The story was okay. However, it didn't manage to capture my emotions like some fantasy books. It was missing something more to really draw me in. But on the whole, it was an alright read.
De Lint is now more known for his urban fantasy, but this was written early in his career and is high fantasy. I almost gave up on this book because it started so awkwardly, jumping from time to time and from character to character. If you put up with this long enough, however, he stops going forward and backward in time and gradually his characters become more recognizable and sympathetic. If you like old style fantasy, this book will pass the time for you adequately. A few moments are poignant, a few descriptions are apt, and it is all well enough written.
This was an interesting read. de Lint actually wrote this book early in his career, but it wasn't published until now. He did an edit of it, but tried to remain true to the young man he was when he wrote it, which was interesting.
This novel is in a fantasy world and reminded me a bit of Le Guin's Earthsea.
There are many different peoples in the book, but the main struggle is for a balance in the world. The Summerlord has lost his staff and Everwinter is creeping over the world, looking to end summer, kill the Summerlord and all the Summerborn. Also, the Saramund are wreaking violence and destruction on the settlements in the lands. One mage is trying to fight against this evil, and he has taken on a couple of young men to learn the skills needed.
Strength comes from within, from one's "taw" a deep inner core of the self, and also from the magic of the earth itself. The world is an interesting one, as is the struggle, and seeing how the Summerborn react to each new challenge keeps you turning the pages. With elements of folklore as well as a complete world, this is fantasy that offers broad appeal.
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