Title: Songs of the Earth (Wild Hunt Quartet #1)
Author: Elspeth Cooper
Publication Date: 2011 (MMP2012)
Overview: Gair was a knight for the Church until he is accused and found guilty of witchcraft. He’s branded and outcast, left to die. His only hope is a mysterious old man named Alderan. They depart for Alderan’s home, where people who can hear the Songs of the earth are trained to control their powers. There he learns that a force much greater than the Church is about to wreak havoc on the world, a force that comes from his own kind.
For Fans Of: George RR Martin
World-Building: This book is mostly set up for the rest of the quartet. In it, we learn all about the general set up of the world: its government, magic, threats, and general history. The descriptions of these are thorough, if not always riveting. Overall, Cooper makes it enjoyable, but it at times feels like the book is all world building and no plot.
Character Development: The main character, Gair, is interesting. He doesn’t really grow too much throughout this book, but I suspect that has much to do with the first book setting the background for the next three. What we do learn about him is interesting, he has a conflicted past, some self-doubt, and a great deal of inner strength –not to mention power. I thought the most interesting part about him is his history with the church. As a former novice, later cast out by the church, he has a lot of continued faith, calling for help from the Goddess whose people so violently rejected him. I suspect this will be one very interesting thread later in the series.
Plot: As I said before, this is really just the layout and set up for later plots. As far as the plots in this book itself go, it is very slow. I think it will pick up a lot in pacing and interest in later installations. The bits of plot that have formed and will be carried out are very promising. I’m interested to see how Cooper contrasts Gair with Savin and to see how the Church plays into the plot later on.
Book Depository Link: http://www.bookdepository.com/Songs-Earth-Elspeth-Cooper/9780575096165