THE FIRST SUMMER YEAR by Ian Kellam

THE FIRST SUMMER YEAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ian Kellam, a musician by trade, seems to have read and assimilated several leading examples of serious fantasy, abstracted their common features and virtues, then created in their image his own particular dualistic otherworld -- complete with a wise old wizard, a cast of distinctly if superficially individualized members of a homey, plucky little race of humanlike Nemmles, and a demonqed horde of menacing invaders. There is also a jewel of power -- the stone, or Great Eye, found by English Richard who is thereby shrunk to the Nemmles' size and able to enter their world -- and a hazardous but ultimately (too easily?) triumphant voyage in which Richard leads four Nemmles up the river in his own toy sailboat and into the mountain city of the dreaded gnomelike Mongs. Felicitous twists and touches abound (for example, Richard's similarity in appearance to the Nemmles' prince who carries the lesser eye, and the wizard's to the older king with whom he once shared a like adventure) and Kellam's prose and narrative sense are up to their task. Missing throughout however are any conviction of necessity, any personal vision or (even unstated) metaphysical implications to make the Eye of power and the great struggle for its possession matter, or even any confounding of expectation along the way.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1974
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell