I have no problem with yet another Dark Lord, elves, orcs and the whole tribute to Tolkien but I simply could not bring myself to believe this. So I laboured through the first part of the book, quite unconvinced. And all of a sudden, the writing became so good that it really *hit* me. Unfortunately, this impression receded a bit towards the end of the book, but those chapters (Dave's) made reading it worth my while. I also liked the way Kay slowly reveals the background of Fionovar, even if this contributes to the blandness of the beginning.
This is not a book I'd recommend as an introduction to Guy Gavriel Kay. He's a really great writer, but his later works are much better in my opinion.
In short, while I'll be reading the two remaining books of the Fionovar series, my recommendation would be to get _Tigana_, _A Song for Arbonne_, and _The Lions of Al-Rassan_ before _The Summer Tree_.
Its a significant departure from the style and themes of his other works. Read more