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The Summer Tree: The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1 | [Guy Gavriel Kay]

The Summer Tree: The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1

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...
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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....

©2001 Guy Gavriel Kay; (P)2009 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (387 )
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4.2 (228 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dielle 09-22-11
    Dielle 09-22-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as I remembered"

    don't know if my tastes have just changed or if this just doesn't translate well to audio. I read this 20 years ago and adored it. but this recording is stilted and pretencious. The place and people names just sound silly. Simon Vance is a great narrator but he this is not one of his better performances. The worst is the North American accents, US or Canadian. It was distracting everytime one of those characters spoke, and the women were even worse. It set my teeth on edge. I know British actors can do NA accents but apparently not Mr. Vance. I generally like his narration but NOT this one. I think I'll read the last two books in paperback and save my credits. Some books are improved by audio, but this one suffered on many levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra L. Jacob US 11-14-10
    Sandra L. Jacob US 11-14-10 Member Since 2008

    Sleo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Am anticipating great things with #2 & 3"

    Kay is better in print, so probably would've enjoyed it more if I'd read it. Liked it enough that I've ordered #2, The Wandering Fire.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Picard Florida, USA 10-02-10
    B. Picard Florida, USA 10-02-10 Member Since 2008

    HawksPoint

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    "Not sure what happened on the way to Fionavar"

    The Tapestry Trilogy was the only story by Guy Gavriel Kay that I had not read yet.
    Because I really like all his other stories I own them in hardcover as well as audio, I don't quite understand what has happened to me with this one. It started with a figure rising out of a lake ... the description of the situation and the figure itself struck me as so, well, ludicrous, that I started to giggle. Then in the middle of a dramatic scene (tragic young man suffering heroically while tied to a tree) I found myself laughing out loud.
    I don't know if it is intended, but the story is in part so ridiculously overdrawn that it strikes me almost, but not quite, like a parody of the fantasy genre ... the names are hilarious, the people behave a little strange and two dimensional, and the story hurtles forward with evil on steroids in the background (he does not burst forth, crumbles the mountain, or darkens the sun, or any such ... no, it blows the top off the world when evil makes its entrance into the story!).
    I will finish it, and I probably will purchase the other two parts also ... just because.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Ridgeway , Ontario, Canada 07-11-10
    Ken Ridgeway , Ontario, Canada 07-11-10
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    "If you like Fantasy you will love this book"

    I have read this series three times and love the books. Simon Vance narrates this story beautifully giving you the feel of the characters and allows you to imagine the beauty and feel of the land and people of Fionavar. The story follows 5 young college students from Toronto who are taken to another world where their lives as well as themselves change during a battle with the dark. If you like The Lord of the Rings I think you will enjoy this very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Huebert San Francisco, CA United States 10-14-09
    J. Huebert San Francisco, CA United States 10-14-09 Member Since 2005

    I have been a voracious reader since I was a child.

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    "Can't get into it"

    I have read many, many fantasy books over the years. I generally love books in the genre, but this one is proving to be a challenge. Just can't seem to get engaged with the story. Maybe it is the reader or the pacing. About to try again from the beginning, if it doesn't stick with me this time... on to the next book!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan Geneva, NY, USA 09-25-09
    Brendan Geneva, NY, USA 09-25-09
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    3
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    "Engaging and entertaining story telling."

    Mr. Kay does a wonderful job of intertwining fantasy and mythology. He creates characters with depth and personality. Kudos also go to Mr. Vance for giving voice to these characters and conveying their personalities in a believable manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 09-21-09
    Pie Saint Petersburg, FL, United States 09-21-09 Listener Since 2007
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    "A Grand Heroic & Noble tale."

    A fantasy series in the Grand, Heroic Tradition. Mythic elements, layers of details, interesting characters -- elegantly and simply stated.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jahk Pasadena, CA 08-11-14
    jahk Pasadena, CA 08-11-14 Member Since 2009
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    "don't bother with this piece of contrived garbage"
    What disappointed you about The Summer Tree?

    The poor plot and character development, and the overwhelming sense of badly contrived situations.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Guy Gavriel Kay again?

    No.


    Did Simon Vance do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I like Simon Vance, but the story is so bad I can't really rate his performance.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is just plain awful.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 03-15-14
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2010

    I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.

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    "Just didn't get into it"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't know why exactly. It's a skilfully written book with plenty of imagination. I just didn't dig it. Maybe it was the "swords n sorcery" bent, which I'm really not a big fan of. Maybe it had something to do with how little time was spent on some of the most interesting parts, like the part where the group of kids shifts over to another dimension. That wasn't described in much detail, I thought, though it held plenty of unexplored interest. I guess the story focused on the parts of the world involved which just weren't as interesting to me as others were.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle SAN ANGELO, TX, United States 04-30-11
    Kyle SAN ANGELO, TX, United States 04-30-11
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    "Boring boring boring!!!"

    My god so boring. I dont know what too say on this other than that its so boring it compelled me to write this to warn others... I have never reviewed another book.... I tried 5 or 6 times to get into this but its just so... boring :(

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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