Songs of the Earth is the most compelling debut fantasy novel since Patrick Rothfuss first hit the shelves four years ago, with the stunning The Name of the Wind. Combining superb characterisation with an epic story, it is beautifully told and engaging from the very first word. Gair is under a death sentence. He can hear music - music with power - and in the Holy City that means only one thing: he's a witch, and he's going to be burnt at the stake. Even if he could escape, the Church Knights and their witch finder would be hot on his heels while his burgeoning power threatens to tear him apart from within. There is no hope... none except a secretive order, themselves persecuted almost to destruction. If Gair can escape, if he can master his own growing, dangerous abilities, if he can find the Guardians of the Veil, then maybe he will be safe. Or maybe he'll discover that his fight has only just begun.
©2011 Elspeth Cooper (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
I came to this willing to like it and I did. I got a bit confused in the middle with the names and different places but I think that was me! I was genuinely moved during the grief moments - well written. The narration was spot on and I look forward to the second installment
Having been taken in by the book's description in which it is compared to 'The Name of the Wind' I had expected a book of a similar, if not the same, caliber. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you can tell from my rating, I was sorely disappointed.
The characters are so bland and flat that a two dimensional shape would feel pangs of jealousy. Due to his lack of any depth the protagonist, Gair, is simply impossible to like. Not that you'll dislike him either; that would require him to have some sort of personality. He simply exists. While the motivations and feelings of other characters are delved into with slightly more success the descriptions ultimately fail to bring any of them to life.
The plot would be passable were concepts not taken almost directly, 'cookie cutter' style, from other fantasy titles and real history and then stitched awkwardly together. Perhaps I am being slightly too harsh and dismissive in that the plot of the book could have been acceptable had it not been poorly executed. That to me is the crux of the matter, I simply could not stand the trudging, simplistic style.
I am sure there are some out there who will love this book but it's simply not for me and I was exceptionally glad to see the end of it.
That all being said Allan Corduner, the narrator, did a fine job however not even his valiant attempt could save this audiobook for me.
Science Fiction and Fantasy is where I listen, focusing on longer books that get deep into characters and action.
I decided to try this after being hooked by another similar type of book by Patrick Rothfuss - The name of the wind.
Overall I really enjoyed this story and set ps up the next book really well.
It seems like a good story at first (although nothing like The Name of the Wind...as another reviewer has claimed) but there are far too many co-incidents in the plot. Such as the main character discovering/ disclosing he can turn into any animal...I mean come on!
I loved this book from the first few chapters. Well written with superb narration.
A thoroughly engaging read. Really enjoyed it and cannot wait for the parts.
This story is charming, well written with excellent characterisations. The narration is good, but female voices can be a bit irritating. Despite that much better than other's I have listened to.
Really great book! From the first moment you are caught up in Gair's troubles and interested in his past, present and future. The narrator does a brilliant job covering all of the characters and really helps to depict each character for the listener. If I had one complaint - it's too short!
I read bad books. I love bad books. And so when I say this is was a terrible book, I really mean it. Honestly, listening to this it is quintessentially like hearing an abridged online guide to 'writing a fantasy cliche for retarded homeless children'. The characters are stolen. The plot is stolen. The style is stolen. The only thing which might not have been stolen is the money that I paid to listen to this terrible drivel. As far as I can see the only reason no one is suing Elspeth Cooper for plagiarism is the fact that she is such a terrible writer that everything she has ripped off has been so terribly mutilated that it would be unrecognisable in court,
This book takes place in a pretty average world run mainly by overzealous priests. The protagonist is well developed and his "magic" is not particularly unique to the world of fantasy books but the way it is presented as music is a nice way of looking at it. The relationships and romance between the characters is very well developed and there is a nice mix of action, adventure, romance, discovery and despair throughout the book. Narration is good.
No matter how long I listened, no spark came. Fantasy is vast, and I expect to be transported, dazzled by the author's fantasy world. This was a damp dishrag. Sorry
I got the strong feeling that this book is the first book of many (Wild Hunt Trilogy). If this friend was well versed in the fantasy genre with its one-book-a-year series, then sure. I would recommend it. It is well written first novel set in a setting of Witchcraft, Inquisitions and Crusades. It is very familiar, yet not something I have really encountered before in any fantasy novel.
Yes. I did enjoy it and when and if a second book in this trilogy comes out I will probably pick it up as well.
Just like the first book in many a series this book suffers somewhat from trying to prepare us for the series and the next books. I felt like the first 90% of the book was spent world-building and setting up possible plots for the
Yes. The book started out very slow (and a bit boring) but it slowly got better and better as it progressed.
As the story developed I couldn't help starting to care about the different characters. How would they deal with the challenges they faced? Would they succeed? Would they at least survive? It kept me listening well into the night.
I do not agree with this being
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