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
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.
I have been a voracious reader since I was a child.
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!
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.
A fantasy series in the Grand, Heroic Tradition. Mythic elements, layers of details, interesting characters -- elegantly and simply stated.
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.
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.
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 :(
The poor plot and character development, and the overwhelming sense of badly contrived situations.
I like Simon Vance, but the story is so bad I can't really rate his performance.
The story is just plain awful.
This is the worst kind of pretentious fantasy that makes everyday people really dislike fantasy. The plot doesn't grab me, I can't relate to the characters and it literally makes me fall asleep. I was hoping for more. I didn't receive it.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
I absolutely loved everything about Guy Gavriel Kay???s stand-alone novels Tigana and A Song for Arbonne, so it was with great excitement that I downloaded the newly released audio version of The Summer Tree, the first novel in his famous The Fionavar Tapestry.
In The Summer Tree we meet Loren Silvercloak, a wizard who has traveled from the world of Fionavar to Toronto to fetch five university students (three guys and two girls) who are needed to help fight an ancient evil force that has been bound under a mountain for centuries. It is awakening, has adversely affected the weather, and threatens the future of Fionavar. The students are transported to the capital city of Caer Paravel ??? no wait, wrong book ??? Paras Derval and each discovers that (s)he has an important role to play in this strange land???s upcoming upheaval.
If I had read The Summer Tree when it was first published in 1984, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more. Or at least I would have been more forgiving back then, but at this point in my life, with many years of reading fantasy epics behind me, I just had a hard time mustering up much enthusiasm for this story.
Besides the parallels to Tolkien and Lewis which you will have already noticed, we???ve got dwarves who live under mountains, elf-like creatures who live in the forests, names which require hyphens, apostrophes, or other funny symbols, nasty creatures who are minions of the bad guy, a girl who finds out she???s the next seer, a hero who must sacrifice himself to save the blighted land???. etc. Much of it is derived from ancient myth and legend and it's presented in Kay???s eloquent and slightly overwrought style. This will likely please those who are looking for that sort of weighty epic, but to me it just felt heavy. I have no doubt that this is caused by reading this too late in my fantasy vita
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