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The Summer King: Book Two of The Chronicles of Faerie    by O. R. Melling order for
Summer King
by O. R. Melling
Order:  USA  Can
Amulet, 2007 (2006)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

While The Summer King is the second in O. R. Melling's Chronicles of Faerie, it can be read as a standalone, since the world of Faerie is the only major connecting factor. The Summer King is a little darker than the first in the series, The Hunter's Moon, and seems more mature.

Ever since her twin Honor died, Laurel has not felt like herself. After a year alone, Laurel feels compelled to return to the spot where her sister fell into the sea, so finds herself again visiting Ireland. There, she meets Ian, the boy she blames for her not being with her sister on that fateful day. Determined to shut him out of her life, Laurel resolutely focuses on a mission given to her by a cluricaun, a leprechaun-like little man in whom she is not sure she believes. However, when the man tells her that she will save her sister by finding the Summer King and having him light the Midsummer Fire on the mythical island of Hy Brasil, she knows she must do as he asks. Soon, she is on her way to her grandparents' summer cottage on Achill Island, where she finds Ian hiding. She decides to let him stay one night and they are attached by the Fir-Fia-Caw, a band of bird-men warriors. Reluctantly, Laurel lets Ian join her in her quest after she learns that everything the cluricaun told her is not what it seems.

Melling has a magical way of weaving the world of faerie into our own world, so that it seems there must be places were magic does exist. Her world of faerie is not the bright, happy place people think of today, but the dark, sinister world that inhabits older legends. Her faerie characters are steeped in folkloric research, helping to ground them. Her human characters are easy to empathize with, and hold the reader's sympathy. All of this comes together in The Summer King to create a captivating novel that will delight fantasy fans.

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