☀ [PDF / Epub] ★ The Summer Tree By Guy Gavriel Kay ✍ – Papercuts.co

The First Volume In Guy Gavriel Kay S Stunning Fantasy MasterworkFive Men And Women Find Themselves Flung Into The Magical Land Of Fionavar, First Of All Worlds They Have Been Called There By The Mage Loren Silvercloak, And Quickly Find Themselves Drawn Into The Complex Tapestry Of Events For Kim, Paul, Kevin, Jennifer And Dave All Have Their Own Part To Play In The Coming Battle Against The Forces Of Evil Led By The Fallen God Rakoth Maugrim And His Dark HordesGuy Gavriel Kay S Classic Epic Fantasy Plays Out On A Truly Grand Scale, And Has Already Been Delighting Fans Of Imaginative Fiction For Twenty Years

10 thoughts on “The Summer Tree

  1. says:

    this is a wonderful novel it is hard to love at first sometimes you get to know people who seem automatically awkward, whose social style is stilted, composed of quotes from movies or off putting attempts to be clever, insisting on repeating tired tales, who seem eager to please yet incapable of easy connection but you get to know them over time and those trappings fall away, the awkwardness fades and they become real, three dimensional, a friend even and so it is with The Summer Tree.at first, it is pure template The Lord of the Rings is than an inspiration tolkein s characters and themes and countries are all directly paralleled within as such, it is often a very familiar novel and, just as often, that does not work in its favor what becomes an equal problem is the staginess of the opening chapters and the awkwardness of the dialogue and characterization both are rather off putting and the novel starts out with a stumble.but after that stumbleoh, the riches what seemed to be trite characters soon flower into figures far rich, fascinating, enigmatic, even iconic their adventures moved quickly into the unexpected yet retained a richly mythic quality the quality of the writing beyond the dialogue is striking kay does not engage in lush description but rather chooses his words carefully, and the simplicity yet sophistication of word choice often made me pause, and read them again a haiku of a tale, compared to tolkein s extravagant epic poem the mythos itself remained entrenched in the familiar, but that becomes a virtue at times it felt as if i was reading an original telling of these tales and a recounting of these myths, as if this were actually the original template, as if the tried and true depiction of celtic flavored mysticism, the elves dwarfs trolls, the ancient powers and unending evils were being presented in their purest and most direct format and its combination of modern 5 modern students cross dimensions and classic mythological kingdoms that are the true reality becomes a delight wit and sad wisdom doled out equally i certainly was not expecting to read about one character s embarrassing hard on nor did i expect the tragic driving death of a loved one and the suicidal yearnings of that crash s survivor to become a touchstone drawn movingly upon during somber self sacrifice the two worlds become surprisingly and effectively intertwined.the penultimate chapter is one of harrowing devastation and mortification i m not sure i ve read such a terrible and horrifying episode of torment and despair, and one that wastes no time in excessive cataloguing of the indecent tortures visited upon a tragic character the horrors depicted in this sequence are, again, mythic in scope and meaning, yet disturbingly modern in their ability to repulse and sadden but at the finish, The Summer Tree ends on a hopeful note just as i am hopeful that the remaining books in the Fionavar Tapestry will continue to impress and inspire i can t to wait to read them

  2. says:

    I read this book for one of my group challenges and I m so glad I did as it was awesome Happy Reading Mel

  3. says:

    There are kinds of action, for good or ill, that lie so far outside the boundaries of normal behaviour that they force us, in acknowledging that they have occurred, to restructure our own understanding of reality If you missed Gandalf and the Fellowship of the Ring, miss them no The Fionavar Tapestry will provide you with the much needed Tolkienesque fix, perhaps a shade darker and a touch sensual than the original It is a five star, compulsory read for the lovers of this style, and an optional diversion for all the other readers Fionavar, the first of the worlds, which all other imperfectly reflect, is in grave peril An ancient evil, Rakoth Maugrim, the Unraveller, stirs and must be defeated again even though the age of heroes has long gone by And because on the Loom of the Weaver, the tapestry is woven into a multiple somewhat connected worlds of which each and every one reflects Fionavar in some way the design mirrors Zelazny s Amber in this regard , it is possible to look for help outside the constraints of immediate reality More specifically, it is possible to reach out to modern day Toronto where five unsuspecting young people do not know that under a guise of an unusual sightseeing offer comes a chance to become something they ever dreamt of becoming There are five main protagonists, of whom each gives their own distinct POV and colours the tapestry with a different thread Kimberly the knowing one Kevin the lover boy Jennifer the beautiful one Paul the one eaten alive with grief Dave the rebel The Five Companions are a pillar of the main story as a group, but they are also pushed and prodded by the author individually through their own arcs This is done unevenly as some members of the Five get attention than others This, however, is understandable taking into consideration that there are two books to come But also, fortunate for the main protagonists, as those who take on the main burden of the developing story onto their shoulders need to take on a lot I mean, quite the weight of the world itself hint get your tissues ready You will find motifs that were expanded and explored thoroughly in Kay s later novels friendship, betrayal, sacrifice, power, love, generational strife and change, facing and evading one s destiny There is a density of emotions and an entanglement of life and death, light and darkness, obligations and desires Kay offers a tantalising verisimilitude Definitely, one can say that it is not as refined as mature Kay, but still very engaging What I liked in the very Tolkienesque way of showing and telling I had all my Tolkien senses overindulged What a glorious feeling , is that Kay proves that each and every one of ordinary us carries an epic hero within, ready to emerge from the mundane if given a chance, a spark of possibility and a courage to step up to the task.What I didn t like that much is the narrative jumping from one POV to another within each chapter This got me confused a couple of times at the beginning The prose is definitely less refined, with ragged edges in the narrative Readers get the story proper plus Fionavar s history and mythology as a bonus It s like Kay tries to throw half of his own Silmarilion into the bargain The cultural, human and geographic detail is given in a flurry of names and the reader has no idea what is crucial and should be remembered what can be interesting but can be stored away upon acknowledgment The quality of the available map is questionable and I was lost very often A book of this density really should have an extended appendix with maps, names, and a brief historical and cultural overview of Fionavar These minor issues notwithstanding, The Summer Tree has been a real treat for me The branches or should I write, the threads of the story grow and form amazing patterns that would have a lesser writer entirely lost in such vast design I wouldn t recommend the book if it s meant to be your fist Kay s novel, but equally, if you are a fan of his style, don t let it wait too long on your to read shelf.Also in the series 2 The Wandering Fire3 The Darkest Road

  4. says:

    The first thought I had when I read the description was, Gawd, not again groaning moaning I ve read attempted to read enough Tolkien wannabes with elves, orcs, and swords, and had enough Then, I read extremely favorable reviews on GR about this book It piqued my curiosity Wait, what This is how Tolkien should be written What theFrankly, upon finishing this book, I m inclined to agree with the favorable critics This is very much like LotR, so much that I can see many fans either loving it or hating it Kay plays and works his magic in Tolkien s idealistic framework The good v evil conflict is the same, the inhabitants of Fionavar mirror that of Middle Earth s, and even the characters particularly the women, though I will get to that are strikingly similar to the leading lady cast of LotR So many elements overlap that I initially felt annoyed at the sameness, but, as I got further into the book, I was surprised by how unique this entire story was.First off, this was an EPIC STORY Fionavar, as the first of all worlds, is the core for all our mythology and legends All other worlds spin off Fionavar, which means Fionavar is home to all these myths Even though we are viewing this world through the eyes of five seemingly ordinary Canadian university students, Fionavar never ceases to lose that EPIC STORY feel, partially because of the EPIC heroes and villains, and partially because the students themselves attain somewhat EPIC status themselves Initially the characters felt a little awkward Maybe it s a demi generational gap, but the their thoughts and behaviors did not feel natural or all that interesting I constantly got confused between Kevin and Paul, and felt that the rest were cardboard y than alive, especially when they arrived in Fionavar I took issue that no one questioned how freaking bizarre it was to be taken to a whole different world But after getting over that initial hump, well, Mind Blown.The tale of five university kids stumbling into Fionavar unfolded beautifully I initially cringed at the thought of modern day people bringing their modern day ideals and airs into a swords and sorcery age But instead of trouncing on customs and cultures, the five took their own unique paths, be it light or very dark In walking this road, the five were quickly swallowed into Fionavar, body and soul, and became than just Kevin Laine or just Jennifer Lowell It actually seems appropriate to say that they became avatars of the complex ideals that make up Fionavar This world is alive, people It has its own customs, its own mythos, and its own presence Very quickly, the book became as much about Fionavar, as it was about the five Fionavar is no happy fairy land It has beauty, grit, complexity, darkness, and corruption, all subtly woven into the narrative by Kay s gorgeous prose The man can write, and he does so tastefully Unlike many modern fantasy writers, nothing about his prose felt gratuitous, and the quality, rather than quantity, of his prose communicated the mood of the scene I felt completely enraptured by the world of Fionavar, and very, very few books have transported me mind and spirit into its world.The one major thing that I do take issue with is his treatment of women in the book, particularly Jennifer s story The reviews prepped me for something awful, and I m glad I got some notice Now, since I am affected, I am going to assume that this view spoiler rape hide spoiler

  5. says:

    4.35 A buddy read with the awesome Kay Squad Fantasy Buddy Reads Group Every time I pick up a book by GGK I am filled with anticipation almost equal to that of children opening presents on Christmas Day morning The first night of Hanukkah A time of celebration of the soul, despite not being sure if it will live up to the expectations at the end I have been very lucky for now and everything I have had the pleasure of reading by him has brought me much pleasure than disappointment However, this book was written much earlier than the ones I have previously read, so I was a bit worried going in to it There are kinds of action, for good or ill, that lie so far outside the boundaries of normal behavior that they force us, in acknowledging that they have occurred, to restructure our own understanding of reality We have to make room for them From the start I jumped into an alternate universe together with the five young ish Earth inhabitants, Kevin, Kim, Jessica, David and Paul, following a Mage of Fionavar, the the prime creation, which all the others imperfectly reflect This First and most ancient world, where magic and G ds still have their place and swords and bows are the most technologically advanced weaponry, an Evil old and powerful, Rakoth the Unraveller, stalks the daily lives of Royalty and peasants, drying up the earth and burning off the crops, starving the cattle and putting a stranglehold on folks livelihoods It is imprisoned beneath a mountain and kept there by the Guardian Stones, which blue lights show that it has not freed itself yet But its tentacles are already working on the outside world and omens show that the time of its freedom and the war of Good vs Evil will follow Alluding and attacking, summoning a courage, embodying a gallantry of defiance that hurt to see, it was so noble and so doomed This whole book is a set up for the upcoming war, establishing the characters of the participants and delineating the battle lines An old King, who has ruled for many years, has refused several times to sacrifice himself on the Summer Tree in order to placate the local G d to end the drought, his older son has been exiled for wanting to take his father s place as the sacrificial lamb, thus implying that his father was not doing what is best for his people This is treason, so he is disinherited and exiled from the castle The younger son, a gorgeous but irresponsible womanizer and a rake, is the hair designate and he and one of the mages, Loren Silvercloak, and his companion power source interesting magical buddy system , the Dwarf King Matt S ren, bring the Five Canadians over for the celebrations of the Kings rain, thus involving them in the court intrigues as well as in the overall war of primary powers None of them come to the last chapter of the book unaffected by one thing or another, giving them reasons to grow and choose sides We salvage what we can, what truly matters to us, even at the gates of despair There are magical creatures, dwarfs, flying Unicorns and gigantic black swans with carnivore teeth There are things that would reminds Fantasy fans of C S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien and R Jordan, all of it somewhat dated by the heavy influences of the time it was written in, the 80 s There are many little flaws, some not so polished dialogues, and some purposeful and not so purposeful ambiguities, but the one thing that made me forget all of those things is the signature GGK prose Even in this early work the power of his wordsmithing is overwhelming He can pack a sentence with meaning and emotion on par with the all time greatest He has a cadence of storytelling that sweeps you in the story almost against your will, making you feel like a child being told an intricate tale of magic made accessible by its melody than the story line itself The moment and manner of telling are the apex of the experience, making you giddy with the enchantment of it You are willing to forgive a lot from an author who can gift you with such wonder Ah, Malka, she murmured at last, I wish I were wiser What is the use of living so long if one hasn t grown wise The cat pricked up her ears, but preferred to continue licking a paw rather than address herself to so thorny a question This is not the best book I have read by Kay, but it is a very good beginning to a trilogy and I can t wait to find out how it all works out Thank you to all the awesome friends from the Kay Squad Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many wonderful books to come

  6. says:

    Five Canadian college students are transported to a magical kingdom, and all of them are pretty blas about it Their lack of reaction cued me in pretty early on that I wasn t going to like this book None of these characters felt like real people to me the students are pretty interchangeable one s a bit crankier one has guilt two possess vaginas and they all completely lack one of the most important things, in my opinion, for a successful fantasy novel a sense of wonder Nothing about this other, magical realm felt wondrous, so when it was threatened, I couldn t bring myself to care Which is a pity, because I felt there were some interesting ideas buried in here Paul s story of redemption and self sacrifice is the type of thing that s usually right up my alley But it was stuck under a mountain of overwrought prose and I m not willing to wade through that.Plus FUN BONUS there was a brutal rape scene right at the end makes cranky face

  7. says:

    This will serve as my review of the entire Fionovar Tapestry Spoiler pearl clutchers beware there be dragons of plot and theme reveals here Confession I am a bit of a Requiem fanatic I own several versions of the Verdi, the Mozart, the Brahms, and copies of the Cherubini, Berlioz, Dvorak, and Benjamin Britten Requiems and I am always looking for I am fascinated with each and every one of them personally, but when it comes time to try and explain my obsession to someone else, I always play them the one that seems to translate its meaning to everyone Verdi s Requiem for Alessandro Manzoni.In order to show this to my boyfriend, I took him to a performance of the Verdi last year at the Kennedy Center To be honest, he mostly sat there with a polite so, when can I go to the bathroom look on his face through the opening Kyrie I was starting to worry about what kind of really horrid sci fi B movie I was going to have to sit through to make up for putting him through this but not for very long The minute the chorus hit the Daes Irae, he practically leapt out of his chair with excitement at its awesomeness He was a percussionist for many years, and he spent the rest of the movement happily drumming out the beats of Hell and Damnation, gasping with the screaming descent of the chorus falling into the abyss, anticipating Verdi s next lightning strike of devilish terror.And then the main Daes and the call to Judgment of the Tuba Mirum ended, succeeding to the soaring solos and pleading instruments of the Liber Scriptus, the Quid sum miser and so on But he wasn t happy until the Daes returned sitting tense until he heard the shocking first slam on the timpani announcing the theme and then leaning forward in his seat again, as happy as a clam I believe the young Guy Gavriel Kay was also a Daes Irae only man The Fionavar Tapestry is an epic, old school style fantasy trilogy It is not only epic, it is the most epic thing to ever epic in this whole epic universe, man And you might think I m making fun of the book, but that really is sort of its point It s meant to gather in as many mostly Western, let s be honest heroic archetypes, stories, and quests as possible into one overwhelming tale that tells all the tales that have ever been told, at their peak of beauty, elegance and emotion Hence the name, focus, and dominant images of the tale the tapestry, the weaver, the loom, threads, snipping, spinning, binding, winding Fionavar is known to fans of Guy Gavriel Kay s work as the central world of all worlds there are, and is essentially Heaven on Earth We may live many lives with many flaws, problems, and could have beens, but in Fionavar, we will finally live the life we were meant to We will meet again in Fionavar, my love, in Fionavar This tale shows us the price of building that heaven.This grand tale, however, cannot happen without five ordinary Canadian citizens who turn out to be necessary for the tale to progress A mage named Loren Silvercloak and his source, the former dwarf king, Matt S ren, lure them to their world on the promise of two weeks of fun and of course it turns out that they are needed for much, much They are lead through incredible adventure after adventure throughout the three books, finding their places in this new world as they participate in or witness incredible feats of bravery, sacrifice and heroism that pile one on top of the other in glorious succession for three books right down until nearly the very last page of conclusion.And all that action packed, exhilarating action is essentially why I can never really adore these books the way that I adore the rest of Kay s work the Daes Irae or the Hallejuah Chorus, if it happens to be a brief happy moment , being played at full volume, without pause or interlude.Kay is just far too demanding of his readers in this book In this epic of epics, he constantly presents us with yet another mythical figure, piece of magic, old it must be old to be revered legend coming true every few pages then spends the next few pages demanding that we stand in awe of his creations Each character is beautiful, perfect, shining than the last or, alternately, has committed acts dastardly and terrifying than could ever be contemplated It is tempting to dismiss this as merely teenage Mary Sue writing but I m aware that isn t the point He s trying to draw on the force of so many old legends of our own world and reach something inside us all that respond to these ancient stories by reminding us how deeply important they are He wants to remind us why the essence of these things are so important.It s just exhausting, and unfortunately, after awhile, it does get to be a little eyeroll inducing especially when all the Magical Objects of Power just turn up at convenient moments as Deus Ex Machina and sometimes that s literal This thing is all about the plot, the plot was just embarrassing at times Even when he s trying to be funny, he has to surround a brief light moment with pages of stuff justifying it s deeper meaning He tries to use the five Canadians to show us how to react properly, with awe and respect, but it just doesn t work for me One of the major things that bothers me about this trilogy is how ACCEPTING everyone is of things, how REVERENT they are of this story Everyone just seems to accept that they should drop everything for this story they ve fallen in to no one thinks to tell family back home when characters die in the other world I think he missed a great opportunity to both connect people into the story and explore some cool ideas about the values of modern culture, and the stories we tell ourselves now American Gods style, but better I wish he had given me that way to connect to the characters, because honestly I felt like three out of The Five weren t even really given a personality poor Jennifer and Kim got shafted, and Kevin was reduced to a couple of adjectives They were taken over by what they were supposed to represent which I understand to a certain degree, but they re also supposed to be people That is supposed to be the pathos of the whole thing I can t cry over someone if they re just a camera angle for me 90% of the time just telling me how awed I should be Kay really did mostly fail at the thing that I usually love about his writing the deeply human, inner aspect of his characters and their actions, how those things make up a resonating story.That s what I needed here I need a little Ingemisco, a little Lux Aeterna in my life, I need some Chopin Nocturnes, some Bach Cello Suites I want some variation in tone, volume, emphasis, some ambiguity in what I should be thinking and feeling while I m reading I want that extensive inner contemplation that shows me why a person does what he does that s the thing to observe reverently It s just as epic as any other kind of piece, but observed within, and spoken aloud in a whisper, quietly, discreetly Then you can show me the epic battle and expect me to care about everyone involved I only really saw this in two places in the trilogy, one major, one minor with flaws The major one was entirely in The Summer Tree Paul s backstory of despair which is why that one got four stars, and the others three , his doomed love for a talented musician named Rachel, and the endless torture he puts himself through for the tangle that their relationship became We re taken from the middle to the beginning to the end of his pain in such an amazingly sensitive and deeply felt way his nights on the Summer Tree are just achingly beautiful, and you feel every reason he s there with every line But then that done, he seems to just give it up until the end Then it s all magical powers and flying unicorns, gifts of goddesses and Big Ass Swords Plot, plot plot, things things things who cares Speaking of plot, I have to mention this too I was actually kind of disturbed by what he put Jennifer through for the sake of his plot development giving her moral invulnerability I ve always thought that he used sex for interesting good things in his books, but not here I just can t justify it the showing of the unspeakably horrible things that happened to her, and especially the tone of the telling did not equal their storytelling value Again, Kay ramped it up to full, screaming volume, and it made me close my eyes, not listen closer It made me question the relationship of women and sex in his books all over again, and not in a good way.But in any case, back to my major issue with the book Eventually, I know that he came to understand the power of the inner world over the twenty page long sword fight, and I see the beginnings of that here but he just hadn t gotten there yet He was still too in love with the stories, and not yet with the people inside the stories I certainly understand that these are the most amazing stories in the world for a reason, and weave spells over us accordingly Kay has Arthur, I had my Beauty and the Beast stories We all have that irrational attachment to stories, before we start to ask too many questions of them, or look at them in a different way That s Kay in these books He s too excited about sharing every story he knows with us to just sit down and coherently tell us one story that really matters.I ve always loved reading pre masterwork pieces of my favorite authors, watching their ideas develop I can see the beginnings of some of my favorite books here That s exciting That s wonderful.But he just can t quite hear the rest of the music properly yet.

  8. says:

    But above all he could wait wait as the cycles of men turned like the wheel of stars, as the very stars shifted pattern under the press of years There would come a time when the watch slackened, when one of the five guardians would falter Then could he, in darkest secrecy, exert his strength to summon aid, and there would come a day when Rakoth Maugrim would be free in Fionavar.And a thousand years passed under the sun and stars of the first of all the worlds In the midst of a strange night at the University of Toronto, five students are summoned to Fionavar, the first of all worlds From there on starts an epic story of war and intrigue as Guy Gavriel Kay writes his only tale of high fantasy to date.The first book in the Fionavar Tapestry consists of a rather raw beauty It is not a masterpiece It is not Tigana It has good and bad moments, and while I was debating whether to give it four or five stars, it took a turn that turned me firmly towards four It is, however, a wonderfully written piece of art The Summer Tree is exactly what you would expect from Guy Gavriel Kay s first published novel a diamond in the rough.

  9. says:

    Buddy read with the fabulous Kay Squad at FBRAn amazing masterpiece by a brilliant writer Whit this book, Kay manages to give you a story in which you can get lost and forget yourself reading for hours on end Five university students embark on a journey of self discovery when they enter a realm of wizards and warriors, gods and mythical creatures and good and evil 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 marvellous 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 The Fionavar Tapestry cover art by Don Maitz and Janny WurtsThis incredible journey in a unique world is told in Kay s usual elegant prose and his typical writing style, full of poetry, rhythm and realism While Kay is a deeply colourful writer, for the most part he manages to never sacrifice character for poetry, or portray his world just in the hollow tones of an epic saga There is often something wonderfully immediate in Kay s prose, whether describing a city under drought, a battle against dark creatures, a humorous tavern brawl, or most horribly yet most vividly, torture and it s survival.What struck me the most with this particular book was the feeling I got while the story started to unfold from its pages Kay does something extraordinary here He ll make you feel as if you are not reading It sounds absurd I know But it s a fact Somewhere after the first few chapters you will suddenly realise that you feel as if your sitting cuddled next to your loved ones in a huge hall in front of a bright fire, with a big mug of mead in your hands, listening to a great bard tell you a wonderful gripping story, that will leave you hanging on to his every word And that is Kay s greatest talent.If you love epic fantasy, especially Tolkien type, you re gonna love The Summer Tree.If you love books full of feelings, with complex characters, elegant prose and masterful writing, you re gonna love The Summer Tree.If you love fairy tales told by the fire and want to forget yourself for a little while within the pages of a wonderful book The Summer Tree is your perfect choice Find this review and on my book review and cover art blog The Magic Book Corner

  10. says:

    I m of two minds with this work I think I d rather give this one a 3.5 on sheer enjoyability, having the reaction that I d read this all before, and it s pacing was slow, slow, slow, but after having read it and having some thoughts as to what Kay was trying to accomplish, I m revising it up to a solid 4.There is a lot to love in this novel, but unfortunately, it takes a long time for it to develop and ripen Right off the bat, I noticed that this was taking an old trick that so much Fantasy and much SF seems almost Required , coming from the late seventies and eighties I m referring to the need to pull ordinary people from our modern world and putting them dab square in a Fantasy I m looking at you, Donaldson and Zelazny I don t like it I never really have The character s lives are usually unremarkable in the real world and using them as a hook in a Fish Out Of Water tale tends to get very old, very quickly Too much time is spent acclimating the reader into either a rich tapestry of mythos and worldbuilding, or a flat and slow slog through old themes done YET AGAIN.This one starts out that way, and I groaned I truly don t mind being thrown head first into a rich tapestry without any foreplay, and that is what I love most about modern Fantasy titles I call it respect for the reader Drawing out a tale to poke the butterflies and unicorns or to see how grand the King and Kingdom is as a modern yokel just bores the living shit out of me That being said, this novel wasn t too bad It was slow and the general pacing could have been much improved, whether by actual plot or just the illusion of things happening, but once I got over that, I discovered that the whole book was nothing than a novel about character discovery There s a good deal of Tolkeinish things going on, including names and events we aren t privy to yet, and may never be We ve got standard Fantasy tropes everywhere we look It s not really about that It s about the character growth.Something big does happen, but it s of a prelude to the rest of the novels What really struck me as Important in this read was the language that Kay used I m not referring to dialogue The dialogue was functional No, I m referring to the placement of words, the economy, and the sheer beauty of what was being conveyed If I wanted a rip roaring fantasy tale, I came to the wrong place If I wanted beautifully written prose, minus the dialogue, then I definitely hit the lottery I got into the book by this door, and it continued to surprise and amaze The characters who first started pretty flat began showing grand definition by way of their actions They grew Some of them grew a lot Others just grew powerful.There weren t any glowing light shows or epic battles, save for a few economical scenes that were positively Spartan or even Hemingway in their brevity, and I might have taken umbrage at that, because I like exciting scenes, but they were written pretty and evocative, if short, and they were good enough that I couldn t help being extremely impressed.It took a long time to get into this novel, but I ll give it this Once I did get going, I was good to go I m now in a state of mind that I could keep going with this tale forever It reminds me of later works that are so huge I m looking at you, WoT that it takes 4 5 books before we start to even LIKE a particular character, or get impressed with how much he s developed It s a DAMN GOOD THING that this is a trilogy, or I d probably throw it at someone I m looking at you, Kay.