The Summer Country: Not your little sister’s faerie novel

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review James A Hetley The Summer CountryThe Summer Country by James A. Hetley

First, a caveat. Don’t let the pretty cover art fool you. The Summer Country is not a “pretty” book. It’s really more horror than fantasy, full of violence and truly twisted characters. That said, I enjoyed The Summer Country. It stands out, with a few others, as a novel that presents a distinctive and original way of looking at the Otherworld, the faerie realm.

James A Hetley‘s “Summer Country” is ruled by those of the Old Blood, scheming and utterly inhuman despots who keep slaves and mold reality to their wills. Into a war between two of this kind, come four others. Maureen, an emotionally wounded, reclusive young woman, carrying the Old Blood unknowingly in her veins. Jo, her sensual older sister. David, a performer of Celtic music. And Brian, born of the Old Blood but sworn to Christianity. Maureen and Brian are each desired by a powerful ruler of the Summer Country as brood stock, for the Old Blood comes with certain liabilities, and these two will be good for the bloodlines.

And so they are drawn into the Summer Country, where human weapons are useless. Only Power can win the day. Will the newcomers find their Power before it’s too late?

My only gripe about this book is that I wouldn’t have minded it being longer. The romantic subplots seem a little rushed, as does the defeat of at least one of the villains . And I would certainly like to know more about Brian and the mission of the Pendragons.

The Summer Country & The Winter Oak — (2002,2004) Publisher: Maureen Pierce has led a fairly ordinary life, maybe a slightly tough one for a woman her age, growing up on the wrong side of the poverty line in Naskeag Falls, Maine. But everything changes when she meets Brian Albion. If she can believe him, she carries a blood legacy that goes back to the old country. Only this is the really old country, the land of Mordred and Merlin, where deadly battles are still fought with magic, and a woman who carries the blood of the Old Ones is a prize to be desired-or a threat to be destroyed.

The Summer Country The Winter Oak review James A HetleyThe Summer Country The Winter Oak review James A Hetley


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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