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Song of the Summer King (The Summer King Chronicles #1)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  464 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Shard is a gryfon in danger. He and other young males of the Silver Isles are old enough to fly, hunt, and fight--old enough to be threats to their ruler, the red gryfon king.

In the midst of the dangerous initiation hunt, Shard takes the unexpected advice of a strange she-wolf who seeks him out, and hints that Shard's past isn’t all that it seems. To learn his past, Shard
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published July 13th 2012 by Five Elements Press (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,460)
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Feb 27, 2013 R.A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this whole book in one weekend because it kept me that interested. And since then, I've read it several more times. It's fantastic.

Some general things I liked:
- The gryphons feel like REAL animals. They don't have magical powers. They aren't impossibly built and they are limited by the strength of their bodies and minds.
- I love the overall theme of the problems of lying. The author spends considerable amount of time over the lies of her main character and emphasizes again and again ho
Jul 20, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I want to say this was recommended to me by the cover artist (indirectly, through her involvement with the author, but recommended nonetheless). I'd been following her progress on the image for some time, and when she said that it was out, I jumped at the chance to read it. Judging by the time it took me to finish, let's say the author was quite successful. ^^

Fantasy has, and always will be, my first love. In this day and age of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and distopian novels, it
Steven Mando
Apr 16, 2015 Steven Mando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How would The Lion King look like with gryfons, more grey areas than a movie from the twenties and a strong undertone of political revisionism?

It's an interesting question, and what pushes the story through. Brought us by the pen of Jess E. Owen, this book, the first instalment in a planned series, is an unusual take on the theme of classical heroic fantasy. And as usual I'm late to the party, but I'm glad I picked it up - there's a lot of similar stories out there, but this book really shines i
Dec 27, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a wonderful, fantastical tale of fantasy and adventure, look no farther!

This was a very good book, from the intriguing plot to the vibrant descriptions. The use of vocabulary was broad, but simple, making it an easy read. The islands and all that inhabited them were described wonderfully, from the slope of the king's rocks of the Sun Isle to the red marble arche of the Star Isle. The creatures, gryfons and wolves and birds and boar, we're all described with accurate (for those that a
Gillian Bronte Adams
Gryphons, wolves, the islands, honor and glory - honestly, what's not to like? I've had this book sitting on my kindle for some time now and just got around to reading it, and I cannot fathom why I waited so long!

Jess does a tremendous job penning a non-human main character in Shard. With his desire to be honorable and do the right thing battling against his longing to serve his king and earn glory as a warrior of the pride, Shard was a fascinating character.

The gryphons and wolves that populate
Katie Salvucci
Song of the summer king

I would give this book a 3.8 rating. I would like to ride the next book in the collection.
I would like my friends and family to read and see what they think.
Denae Christine
I feel guilty for giving out a low rating; this book really wasn't bad.

It just wan't so great, either.
Characters. Shard took forever to get anywhere, and he spent most of the book in confused indecision. I like that he was conflicted, but it felt like all his decisions were against, never for, and he basically betrayed every side there was. He was willfully ignorant and frequently ignored sound advice. Some of the gryfons were just dumb, conceited, greedy, and violent to a fault (Hallr and Halvd
Excellent self published work! Very well done and a great story. While the plot kept my attention and had me begging to see what happened next. It wasn't the best I've ever read and some points were predictable but the way it was written and executed had me dying to know how things would turn out.

I like that Shard did not automatically believe what he was being told by Stigr. There were no sudden changes of alliance or switching loyalties. That made this book more believable for me especially as
Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank


Now, a couple of days after reading Song of the Summer King, I’m still at a loss for words. Totally speechless. Shard, Kjorn and all the other characters are still haunting me. I’ve never read a book that had such a great impact, that kept me thinking about all the characters, the story, the world, till days and days after. Strangely enough it also makes it difficult to write a review about a book this phenomenal. I don’t know where to begi
Dominique Goodall
Song of the Summer King – Jess Owen. (copy given in return for review)

Shard is a gryfon in danger. He and other young males of the Silver Isles are old enough to fly, hunt, and fight — old enough to be threats to their ruler, the red gryfon king.

In the midst of the dangerous initiation hunt, Shard takes the unexpected advice of a strange she-wolf who seeks him out, and hints that Shard’s past isn’t all that it seems. To learn his past, Shard must abandon the future he wants and make allies of th
Jul 15, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right from the beginning of this you are hooked. If you want to spend a few hours immersed in a completely different, completely creative and entertaining world, well, that's what you should expect.

Once I picked it up I really could not stop reading, you go through twists and turns following Shard and his journey which is really about discovering who he is. Every step of the way you meet others who you are uncertain of and questioning if they will help or hinder Shard and it brings the world of
K.M. Carroll
I’d heard about this book when an artist I follow on deviantArt did the cover art for it. (Note the gorgeous cover art, by the way.) I heard about it again when the author held a kickstarter campaign to raise money for the publication costs. So when the ebook was offered for free on Amazon, I grabbed it out of sheer curiosity.

I wasn’t expecting it to be as well written, or as good of a story as it turned out to be. Within the first chapter I was immersed in the gryfon world. Shard is a likeable
Jay Smit
Jan 16, 2016 Jay Smit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was very compelling and enjoyable story; something I hadn’t come across in a while from previous reads.

I found this book through, while browsing through some images and happened to follow a link that showed a sample of the book. I was hooked! The sample screamed of adventure and wonder.

The story had a lot of elements that reminded me of the “Warrior Cats” series plus a mix of some high fantasy but what it truly reminded me of was “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, but from the c
Dec 10, 2013 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal, fantasy, owned
It took me a couple of chapters to really get into this book and get used to it, but once I did I was hooked.

While the plot itself is pretty archetypal for fantasy, I thought the way it was carried out was well done.

First, I have no idea how Owen came up with the idea of Griffins versus wolves, but it worked and I liked it. It was very unique.

Second, you have that whole world/culture building thing that I'm so fond of. You have two different griffin "cultures" if you will and it's interesting
Sasha Jones
Sep 14, 2013 Sasha Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I originally picked it up mostly because I'm a fan of Nambroth's art and so through watching her work I heard a lot of buzz about this series, and the positivity of the Amazon reviews drew me in.

Owen writes in a way that is visually clean but impactful, lacing on details that impress feeling rather than just feeding you purple prose. The story flows on strongly from the start without any stretches that lag on or boring periods between action or
Aug 10, 2012 Kami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reviewed for

Song of the Summer King is Jess E. Owen's debut novel, and I ripped through it in less than a week. I loved her style, the setting, and enjoyed the characters and plot.

Owen brings Shard’s story to life with a style that’s rich with strong verbs and vivid descriptions. Throughout the novel I could visualize the scenes and characters—I could see the fur of the she-wolf, the ocean lit by moonlight, and the Gryfon King adorned with dragon gold. For example, here are
Rebekah Layton
I got this as a free Kindle book on the recommendation of the cover artist a while ago, and I finally got around to reading it. It was interesting to see how the author handled the characterization of the different species (the characters are mostly gryfons and wolves). She creates a beautiful little fantasy world, with neat and colorful, though not necessarily deep, cultures and politics. It’s very much a coming of age story, full of secrets and self-discovery. The characters are for the most p ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Gen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this book on Amazon under the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought...” I thought the book sounded interesting and different from anything I’ve read in a while. This book was a real winner for me. The characters were well-developed and the plot, propelling.

The world of gryphons created by this author was believable. Very believable. In fact, the author describes the gryphons’ mating rituals, habitats, and livelihoods with depth and detail. It almost felt as if the author had
Rachel Brune
A pretty interesting book, although it ultimately failed to get me excited enough to read the next one in the series.

Taking place in a world of gryfons and wolves, where some creatures have to ability to speak, if only Rashard, or Shard as he is known, is willing to listen, the book follows a young gryfon's path of self-awareness and destiny.

There are some things I really enjoyed. The characters are well-drawn, and the main character experienced some good internal conflict that the author handle
Feb 26, 2013 M.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have absolutely no idea how Ms. Owen was able to create an entire world filled with: lore, mythology, kings and queens, secrets, deception, betrayal and the like in such a short book. But she did.

I would never be able to truly summarize this book in the best way I could so I will instead give a very brief summary in my terms.

Rashard (Shard) is our protagonist, he's a young gryphon. Full blooded Vanir,a race of gryphon. His life is filled with lies and secrets that are being kept from him. when
Mar 26, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, furry
When the young gryfon Shard finds out the truth about his heritage, he's faced with a choice: stay loyal to the friends and family he's known all his life, or trust the wolves and exile gryfons who urge him to overthrow the conquering Aenir clan?

This is a good, solid story with classic themes of friendship, betrayal and a Chosen One, but what stands out is the gryfons themselves. The appearance, behaviour and customs of these mythical beasts are described so convincingly, it's easy to picture e
Mar 31, 2014 Shinyfox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely amazing. The characters had depth and were well driven, the plot was engaging and intriguing. I loved the dynamics of the Pride and the wolf Pack. I enjoyed the Exile Stigr and can't wait to see more of him in the next book.

One thing I will say was that I was easily able to call a few key plot twists early on in the book, even though I was able to do this, it did not ruin my experience with this book. Shard is a wonderful character and you can see him grow throughout thi
Oct 03, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes fantasy
Recommended to Amanda by:
I loved this book. The descriptions were incredible and I lost myself in the story.
This is a coming of age story that anyone can read. Shard is this young gryfon who doesn't really fit into the pride or into his family. When he is tested to become an adult male of the pride he discovers that not everything is as it seems and he will have to choose between what he has always known and what could be.
Some parts of the book I got so frustrated with Shard because he focused so much on some things th
May 20, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, mainly because I've never read a book about gryphons, and I enjoyed the descriptions of how they moved/fought/interacted with each other. I've read books before featuring fanciful creatures where, based on the descriptions/conversations, the book may as well have been talking about humans. Not so here.

There were a few editorial issues (missing words, etc.), but they were very infrequent.

I borrowed this book from the Kindle Lending Library, but I will more than likely
Dec 15, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid fantasy novel. If you like Norse mythology, gryfons, talking animals, and action, this would be a good novel for you. "Song of the Summer King" is the story of Shard, a gryfon that is the last full-blooded member of a conquered pride. He has been allowed to live and has become the wingbrother of the prince of the pride. When he starts to discover his past, things change for him in relation to the pride.

I liked this book and will definitely look for the others in the series. I would recomme
Ellen Hibbs
It was an okay book. 3 stars for trying something that isn't "standard".

Unfortunately, the characters, plot and sub-plots were weak. The author did try to give every character a back story, depth and feelings, but somehow, it all missed the mark.

The writing felt rushed at times, and disjointed. I often felt like the author must have forgotten to put in some key part that would make it read a little more smoothly and make a little more sense.

I like the idea and book does have potential, it jus
Victoria Gaile
Aug 05, 2012 Victoria Gaile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I enjoyed this much more than I expected to, and am looking forward to finding out what happens next: if the sequel had been available I would have bought it immediately on finishing this one.

I'd describe it as a coming of age story, that features griffins (that feel like dragons to me, but apparently there are also dragons in this world and griffins are not them) with political intrigue, secret rebellions, competing worldviews and religions, cross-species communications, divided loyalties, and
Abigail Marie
Oct 28, 2013 Abigail Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great little read! If you like YA animal fantasy, this is your book. It's engaging in a Warrior Cats kind of way but with a dash of Wolves of the Beyond. I really liked the word usage to describe the gryphons! Showed clear study of different kinds of birds and their behavior. Nothing turns me off from a good book more than drastically unrealistic animals or ones that act too much like humans. This book has a happy medium and realistic enough with just enough fantasy for my tastes.

Can't wait fo
Ruth Sophia
Jul 13, 2016 Ruth Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic beginning

I admit, I wasn't keen on this book. Gryfons? (authors spelling) I downloaded the book as a kindle freebie at the beginning of the year and finally decided to bite the bullet and read it. I wondered if there was possibly a connection to Arthur (as in, King Arthur, the Summer King), and there isn't. I didn't really expect there to be. But I what I didn't expect is just how much I would enjoy this book.

The world is so real (& I don't say that lightly) and draws you in before
Altivo Overo
Jan 01, 2016 Altivo Overo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans, furry readers
In many respects this first title in a series is a classic bildungsroman or coming of age story. Jess E. Owen has given the story of a hidden heir a lot of interesting twists though, not the least being that her protagonist is a gryfon with allies and enemies among both his own kind and the rival hunters, the wolves. Add in the heritage of a bloody conquest, and a not entirely ended rivalry between two gryfon factions (the spiritual Vanir and the more warlike and self-focused Aesir conquerors) a ...more
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Griffins, Griffon...: Song of the Summer King 3 17 Oct 26, 2012 04:25AM  
  • Amulet (DragonBlade #1)
  • The Deliverer (The Marenon Chronicles, #1)
  • A Place Beyond The Map
  • Cloak
  • The Lost Heir (The Gryphon Chronicles, #1)
  • The Riddler's Gift (Tales of the Lifesong, #1)
  • The Year of the Dragon Omnibus Edition (The Year of the Dragon, #1-4)
  • The Minstrel's Tale
  • Island of Fog (Island of Fog, #1)
  • Once We Were Like Wolves (Tears of Rage, #2)
  • Dawn of War (Blood War, #1)
  • God of Clay
  • The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches II (Keeper Martin's Tales, #2)
  • Shadowbloom (Rhyme of the Willow, Book 1)
  • A Gathering of Storms (The Ballad of Mary and Cyrus, #1)
  • The Wand-Maker's Debate
  • The Universal Mirror
  • Redheart (Leland Dragon #1)
Jess is a professional author and artist. For years she was an Equity Stage Manager in the theatre, but left that life to focus on writing. She currently serves as President of the Authors of the Flathead, an organization of “writers helping writers,” and is a proud member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her current project is a young adult fantasy series called The Sum
More about Jess E. Owen...

Other Books in the Series

The Summer King Chronicles (4 books)
  • Skyfire (The Summer King Chronicles, #2)
  • A Shard of Sun (The Summer King Chronicles, #3)
  • By the Silver Wind (The Summer King Chronicles, #4)

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“Only in stillness the wind
Only from ice the flame.
When all were Nameless, the wise will tell
It was only by knowing the other
That they came to know themselves.”
More quotes…