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The Summer Tree Audiobook

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

4.0 (529 )
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  •  
    kati3kat 05-11-16
    kati3kat 05-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Multi-faceted, Multi-Character, Saga"

    I read this book on recommendation of a good friend. Due to a post traumatic stress injury I had to take time off from my usual genre of crime thrillers. I haven't read fantasy genre since HS in 1980/84 (The Hobbit). The book is divided into parts which is four stories within the story. I like that usually, and did like it here, but there are so many characters that I wish I had kept notes or printed out a copy of the character list.

    Several reviewers have commented that they find it unbelievable that the five main characters could so easily accept their part in the beginning of the story. After starting the book over to re-read, I can see how some experiences of some of the five could have led the others to believe or want to believe.

    I have no complaints about the writing or the audiobook as I switched back and forth between the two. I did slow the speed on the audiobook to .75 so that I could absorb words and names that I am unfamiliar with. It made the book longer while listening, but improved my attention and comprehension of an unfamiliar genre.

    My one and only complaint is of the character Jennifer's storyline in this book which I am told is necessary to the trilogy. I will hope that is true since her story is the main story that brought me to tears. I recommend this book completely and I recommend the audiobook as well, since pronunciations of words found in this genre are different than in other genres, but was so enjoyable. I ended the book one day and the next started it over so I can have the characters and places engrained in my head before continuing the trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Lee 05-10-16
    Lynn Lee 05-10-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Love It!"

    This series never gets old - I've listened to it (and read it) many times. The narrator is great - never distracts and pulls you out of that other world. If you are looking for a story that is high and grand and will speak to your soul, this is it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Bianca West-Fehring 04-29-16 Member Since 2008
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    "I just couldn't care about the characters."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More interesting characters and better story development.


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

    I'd have to sample it first.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Simon Vance is the reason I chose this book. He did what he could with what he had before him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam D. Austin, TX 04-20-16
    Adam D. Austin, TX 04-20-16 Member Since 2015

    Old Bear likes the honey

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    "Fantastic writing."
    What did you like best about The Summer Tree? What did you like least?

    The book is very well written. Kay is a fantastic wordsmith. There are bits of the tale that are slow however and I found myself distracted from the narrative at times.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are a number of well written characters in this story. I have difficulty picking a favorite.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    For the most part.


    Do you think The Summer Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Of course it does. It ends on a virtual cliffhanger.


    Any additional comments?

    I prefer the story and narration of Tigana, but if this is Kay's first book, he could have done much worse!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Rosen Santa Barbara, CA USA 04-06-16
    M. Rosen Santa Barbara, CA USA 04-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Not as mature as his other books"
    Would you try another book from Guy Gavriel Kay and/or Simon Vance?

    I had just finished reading The Lions of Al Rassan by this same author and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to try another of his books and thought to start at the beginning of his writing journey. Mistake. This is an author showing much less maturity and style. There are occasional moments that are compelling, but not enough to sustain my interest in his theme.


    Any additional comments?

    Good narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    C D Krautwurst 03-31-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Many years later, still a favorite."

    i read this series many, MANY years ago and it always remained among my favorites. The audio book narrator is talented and adds a certain charm of his own to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    David W. Tetreault Manchester, NH USA 02-10-16
    David W. Tetreault Manchester, NH USA 02-10-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Love Guy Kay and Simon Vance, not Canadian accents"

    Great tolkien-derrived fantasy world with a modern twist. Great characters and plot. Only gripe is the Canadian accents which you get used to. But other than that Simon Vance is my favorite voice actor to date!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Minneapolis 10-25-15
    Philip Minneapolis 10-25-15 Member Since 2006
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    "A solid Effort"

    I liked this series more than I initially expected. The literary device at the beginning to bring the charterers from"our" world to the alternative fantasy world was a little clunky. And lets face the world building without JRR Tolkien would not have happened, The dwarves and the characters who were in effect the Elves, even to some of the details was not quite copy and paste but pretty darn close. But what fantasy, especially high adventure fantasy doesn't owe Tolkien? Some are more inclined to use it for inspiration while others need to mine Middle Earth a tad more specifically. As a story I liked the characters, they developed as the story progressed, I cared what happened to them and the magic was cool. That seems to be a good way to spend 40 hours of audio time.. I like the longer stories and I would recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Sherrie 08-06-15
    Sherrie 08-06-15
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    "Fantastic"

    Loved reading the books myself. Love this interpretation.

    I would recommend this to any lover of fantasy. The characters are friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Josaphine brooklyn, NY, United States 06-25-15
    Josaphine brooklyn, NY, United States 06-25-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Difficult to follow"

    Great story with all the richness and depth one expects from Guy Gavriel Kay's work. However, I found this one quite difficult to follow. So much so that I repeatedly lost the plot entirely if my attention was diverted in the slightest. I'm an enormous fan of Simon Vance, yet he seemed to struggle with the "North American" accent, leaving some dialogue a tad wooden. Neither were deal breakers by any means, but listeners should be prepared to experience something that requires a bit more patience than anticipated from this particular collaboration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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