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The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 1) Paperback – Jan 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Roc Trade (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458223
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,309,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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In the spaces of calm almost lost in what followed, the question of why tended to surface. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arauka on July 17 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Summer Tree, as the first part of the Fionavar Tapestry, marked the arrival of one of the most imaginative Canadian authors of all time. Guy Kay used this book and its sequels, The Wandering Fire and The Darkest Road, as a launch pad for his developing style of fantasy fiction based on meticulously researched history. Those familiar with his later works will find links to our own world at their most tenuous in Fionavar - despite the five main characters stepping into another world direct from the U of T campus - and some readers appear to have found this aspect of the works disappointing. On the contrary, the Tapestry served as an excellent starting point for Kay and holds up on its own. Far from being a Tolkien rehash, Kay mixes some of the same influences as Tolkien used(e.g. Norse and Celtic Mythology) with many others of his own to develop a fantastic story set in a fantastic world well beyond that of most fantasy literature today. It may not satisfy those who prefer Kay's more recent books in which the historical is more prominent and the magical more subtle, but I find them all of a piece - great books by a great author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reads bookman on Feb. 18 2009
Format: Paperback
Personally i found some of this book hard to read and understand. It does get better as you get further into it, and you start to see the authors vision. There are alot of names that are so similar to one another, that sometimes it's hard to remember who is being written about. If you are up for a mildly frustrating read for a really good cliffhanger of a first book then i suggest you read this book. If your a more passive reader then i would suggest you read something a little less complex. I have started reading the first two chapters of book 2 and find it much easier to understand things so maybe after you get the base of things with book 1 things become alot more clear. All in all a great read that is a little frustrating and hard to understand at points, but that will eventually become clear if you progress through it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookworm on Oct. 29 2007
Format: Paperback
I am glad I happened to buy this book, I had not read anything of this author before. This book is the beginning of a beautiful trilogy...I felt like I was in Fianovar, I was truly immersed in this world. This author has a beautiful imagination. I also enjoyed his writing style, just enough details to paint vivid portraits without becoming tedious and boring. I "felt" this book very strongly; the characters were all very well developed and true to their nature. It was easy to get to know them and care about them and what happened to them.
Having finished the trilogy, I think that is one of the best in its genre.
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Format: Paperback
I love the Fionavar Tapestry. In these books Kay has woven a beautiful, complex story. The setting is Fionavar, a gorgeous and enchanted world filled with magic and history--a world which reminds me of Narnia or Middle Earth. The story is filled with strong, compelling characters, both male and female, who sometimes have to make difficult choices. At times the story is sad but Kay's writing is so graceful that I enjoyed even the sad parts.
The Summer Tree, the first book in the trilogy, begins the story very nicely and draws the reader into the deep magic of Fionavar. The part of the story with Paul hanging on the Summer Tree was very beautifully written, and at many points reached the magestic feeling of an ancient myth or legend.
I would highly recommend The Fionavar Tapestry to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy with powerful magic and attractive settings.
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Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to GGK and this book when a visiting Australian friend left it for me when I was in University. I read the first book (The Summer Tree) and nearly went mad because I couldn't find the next. I have read and re-read this book enough times to fill a small library-- and recommended it to more people than I can count.
This is smart, literate fantasy that takes the fantasies and myths you know from other sources and weaves them into a dark and complicated cloth. GGK takes the very idea of fantasy cliche and comes up with Fionvar, the original world which contains the true version of all the stories ever told.
Five college students are brought, almost by accident, to Fionvar to a celebration in honor of an aging king. But they learn that in Fionvar there are no accidents and that they all have talents and destinies which will give them a role in the troubled land.
Read this book, and all the others in the series!
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By A Customer on Sept. 12 2001
Format: Paperback
An inspired piece of work that does not cease to amaze me. From epic sweeps of grandeur to poignant moments with individuals, Guy G. Kay has created something that will rank as one of the best fantasy trilogies ever written.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a book where worlds are built; this is a book where I delve into wonderful prose and drink it like water, as I lick up every scrap of wonder at his ability to link such wonderful language with the absorbing psychology of his characters and their cultures. I first came across Guy Gavriel Kay when I was 12 years old. At the time, I also loved Madeline L'Engle, Alexander LLoyd, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Ray Bradbury Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tamara and Meredith Pierce and of course, Tolkien, to name a few. Since I had read extensively in Welsh, Greek and Arthurian mythologies as well, perhaps this helped when I read the Fionavar tapestry. Fantasy stories of this genre tend to follow a certain path that I will not at all call cliche in this case. Some spoilers ahead! In the storyline, some college friends are transported to the "world of all worlds" or what Kay refers to as the first world, where all stories come from, by a professor in our world who is a powerful person in his world. An important element to note is the many different threads from different Welsh and Celtic mythologies used, as well as Native American legends. I loved this book because it was like a grown up Narnia or Never-Ending Story in some ways, while bringing my favorite characters from different myths to life, like Arthur and Guenevere, a unicorn, and the Black Swan and much, much more. When reviewing a story like this, it is important to note that there are many different kinds of fantasy such as there are sci-fi. For instance, People get on Bradbury's case because he's not Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov, and therefore, often scientifically inaccurate. The point they're really missing, is that Bradbury is a DIFFERENT kind of storyteller than Asimov or Clarke. In much the same way, Kay is not Tolkien.Read more ›
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