- Title: Summer in Orcus
- Author: T. Kingfisher
- ISBN: null
- Page: 395
- Format: Kindle Edition
When the witch Baba Yaga walks her house into the backyard, eleven year old Summer enters into a bargain for her heart s desire Her search will take her to the strange, surreal world of Orcus, where birds talk, women change their shape, and frogs sometimes grow on trees But underneath the whimsy of Orcus lies a persistent darkness, and Summer finds herself hunted by theWhen the witch Baba Yaga walks her house into the backyard, eleven year old Summer enters into a bargain for her heart s desire Her search will take her to the strange, surreal world of Orcus, where birds talk, women change their shape, and frogs sometimes grow on trees But underneath the whimsy of Orcus lies a persistent darkness, and Summer finds herself hunted by the monstrous Houndbreaker, who serves the distant, mysterious Queen in Chains From the Hugo and Nebula award winning author of Digger and Jackalope Wives comes a story of adventure, betrayal, and heart s desire T Kingfisher, who writes for children as Ursula Vernon, weaves together a story of darkness, whimsy, hope and growing things, for all the adults still looking for a door to someplace else It s Wes Craven meets L Frank Baum, or Narnia for those of us who thought Narnia smiled without showing enough of its teeth KB Spangler, i Digital Divide i
Recent Comments "Summer in Orcus"
“It would be a good day for the world if I could not find a child who knew terrible adult things. But I will be a great deal older before that day comes, I think.” Not quite a beginning quote but it may be why so many rightly say this is a middle-school portal fantasy for adults, though it is equally an adult portal fantasy for those middle-schoolers comfortable in classic adult fantasy (I know you're out there, lurking on GR: I was once you).T.Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon) is a rare author. Sh [...]
This is for everyone who hasn't forgiven Aslan, or Glinda, but understands now what was really happening.
Due to the just-two-chapters-a-week release schedule of this book that I stumbled on just as Chapter One was posted (Arghhh! That it is NOT how I read! I do not eat my stories in dainty little bites! I gorge myself on books whole!) I had plenty of time to work on the review, and it quickly morphed into a recap with annotations. So bear with me, or skip, if you fear elongated spoilers.This story is a homage to the subgenre of "portal fantasy" – a young person who travels through a magical porta [...]
Great beginnings and decent end, just wish the middle had been reduced.
So far my least favourite T. Kingfisher book. The reason why this book didn't work for me is just a big personal preference thing, so keep that in mind.Summer in Orcus is a portal fantasy book that reads a lot younger than T. Kingfisher's other books. During the first half I was wondering why she didn't publish this as Ursula Vernon, T. Kingfisher being the name she uses for adult fiction. With time I did realize that the 11-year-old protagonist would probably have been more hopeful and action-r [...]
Sweet, nuanced, and a ton of fun. This is a book for everyone who wonders if I would have had what it took to get through Narnia.
Excellent, as all Vernon books are.
I love portal fantasies. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember, from Narnia to Oz to Wonderland to Amber and even for a brief moment Xanth, I have loved stories of someone from this mundane world transported to a world full of magic and wonder. Summer in Orcus is an offering in this category from T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon, and it is marvelous. The best I can describe it is a middlegrade fantasy for adults, and much like Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyla [...]
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 [...]
How perfectly lovely <3
That was the loveliest beginning to a day I've had since I was Summer's age. I'm utterly enthralled. THIS is how I want to write.
I start reading this on the website as Ms. Vernon being to serialized it. But I stopped as they arrived at Fen-town and now just finish reading it as e-book today. It was, as always, a wonderful read from T. Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon.The execution, the prose, her unique style really resonate with me and I have read much of her contents, from the artwork blurbs on DeviantArts to Digger to Hamster Princess. So you may call this a bias review but this is really good.The story started out with Su [...]
I have loved every T. Kingfisher book and this was no exception. Summer is a girl with an overbearing to the point of smothering mother, who finds the Baba Yaga in her back yard and gets sent to Orcus to find her heart's desire--though she doesn't know what it is. Charming, delightful, with a dark bite to it, this is a portal fantasy done wonderfully. Summer meets birds, a were-house, a dragon, and a deeply creepy bad guy. I loved the resolution of the Big Bad, and I really really loved how King [...]
Another lovely story from T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon). Any story that starts with seeing a house walk down your alley on bird legs, and doesn't end with a huge battle or the heroine falling in love with someone works quite well for me. Summer in Orcus sounds like a season spent somewhere else. It's not. Summer is the heroine's name. She's a fine character. She doesn't have all the answers for what needs to be done, but she's determined and plucky. I gave it four stars because the story has [...]
What a great story!!!Loved this adventure that Summer had and all that she met while on her journey!!!Looking forward to reading more from T Kingfisher
Very enjoyable, especially the cheese sword. I only wished it were longer!
T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon, is an utterly fantastic author whether she's writing for kids, teens, or adults. I'm always excited to buy one of her books, even if I don't know anything about them. I've never been let down. "Summer in Orcus," which features Baba Yaga and Quests and Shape Shifting Women and Adventure and Dapper Birds, and that special subtle form of child abuse that most people don't recognize as abuse. And puns! Oh lord the puns. Including the title which I didn't realize was [...]
“Summer in Orcus” is, according to its author, an attempt to introduce more realism to portal fantasy. Which sounds self-contradictory, but the realism Vernon is interested in is not of scene or setting but rather of character and, especially, place. In the introduction, she refers to the “terrible, fascinating darkness underneath the fantasy world,” but I think the real crux of the matter is not so much how dark the world is but to what extent it has its own existence independent of its [...]
This is a book I would have loved when I was twelve and I still love it today. A fairy tale gone wild, with a cast of characters as strange as they are unforgettable: the Queen-in-Chains, masked dogs, evil antelope womenIt avoids the worst pitfall of literary fairy tales: cuteness. There is nothing cute or sweet about it. Indeed, it is quite dark as all good fairy tales should be (just reread "Donkeyskin" or "The Little Mermaid" - incest, violence, tragedy, and damnation are stock-in-trade of bo [...]
There are so many things i want to say about this book, but i don't know where to start, so excuse me if i ramble. I cried, a lot. But in a good way - not happy, necessarily, but, the story, the writing, everything just so perfectly put together. And, listen, sad things happen, but good too, and hope and, it was good. I read a review or a blurb somewhere that said that usually, adventures really aren't all that fun when you are in the middle of them, and that's true here but Summer keeps going e [...]
Will I ever stop adoring everything Ursula writes? Probably not. This is a portal fantasy with a girl who is wise beyond her years but still gets scared and doesn't know how to fight and has to rely on her friends and the goodwill of others for most things.This is a story where the bad guy razes villages to the ground but also wants the time to read some more books before the end.This is a story with a frog tree and antelope women and phoenix hedgehogs and a glorious wolf who turns into a house [...]
I really enjoyed this. Summer was much closer to what I would expect a nine year old girl to be, than some novels give you. She makes mistakes, she makes friends, and she makes choices, hard choices. I can only hope that we will get a chance to follow along with Summer on her next visit to Orcus.
This book made me both sad and happy at the same time. Those are the best kinds of books.
A lovely story you can read for free on her website.
If you're looking for a sweet escapist read, this book is for you.Originally published as a serial for the author's Patreon backers, this is a novel-length story that flows well and doesn't give away its episodic past. It's a more emotionally mature, nuanced take on the portal fantasies we all grew up with (you know, Narnia and Alice in Wonderland and all those other "normal kid finds a secret passage to a magical world" stories).Summer is 11, almost 12, and she's been raised by her very anxious [...]
Review first published on My Blog.Summer has spent all of her 11yrs of life under the thumb of her mother's love. It's not easy being so loved and she tries not to be resentful of it but some days she just wants to break out and do something just a teeny bit dangerous just to prove that she won't die from it. Then one day a strange house walks into the neighborhood on chicken legs and she meets Baba Yaga who, in a generous mood that day, promises to grant her heart's desire. Having been so shelt [...]
I absolutely love Summer in Orcus. It has a taste of Narnia, but it’s on a smaller scale. Summer isn’t a queen; she isn’t meant to save entire worlds. She’s lost and tired and scared. Her friends include a wolf (who turns into a house when night falls–he’s a were-house), a dandy of a hoopoe bird who owes people money, and a weasel who’s just as scared as she is. Early on she stumbles into a dying dryad and finds she feels a sense of need to help that dryad, but she has no idea how. [...]
This right here is the best explanation I've ever seen of what having a concussion was like for me:(TW: violence)"The world stuttered. There was a bright flash. Summer had been up on her knees and then she was falling and she realized this just as she landed on her side in the dirt. Her head, previously full of panic, seemed suddenly blank…someone…hit me…? Her thoughts, when they came, were slow and sloggy. It hadn’t hurt the way she understood hurting. Maybe the pain had all happened wh [...]
Splitting the difference between quibbles and delight with 4 stars. This book is really hard to categorize, and I kept having to go back and reread sections to catch words my brain had missed, but I adore the 'verse.It's a little like what you might get if you crossed Valente's Fairyland series with a kid-friendly version of King's The Dark Tower and aimed it at older kids and adults who survived controlling/smothering parents. It doesn't pretend horrible things don't happen, but it's wise about [...]
Four stars for the sheer inventiveness of this novel. I loved all the fantastical elements that worked together and connected to each other in unusual ways. I especially enjoyed how many of the typical fairy tale tropes were subverted, or approached from a different angle. The story starts with Summer, a middle school girl who lives with a mother who is always fearful and smothering. Because of this, Summer leads a sort of double life, an outer life where she complies with her mother's will, and [...]
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