Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper
(Wild Hunt)

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Synopsis

The Book of Eador, Abjurations 12:14, is very clear: Suffer ye not the life of a witch. For a thousand years, the Church Knights have obeyed that commandment, sending to the stake anyone who can hear the songs of the earth. There are no exceptions, not even for one of their own.

Novice Knight Gair can hear music no one else can, beautiful, terrible music: music with power. In the Holy City, that can mean only one thing: death by fire—until an unlikely intervention gives him a chance to flee the city and escape the flames.

With the Church Knights and their witchfinder hot on his heels, Gair hasn’t time to learn how to use the power growing inside him, but if he doesn’t master it, that power will tear him apart. His only hope is the secretive Guardians of the Veil, though centuries of persecution have almost destroyed their Order, and the few Guardians left have troubles of their own.

For the Veil between worlds is weakening, and behind it, the Hidden Kingdom, ever-hungry for dominion over the daylight realm, is stirring. Though he is far from ready, Gair will find himself fighting for his own life, for everyone within the Order of the Veil, and for the woman he has come to love.


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About Elspeth Cooper

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ELSPETH COOPER was born in 1968 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She has been a fan of the written word since she could read unaided, and has been writing stories for almost as long. Songs of the Earth is her first novel. She lives in Northumberland, UK, with her husband and two cats, in a house full of books.
 
Published February 28, 2012 by Tor Books. 476 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Songs of the Earth

Kirkus Reviews

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While a dying Ansel tries to hold on to his authority within the church, Gair and Alderan ponder the dwindling Veil and the approach of one of Alderan's former students, Savin, a renegade of unrivaled might and malevolence.

Jan 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Publishers Weekly

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Century after century, the Eadorian faith abjured those who heard the song of the Earth, labeled them as witches, and burned them at the stake.

Dec 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

BC Books

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392) Yet fantasy and science fiction have some of the best ambiguous characters ever – rascals with a heart of gold, thieves with honor, traitors turned good such as Han Solo, Mal Reynolds, Severus Snape, Locke Lamora, even Darth Vader himself – characters who have choice, and the beauty of whos...

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

BC Books

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Bearing an uncanny resemblance to two other great villains, Tom Riddle and Darth Vader, this antagonist, too, thirsts for too much knowledge and too much power: Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

BC Books

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106 Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Examiner

As Gair reveals one untapped power after another, my dominating thought was, "Of course he has every magical aptitude possible.

Mar 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Open Letters Monthly

That price is restraint.” When Songs of the Earth opens, Gair is on trial for his life by the Church in their citadel atop the Holy City (Cooper’s world has saints but no Messiah – it’s basically a land of Unitarians), because scripture has declared people like Gair to be witches and their abili...

Apr 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

City Book Review

The important character of Savin seems entirely innocuous at first, but he turns out to be the story’s main protagonist, and many readers will find the big showdown with him towards the end of the book to be a bit abrupt.

May 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Portland Book Review

Wilson Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biologist Author of On Human Nature Sat 11 Tix are available at etix.com Sun7:30 @Powells the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories wp.me/P2DwkQ-bv0 Saturday the 2nd, 10am / Powell’s City of Books ...

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Strange Horizons

To add a few more tropes, Gair also discovers that his powers are more formidable than anyone could ever imagine (he's good at basically every kind of magic there is, while most are born with a limited number of skills), and by the end of the book it turns out that the only other person to ever r...

Feb 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

SFX

Frustratingly, rather than allowing the reader to squirm for a while with Gair, and share the young man’s agony at the way his world has been torn apart in order to better understand him, Cooper instead has Alderan – who is all calmness as he contemplates his rescue plan – explain to us more than...

Jun 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt)

Fiction Reviews

The pace and the plot does not let up in these opening stages, and Cooper plays, what I call the 'Stephen King Shining' card by frustratingly, but cleverly, switching the action away from Gair at a crucial moment to give us a tantalising glimpse of a Guardian of the Veil in action, steering a sta...

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Reader Rating for Songs of the Earth
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