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Book Review: Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher

Sunday, September 15, 2019 - 10:00
book cover

I’m coming to the conclusion that when at all possible I should read episodically-written stories in the fashion intended rather than consuming them as if a continuous novel. I loved this portal fantasy of an over-protected girl granted her heart’s desire: to go on adventures. And what adventures! A quest with a mystery and an over-arching peril that turns out to be very different from what all the story tropes set you up to believe. But the reading felt a bit jerky, as each chapter resolves to a stopping point, sometimes in an artificial-feeling way. That’s my only complaint, though. The world building is superb and the supporting characters are well-realized in quirky and inimitably Kingfisher fashion. Like much of Kingfisher’s fiction, the setting conjures a complete mythos that borrows from existing mythology but has an integrated reality of its own. I’d call the book “YA-friendly” in the sense that the protagonist is young, it has coming-of-age themes, and the perils and experiences are ones that will feel both real and manageable for teenage readers, but it probably won’t feel “too young” for adult readers.

Major category: 
historical