Published June 1, 2011.
A Midsummer’s Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon’s right hand, bane of many a faery queen’s existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl’s death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.
Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone’s come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck’s help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist. (goodreads.com)
Of the two novellas (WINTER’S PASSAGE being the other), I definitely prefer SUMMER’S CROSSING. There’s a bit more spunk to it, probably because it’s told from Puck’s point of view. What Kagawa has really showcased to me with her writing is just how well she knows her characters and just how different a single character can be portrayed. The first three books in The Iron Fey series are all from Meghan’s POV so Puck is pretty harmless, quirky, the jokester. In THE IRON KNIGHT, it’s from Ash’s POV and Puck is coming off exceptionally annoying. But here he just is. He’s neither too quirky because you’re actually inside his head so his hijinks are tampered down and he’s definitely not annoying because, well, why would he find himself annoying? You get to see a depth to Puck that you don’t otherwise see in the rest of the series and I really liked that.
The overall story was really good and a great precursor to THE IRON KNIGHT. It threw a wrench into their spokes before the whole quest got started, plus it fleshed out some of the secondary characters a little more. You get to see a somewhat softer side of Mab that definitely hasn’t been seen anywhere else. And while you probably already knew that Leanansidhe was as Fey as you could get, you get to see the lengths that she really goes to in order to get the pretty things she likes. Kagawa really knows how to develop her characters and make each one of them really stand on their own, no matter how small they are to the plot. Love it.
Getting to see Ash through a prankster’s eyes was also really funny. It lightens the aura around the brooding love interest and it’s a reminder to not take it all too seriously. Because he might be cross dressing when you’re not looking.
If you don’t read SUMMER’S CROSSING before THE IRON KNIGHT you won’t be missing anything central to the greater plot of the series. It’s just some really good extra information, and a new look into the Nevernever that you don’t get in the regular series that’ll just add more depth to an already dynamic story. It’s an awesome extra and I’m glad I read it.
Ban Factor: High – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Faeries.