Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Summer King; O.R. Melling

Unlike the first book in this series (Hunter's Moon), The Summer King is bittersweet & heartfelt. There are themes galore: grief and mourning, denial and acceptance, life and death, sacrifice for the greater good. All of which are universal, none of which have pat answers. TSK is aimed at young adult audiences and stars a young woman on the brink of adulthood.

Laurel is returning to Ireland on the first anniversary of her twin sister's death. Her twin, Honor, died in what appeared to be a freak accident the previous summer. Laurel is mostly in denial about Honor being gone, an attitude which is not helped when Laurel reads Honor's diary and becomes suspicious about what really happened. There is a push-pull relationship with the male lead (Ian) & a time deadline. Faerie and the fate of humanity is integral, but what stood out most for me was Laurel's struggle to come to terms with Honor's death.

Like Hunter's Moon, The Summer King is a quest storyline. To achieve her goal, though, Laurel is forced to confront her inner demons and external forces working both for her and against her. For me, it was hard to balance Laurel's emotional struggles against the adventures she and Ian have together (and boy are they prickly!). Without giving anything away, I found the denoument simulatneously deflating and a relief & the epilogue sort of confused me yet was hopeful. I'm very muddled about it all, to be honest.

Then again, my own expectations of a stereotypical happily ever after, all problems neatly wrapped into a neat bow color my thoughts. Just as Laurel was stuck in denial, so am I stuck with hoping for a hint at a happy future. The Summer King is a thought inspiring work not easily set aside.


Jenster said...

I swear, Amanda. You give the best synopses of books! And I'm seriously thinking of putting aside all my romance books and picking up more of these type books.

I am seriously in love with all things Irish and Scottish and if it includes the Fae - all the better.

So more books for me to either find at the library or look for at the store. LOL

Bookwormom said...

Jenster- I love YA fantasy too. If you get them let us know what you think.