Review – Summer in Orcus

Posted April 11, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of Summer in Orcus by T. KingfisherSummer in Orcus, T. Kingfisher

Summer in Orcus is just lovely; a portal fantasy with something of the whimsy and warmth of Valente’s Fairyland, and likely to appeal to a similar audience. Some of the characters could’ve come straight from Fairyland, in the best possible way: Reginald the society hoopoe, with his Regency slang; Glorious the were-house, who is a wolf during the day and a house by night; Boarskin, Deerskin and Bearskin, who warn Summer of the cancer at the heart of the world; even the Frog Tree and its dryad.

That isn’t to say it feels derivative, because it doesn’t: it feels very much like itself. But it has something of the same whimsy and imagination, and I enjoyed it heartily. There is something a little darker than Fairyland, I think; perhaps from the very fact that the quest is initiated by the capricious and sometimes cruel Baba Yaga.

It’s a fairly typical quest story, in a way, except that the great confrontation at the end turns out to be uniquely suited to Summer’s talents and experience. There’s a fair dose of bittersweetness, heroism aplenty — and, to my relief, a hope that Summer will see her friends again someday.

Rating: 4/5

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2 responses to “Review – Summer in Orcus

  1. Ooh. Oooooooh. OOOOOH. Okay, you’ve got me. I’ve been wanting to pick up a Kingfisher (because I adore her short fiction as Ursula Vernon) and this sounds just wonderful.

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