Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: The Summer King by O.R. Melling

The Summer King (The Chronicles of Faerie #2)
Author: O.R. Melling
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 10, 2006
Pages: 368
Source: Paperback/Library

This second book in a series "shimmering with magic, myth, and romance" (Booklist), follows sixteen-year-old Laurel as she tries to understand the cause of her twin sister's mysterious death. Honor believed in Faerie, a parallel land of mischievous immortals. Laurel doesn't. That is, until the fairies come and ask her to take up her sister's failed quest to find the Summer King, a lord who can light the midsummer fire that keeps the two worlds, human and Faerie, cleaved. Laurel must decide to help those whose cause killed her sister, and, in the process, come to believe that there is still magic-and love-in the world.

Lush descriptions of Ireland and Celtic lore make this a satisfying read for travelers to other lands, real and mythic.

Review: I did enjoy the book. As with The Hunter's Moon (the first book in the series), I really enjoyed the Irish language and culture and we got to learn even more about that in this book. So in this book Laurel travels back to Ireland where a year before her sister Honor died. I found it really sad that all throughout the book Laurel was shadows by her sisters death. She did everything she did for her sister. She came back to Ireland to get answers about Honors death. She wanted to know why her sister was on the mountain in the first place. But to get answers to that question and others she has to pretend to believe in the faeries like her sister did. Along the way she finds out her sister may still be able to live in faerie but she has to free the summer king to light the midsummer fire to be able to free Honor from the place she's in to be able to live in faerie.

Laurel really struggled throughout the book. She had to pretend to believe in faeries to help set Honor free to live in faerie but throughout the book she struggles with believing. She would meet a faerie and learn something but then meet another who said the other wasn't telling the truth. It was really hard for her to know who to trust on top of her wavering belief in faeries. She found someone to help though. Her childhood friend from Ireland named Ian. She was not sure if she could trust him at first but eventually he earned her trust and helped her. I can understand her not wanting to trust people. With all that had happened and not even being told the truth half the time I can understand why she wasn't sure of who to trust. In the end though Laurel succeeds with freeing the summer king even and getting the fire lit even though it came with some major struggles. She never gave up though. I got to give her that. She was a fighter, and it was all for her sister. 

With this book I have the same complaint as with the previous. I felt there should have been more character development. We only really learn about Laurel and a little about Ian. That was about it. I would have loved to get to know more about the other characters. Overall though I'd say the book was still good and I'd recommend it if you enjoyed the first one.

3 Stars! 

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