I was thrilled to find a tattered, used copy of The Summer Tree, by Guy Gavriel Kay while looting used bookstores in the U.K. I saved the book for my flight and it was the perfect escape from a terrible trip home. It had been years since I've read Kay's epic, sweeping, amazing fantasy wherein 5 young Canadians visit Fionavar, the one true world.
The Summer Tree introduces us to a sweeping cast of characters, expertly done and with detail reminiscent of Tolkien. Unsurprisingly, Kay worked as Christopher Tolkien's assistant in editing the Silmarillion, and the association shines through. Kay builds a world so rich and full of detail that I simply get lost in it. The detailed backstory behind every blade of grass is perfect, and while sometimes obvious, always add emotional weight to the story.
From Matt Soren and Loren Silvercloak to the lios alfar, princes and priests, magical creatures and gods, this story is dense! It timed out perfectly for me to finish as the plane landed. I was heartbroken to see no e-book edition of the rest of Kay's fantastic trilogy. I've ordered them and can't wait to finish. The story is better than I remembered, and that is saying a lot!