Fantasy General Posts, Non Reviews

The Summer Tree Read along – week three!

Turn back now for spoilers through chapter 12, up to the start of chapter 13!

Overall I found these chapters both more interesting and readable, although GGK truly and officially lost me as far as caring about any of the characters lol.

I take that back, I care deeply for Ysanne’s cat

Week three’s questions provided by @queenzucchini at !!

1. We’ve seen some extreme behaviour – we learn that Galadan wants to unravel the world because it witnessed his rejection. Ysanne’s sacrifice takes her out of the Tapestry entirely. What were your reactions to these and other character motivations?

I think I am the outlier here but I feel like GGK is just hyper exaggerating every trope out there.  Boo-hoo someone rejects you, time to destroy everything! What pride! What egocentrism! Delusion of reference! Lolol I can’t

Ysanne’s made sense, I think she needed to unravel herself in order to kick Kim’s seerism to the next level. I don’t quite understand how or why but the sacrifice to the dagger felt necessary.

2. And speaking of sacrifice, Paul has spent his final night on the Summer Tree and all his defences have been stripped. How are you feeling towards Paul now and what do you think might happen to him next? Rereaders – do you remember your first reactions to this?

Paul honestly pissed me off, although he’s not the only character I have read recently (The Latecomer) that derailed mentally and checked out after a fatal car accident.  He seemed to have control issues prior to the accident too.  What I really want to know is how long he and Rachel were separated before she hooked up with and then got engaged to the other dude, I mean she was taunting Paul so badly like “hey you’re suffocating but THIS dude cries after sex”

Ooook Rachel, calm down.  Anyway, I have a pet peeve over casually suicidal characters (thank VE Schwab and Fredrik Backman for that one) and honestly – Paul got his wish, ok let’s move on.

The way this question reads makes me think that Paul isn’t actually dead. /facepalm. What I would hope happens next is that someone cuts him down and buries him.

3. Alongside (or because of?) Paul’s time on the Summer Tree, some cosmic forces seem to be moving in Fionavar again. Last week we talked about prophecy, but how do you feel about the role of deities and mythology in the book?

This is by the far the only part I am interested in at this point, plus the conflict that I’m sure will develop between the two princes.

I loved the whole sequence where the goddess answered the gauntlet in the sky with the blood moon.  I also enjoyed the little hint that the bad guy has been free for a while now and just finally decided to declare war! The cosmic forces are moving and I am here for it

4. We have (officially) met the banished prince Aileron! Impressions? And does his presence and return to court give us any further insight into the politics of Brennin?

I can’t wait until the Prince actually returns to court and confronts all the people in power, including Diarmuid. All we know right now is that Silvercloak supports him and Ysanne must have foreseen something that warranted keeping him closeby. Politics are sure about to get a lot more complicated!

I thought he was a spy when we first met him, the true identity was a bit of a surprise. I liked the entire cat vs. Prince scene and it seems like Kim is heading towards becoming a seeress queen 😂 her ability to banter came out of nowhere

5. At last, Dave has returned to grace the pages! His absence has caused much speculation, but how do you feel about him now that we know what he’s been up to?

Well he definitely wasn’t hiding in a broom closet, I guessed wrong! It seemed at first like Dave would be the least likely to acclimate and embrace the experience, but he seems like he has handled it the best of all of them. Chill, meld in with a hunter tribe, make some friends, sleep around a bit, and body slam a mythical evil creature. Wield a giant axe? Sure why not.

Dave is by far the most surprising of any of the characters so far, he must have been the one who secretly needed a little magic in his life

6. Dave’s time with the Dalrei gives us a great deal of insight into a previously unseen culture within Fionavar, so it’s time for a world-building check in! Anything standing out?

The deities and the description of the big mountain are standing out the most right now. I think I like the Dave storyline the most of any of them right now, although having more mythology revealed is interesting too. The Dalrei became the best developed group in the book though which makes me think they will be important going forward.

7. And as always, any other thoughts?

I think GGK lost me with the dream sequence feel of chapter 9. Thankfully he reined in the purple prose after that and went back to just telling the story, which I am now more or less invested and interested in. Add in a cult and a sibling rivalry, also possibly? A dragon? And I’m down for anything

Excited to see how it wraps up next week!

15 replies on “The Summer Tree Read along – week three!”

Tbh I’m surprised at how quickly people have taken to some of the characters. Faster than I did first time.

I agree the Dalrei are by far the best fleshed out group and hell, yeah, that GGK is exaggerating everything. Depends whether you like it I guess.

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I like it for the entertainment value for sure, yeah there are undercurrents of serious issues and things worth thinking about but even as face value, these caricatures are super entertaining

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The entertainment is the main thing!

I think the exaggeratedness of it all does also work for me on a serious issue level too. Yeah, they’re not acting like people we’d meet today, but that allows us to cut right to the heart of matters and focus on things – right now the face of evil is overreaction and a refusal to let go of what is dead and buried, and we can ask ourselves if we think that’s what evil is really about.

While enjoying peak melodrama.


I think being mostly invested in the cat is entirely reasonable 😂

Rereading, I also have Thoughts (okay, criticisms) about the uncomfortable contrast between how GGK introduces Brennin and Cathal vs the Dalrei. Brennin is all just hints and allusions and handwaving, with folk who have Motivations they won’t discuss and Politics we have insufficient context for; and Cathal is just kinda racist (or at least, GGK made a specific set of cultural worldbuilding choices then has his omniscient narrator talk them down). Plus all these chapters are multi-POV hops across multiple storylines and locations so nothing gains momentum.

Then along come the Dalrei and they get like 3 chapters to themselves, mostly narrated by Dave (a bit of Ivor, but he’s a sweetie) and everything is laid out and makes sense and where the hell was this storytelling the first half of the book? Sheesh.

I’m not sure if I want to have words with GGK or just with his editor 😉

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Right? I wondered too why GGK got so lost in the Dalrei storyline. I took it as foreshadowing for what will be important later, but who knows. I must have missed the entire Cathal bit, who was racist? Lol I don’t remember of that but I also don’t think that prior to … Oh lets say 2017 or so, anyone paid attention to this in books. Not loudly anyway

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Me too, like I totally misinterpreted the entire Ysanne’s manservant storyline 😂 then all of a sudden they were head to head with the banter lol I’m here for it

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What she said! I like this format too because we can crash each other’s blogs and see what points are being made!

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