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Publisher's Summary

Two-time Aurora Award-winning author Guy Gavriel Kay has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award three times.

In the first book of his Fionavar Tapestry series, five college students meet a wizard who takes them to the heart of the first of all worlds - a place called Fionavar. The students soon discover that they have been pre-ordained as part of the pattern called the Fionavar Tapestry - and if they don't fulfill their destinies, the world will suffer devastating consequences.

©2001 Guy Gavriel Kay (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Summer Tree

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite trilogy.

I revisit this trilogy every few years. Love, honor, friendship, good versus evil. What more can you ask for?

7 people found this helpful

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Made me wish for a longer commute

Beautifully written and narrated, my hour long work commute transported me to Fionovar, and wished I never had to leave!

2 people found this helpful

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Mediocre

The summer tree

The start is hokey. It lacks cohesive premise or platform. A magician and a dwarf show up from another world to, presumably, a world with most magic and a world comparatively more modern - the difference between 1750 and 1985 if I had to take a guess.
This magician and dwarf whisk 5 college kids off to another world like it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Once they arrive in the other world, again, dark ages compared to where these kids came from, they fit just fine - they can ride horses, do acrobatics, etc - as if that’s normal for modern day college kids. In fact, they pass off so much as just normal that it distracts from the story, it’s extremely hard to buy in.

The dialogue is also an issue. The characters lack depth even though there a frequent, desperate grasps at giving the characters more dimension, they come off awkward, random, and pathetic. Again, making it hard to buy in to the story… also extremely juvenile and annoying.

The sex is gratuitous and random. Not that it’s explicit, because it’s not, but it’s also normal for people to galavant across worlds and just fuck everybody all the time. I’m all for sexual freedom and a HUGE fan of Jaqueline Cary, (if you haven’t read the Kushiels Legacy series and all books in that universe, you should), but the sex in this book is frivolous and pointless, adds nothing of value to the story and usually comes across as a pathetic attempt of the author or editor to grasp reader attention (“sex sells”).
For those who claim to have been swept away to Fionavar, I daresay this is the only work of (or, rather attempt at) high fiction they’ve been exposed to and know nothing of Tolkien, Lewis, G.R.R. Martin, etc). Trust me, I would have LOVED to have been swept away to this realm, that’s what I’m ALWAYS on the look out for on audible, but unfortunately, this book just lacks to much to do any serious sweeping.
I know no one is perfect and I’ve never written a novel or any kind of book myself, but I feel like all of these issues are obvious from the outset and with just a little more work, this could have been a great book.
The best story line was David’s, the trip to Fionavar should have led with this in my opinion, it would have gotten the commitment needed to keep pace with tracking the other 7 characters’ stories a little easier. Unfortunately, David’s story didn’t start until the last hour or two of the book, so up to that point it was a challenge to stay focused on everything that was going on.
I’d say this is a mediocre attempt at high fantasy, in more artistic hands, this book could have been much better, but I’m going to download the second book and see if the book levels out and holds my attention like the last two hours of this one did or if it’s back to more chaos and annoying incongruities.

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  • Asra
  • 11-16-21

I can't decide

I am aware that Simon Vance is an experienced narrator, and his storytelling is fine. But. Voices. Doesn't work for me. Am I the only one? Or I am just spoiled by Steven Pacey, I don't know. I think I would like this book so much more with a different narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-13-21

great character based story, classic feel

classic feeling story that is quite character based, bit of a slow burn in the begining but as it goes on you become quite invested in the fates of the character's, looking forward to the next one.

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  • Graham Whyte
  • 02-26-21

Rekindled teenage memories.

After reading Lord of the Rings as a teenager and being totally encapsulated by it, I was thirsty for stories of the same ilk. The Summer Tree certainly more than achieved that. Loved this book as a teen. Now hearing it read brilliantly by Simon Vance the story comes alive once again. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.

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  • David
  • 01-27-21

good, but not the best

was an enjoyable book. it takes a little while to get moving. I do recommend.