Book Review: Summerkin by Sarah Prineas
“Down through the Way she fell, feeling the wind and the pressing darkness, the dizzy thump when she landed on the bank. She was through. The air felt softer here, the shadows deeper—and the pull of her connection to the land settled into her bones.”
In the Summerlands, time moves slowly, roots grow deeply, and change is not welcomed. But change is needed.
After defeating the wicked Mor and freeing her kin from deadly oaths made to this false ruler, Fer is now the rightful Lady of the land. Yet her people don’t know what to make of their new Lady’s strange ways, and neither do the High Ones, the rulers of the magical realm, for Fer is an outsider—half human.
To prove herself worthy of the Summerlands crown, Fer is summoned to compete in an epic contest where her strengths and skills will be tested and her loyalties challenged. Can she trust Rook, the puck she calls friend? Can she trust herself? If Fer fails, she will lose her land and the Way will be closed to her forever.
I’m trying to be better about reading series. I have a horrible time keeping track of when new books come out. Since I liked Winterling by Sarah Prineas so much, I was really pleased when I found the sequel Summerkin. I adore classic fairy tales and being a middle grade book, I knew Summerkin would be imaginative and adventurous. I had a few issues with it but I still enjoyed reading it.
What I Liked
Rook and Fer’s bees were my favorite characters. Rook is a mischievous puck and his friendship with Fer causes a lot of conflict with him. I loved all of the pucks really. The bees were really interesting and it was nice to see nature helping Fer in such a way.
The fairy folklore and law woven through the story is vastly fascinating. I’ve studied it a bit in my Pagan studies and especially find the law of three intriguing. (Being asked a question three times, swearing an oath three times, etc.) It was a pleasure seeing the fairy culture expanded in Summerkin and Prineas’ world building is exceptional.
What I Didn’t Like
It was predictable. When using the fairy tale theme in a novel, it’s best to change it up somehow and make it truly original. But I knew pretty much what was going to happen in Summerkin after a few chapters.
I could have done with some more character development. Rook gets most of the attention on that end and it leaves the other characters a little flat. As the main character, I would have liked more focus on Fer and her thoughts and we’re never given very much information on the bad guy. There are also a whole host of secondary characters that could have been amazing if given a little more attention. They end up as background scenery because they were no neglected.
Summerkin left me feeling a little bored and let down. I finished it but I wasn’t wowed and it lacked any punch. It’s filled with clichés and overused ‘pure-hearted maiden’ formulae that made the whole book predictable and Fer a little one-dimensional. Summerkin by Sarah Prineas was a comfortable magical read and gave a good hit of nostalgia to the heart but the plot was rote and the characters dull. It’s good for a lazy read but don’t expect anything exceptional.