de raconter l'histoire de façon dramatique, comme si elle était rapportée bien plus tard sous forme de légendes... Il y a des moments très poétiques, d'autres terrifiants, d'autres drôles, pas mal de bonnes idées, mais les personnages ne parviennent pas à se rendre attachants, et l'histoire, avec son côté "inexorable", semble très pesante par moment
Auteur canadien, Guy Gavriel Kay aime les mythes, la fantasy et l'histoire médiévale. Sa merveilleuse Chanson d'Arbonne en a fait rêver plus d'un avec son mélange de magie et d'amour courtois. Avec cette série, il se lance plus dans la fantasy que dans son pendant historico-merveilleux, avec délice et humour.
Cinq jeunes gens d'une petite ville américaine reçoivent la visite d'un étrange personnage (et même de plusieurs) qui les entraîne dans un monde dont ils n'ont pas la moindre idée, monde de magie et de contes où leur présence est nécessaire à l'avènement d'un nouveau roi. Un par un, nos cinq contemporains se découvrent un destin étrange qui les éloigne encore plus de leur histoire et de leur monde. La tapisserie du monde est complexe, alignant côte à côte des histoires et des univers que tout sépare, que rien ne lie mais qui pourtant s'interpénètrent et se rejoignent par intervalles. Dans cette complexité, les personnalités de nos jeunes gens vont s'affirmer, révélant des traits qu'on n'aurait pu imaginer, leur ouvrant des perspectives inconnues en nous faisant rêver. Les différents peuples de ce monde étrange qui semble être au centre du nôtre, sont attachants et pourtant différents... Une fantasy mythologique et médiévale rare.
added by Ariane65 | editPhenix, Sara DOKE (Mar 1, 1999)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy Gavriel Kayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springett, MartinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Summer Tree is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Tania Pollock Birstein, whose gravestone reads, "Beautiful, Loving, Loved," and who was all of these things.
First words
In the spaces of calm almost lost in what followed, the question of why tended to surface. Why them?
En los períodos de calma casi borrados por lo que después siguió, la pregunta "¿por qué?" emergía a la superficie. ¿Por qué a ellos?
After the war was over, they bound him under the Mountain. (Prologue)
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Book description
It all began with a lecture that introduced five university students to a man who would change their lives, a wizard who could 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 - 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.
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Five university students are whisked from Toronto to an alternate world where they must help to battle a great evil.

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