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Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite
Soren and Ailia, along with their family, are heading to the Southlandic Kingdom to escape from Eiess and her minions. Just as they are set to leave, the Aesira Jewel is stolen. Soren takes off back north after the jewel while Ailia and the rest of the family heads south. Summer Solstice Summer is set mostly in the warm Southlandic Kingdom where most of the family is staying. Even this far away they are not out of reach of Eiess and her wicked ways. She send the Nukkern to shape-shift into Soren and try to break Ailia's spirit. Meanwhile in the north, Soren is captured and tortured almost to the point of death, leaving him little to bargain with to escape, but yet escape he finally does. E.J. Squires weaves Vikings, magic, myths and legends all into a wonderful story that will captivate you.
Summer Solstice Summer is not only the story of Soren and Ailia, but the story of Ailia's twin sister Lucia. To say that Ailia and Lucia are polar opposites is an understatement. Lucia has thrown her lot in with Eiess and is working against her sister, but in this book we see her growing her own independence a little, and she has her own building storyline. E.J. Squires takes all the great things about the Viking tales of the longhouses, the dragon-boats, the furs and cold weather, then mixes it with the legend of a Sun Queen that must reset the seasons, a jewel, and different realms and worlds, and yet it doesn't feel like a mess. It all comes together and feels like it was meant to be there, this is exactly how the world was meant to be, and the characters and feelings are so vivid that you find yourself crying and laughing along with them. This is wonderful book, the second in a series, and I feel that any age would enjoy it, young adult to older adult. Definitely something you want to look for.