Songs of the Earth

Songs of the EarthSongs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I could remember what led me to purchase Elspeth Cooper's "Songs of the Earth." If I could only remember, I'd try to make it happen again and see what really cool book I could wind up reading next. I just finished "Songs of the Earth," and perhaps the best way to describe how much I liked it was, I immediately started reading the sequel ("Trinity Rising").

The first chapter describes a frightful scene where a young man is about to be burned at the stake for being a "witch". At the last moment, he is spared but does not go entirely unpunished. Over most of the course of this novel we see this young man, Gair, taken on and trained by an order of magicians who are able to tap the "Song" to accomplish wondrous things.

After the first harrowing scene, I was a little disappointed that that was not a harbinger of things to come. But the further I got into the book, and the closer I came to the end, the more I realized that some Very Bad Things were going to happen before the end of the story. I found myself reading faster, and for longer periods, because I had to see what was going to happen next.

While I found some of Cooper's world-building to resonate too closely to what's familiar in our own world, I found her characterization splendid. Few if any of the players in this story were stereotyped. Each was interesting in his or her own way. Each displayed believable emotions and faced believable struggles.

I'm into the next book now, anxious to see where this is all going.

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