The Summer Tree, Fionavar Tapestry Book One: classic fantasy


I started reading Summer Tree right after Tigana, which for fifteen years has been my favorite fantasy-type novel. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into Summer Tree. Maybe I should try again.

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Oh yeah, Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, she’s a good’r.

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Only Amber is true, all else is shadow.


I loved those books, and even Kay’s less than excellent novels (i.e. Last Light of the Sun) are page turners. You can tell he just finished working on the Silmarillion with Tolkein’s kid when he wrote the Fionavar Tapestry though.

The Sarantine Mosaic remains one of my all time favourite historical/fantasy series, really epic page turning awesomeness.

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I also found a couple of the black cover Amber books (I want the series in that edition, its the one I first read) and a hardback collection of Zelazany short stories I’d not seen before!

There is an ebook version of the Fionavar Tapestry through Kobo

Not currently available?

Oh man. I loved the Fionavar trilogy. I’ve read through it 4 or 5 times. One of those books was the first time I can remember a book making me cry (though, I can’t remember which one now). It’s been about 5 years since I last visited, but now I know exactly what book I’m going to read after I finish my current one.


I read the first two (I think – maybe it was just the first) quite some time ago but never was able to finish because I couldn’t find the remaining book(s) anywhere. I was a little put off by some of the tired tropes he leaned a little too heavily on. If I remember correctly it had a kindly, absent-minded wizard and a humble dwarf companion who was actually an exiled king or something. A lot of it felt like he was committing a D&D campaign to print. However his writing style was so compelling that I wound up seeking out and enjoying most of what he’s written since.

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Trope heavy? A bit. But you’re dead on with the delicious style. My younger self found this trilogy everything I could hope for in a lovingly realized fantasy campaign.

Only problem from my perspective was that subsequent RPG experiences paled in comparison.

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You shut your mouth!
Last Light of the Sun is beautiful!

All his books are “trope-heavy”, kinda why we read them really.

Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan make me bawl like a baby everytime. :smile:

I only just started reading Kay’s work with Under Heaven and River of Stars. Man, those were beautiful reads. Tigana is next on the list.

He wrote Fionavar just after finishing the editing work on The Silmarillion with Tolkein (jr.). It isn’t hard to get a sense of the imprint all the Tolkein stuff had on him. Still good page turners, but they were the end of me and most fantasy tropes - as soon as I run into the wizened wizard, exiled prince, or (worst of all) yet another rehashing of the Arthur & Lancelot stories I put the book down.

Those are great. The Sarantine Mosaic is the masterpiece though.

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