Turning off the games consoles and television and stepping out of their spheres of all-time-consuming hold this week, I have returned to reading. I was faced with Gravity’s Rainbow - all 780 pages of it. As I’ll likely not finish it before Christmas I settled on reading Summer Storm instead - which is a little bit shorter at 23,000.
The novella is a freebie introduction to The Wrath of the Northmen series by Elizabeth Baxter. I would suggest picking up your copy if you are interested in reading the full fantasy series as Summer Storm appears to set a lot of things up for the main series.
Summer Storm itself tells the short story of Falen, an adolescent princess who is torn between her duty to her kingdom and her own desire to join an engineering academy. A jaunt out into the woods to check on her weather measuring equipment sees Falen caught in a storm. On the way back she glimpses an unconscious man in the river and rescues him.
Nashir, the man she rescues, makes a full recovery and offers to help Falen with her experiments. However, over time, his presence in the royal palace of Variss takes on a much darker agenda.
As a first outing into Elizabeth Baxter’s fantasy world, I felt the story lacked substance in how well it described the surroundings. I did not feel like I was actually there or got any great impression of it.
That said, the characters were interesting - especially Falen - and the narrative flowed well, if a little slowly at points. It’s not a bad intro to the series and something fantasy fans should enjoy.