“Freda Warrington doesn’t just write urban fantasy. She’s mastered it.” —Bookwormblues.net
An Aetherial Tales novel that can be read as a stand-alone or as the third compelling volume following Elfland (winner of Romantic Times Best Fantasy Novel Award) and Midsummer Night. Grail of the Summer Stars is an eerie, spellbinding contemporary fantasy in which a small mystery builds to an epic confrontation.
Stevie Silverwood’s quiet life as the manager of an arts museum is disrupted when a painting depicting haunting scenes of a ruined palace and a scarlet-haired goddess in a fiery city arrives with a cryptic note saying, “The world needs to see this.” Stevie soon realizes that Daniel, her ex-boyfriend from art school, painted the image, but her attempts to contact him reveal that Daniel has gone missing. Concerned, Stevie rushes to his studio where she bumps into a stranger, Mist—an Aetherial from the Otherworld—who has mysteriously risen from drowning in the depths of the ocean. Together they are determined to find out what has happened to Daniel—and the meaning behind the haunting image.
Stevie and Mist must uncover their lost past in order to understand the greater secrets the painting holds, and what cataclysmic events it might portend. A twisty, perilous journey awaits as they encounter friends and enemies both old and new, charming and dangerous. Who can they trust? Entwined histories reel them towards a single path, a spire of ice and a conspiracy older than humankind.
In Grail of the Summer Stars, a haunting, powerful tale of two worlds and those caught between, Freda Warrington weaves an exciting story of suspense, adventure and danger that fulfills the promise of the Aetherial Tales as only she can.
Praise for Grail of the Summer Stars
“A classy, beautifully rendered tale that persuasively builds from low-key beginnings into a complex enterprise with real heft, a rich back story and characters that grow with the narrative. A must for existing fans, while being easily accessible to newcomers.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Each book is a stand-alone volume and an absolute delight.” —Charles de Lint
“A story blending timeless fantasy tradition with fresh and vivid invention, written with such clarity and conviction to utterly engage the reader with each character and every twist of their intertwined tales.” —Juliet McKenna, author of The Green Man’s Heir
“Freda Warrington deftly weaves together contemporary art and ageless magic in this vivid, atmospheric fantasy.” —Tricia Sullivan, author of Occupy Me
“Freda Warrington spins another captivating and haunting tale in which the mystical, hidden world of the hauntingly beautiful Aetherials intersects with our own… New readers need feel no qualms about starting here as this page-turning fantasy can be read as a standalone–although fans of the two earlier Aetherial Tales will devour Grail of the Summer Stars.” —Sarah Ash, author of Lord of Snow and Shadows
“I really loved it: great characters, terrific story, very moving and involving.” —Kari Sperring, author of The Grass King’s Concubine
“Warrington is a gorgeous writer, a mistress supreme of syntax, style and pacing; be prepared to fall head-over-heels in love with her writing. Aetherial Tales, particularly The Grail of the Summer Stars with its unique mystery, left me enthralled.” —Nancy Kilpatrick, author of The Power of the Blood series
“Warrington has perfected atmosphere and her characters fairly jump off the pages. Grail of the Summer Stars is full of adventure, misdirection, and plenty of very detailed and twisted history. There’s romance, friendship, betrayal, growth, revelations and much more. Basically, it’s anything anyone could possibly want in a book. I can honestly say the only other urban fantasy book I’ve enjoyed this much for many of the same reasons is Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht. These two authors know how to write an incredible story full of emotional drama, depth and amazing world building. Freda Warrington doesn’t just write urban fantasy. She’s mastered it.” —Bookwormblues.net
“If you like your fantasy science fiction deeply layered, sparkling and ethereal, do I have a book for you… Written with lush, elegant prose, and filled with strong, engaging characters, Ms. Warrington has written a tale that is both universal and very personal.” —Litstack.com
“I loved that this new world resembled nothing currently out there in the land of fiction. It is rare to come across true originality that is so well described that the reader does not find themselves confused by the new ideas… The plot starts as a small mystery that builds to an epic confrontation without losing the reader along the way. Grail of the Summer Stars was a truly enjoyable book.” —Literallyjen.com
The eerie, gothic third installment in the Aetherial Tales (following Midsummer Night) focuses on Stevie Silverwood, an orphan with no memory of her life before the age of 15. After a troubled youth, she has become the deputy curator of a museum of metalwork; she has friends and a solid job she loves. One stormy night near Christmas, Stevie's hazy past comes back to haunt her in the form of a painted triptych in the Byzantine style. She thinks it's nothing special until a mysterious force knocks her cold during a break-in at the museum; when she awakens, the painting and her metalworking tools are gone. Soon after, Stevie meets Adam Leith, an unnaturally handsome man with a great many secrets. Together, Stevie and Adam must unravel the baffling clues possessed by the triptych, and in the process possibly save two worlds. Neither their romantic adventure nor the larger tale of battles among the Aetherial beings is particularly compelling.