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Songs of the Earth | [Elspeth Cooper]

Songs of the Earth

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (213 )
5 star
 (77)
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 (88)
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Overall
4.1 (84 )
5 star
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Story
4.2 (83 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Nottingham, United Kingdom 12/04/2012
    Richard Nottingham, United Kingdom 12/04/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    3
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    "A Rich tapestry and engaging characters"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abbie Kilkenny, Ireland 09/05/2012
    Abbie Kilkenny, Ireland 09/05/2012 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    21
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    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Henfield, United Kingdom 10/04/2013
    Jack Henfield, United Kingdom 10/04/2013 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Songs of The Earth"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marc United Kingdom 21/09/2012
    marc United Kingdom 21/09/2012 Member Since 2012

    Science Fiction and Fantasy is where I listen, focusing on longer books that get deep into characters and action.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen"

    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.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexis CANTERBURY, United Kingdom 18/07/2012
    Alexis CANTERBURY, United Kingdom 18/07/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
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    "Interesting"

    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

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Sheffield, United Kingdom 22/12/2012
    Jack Sheffield, United Kingdom 22/12/2012 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "contains spoilers"

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis London, United Kingdom 30/04/2013
    Louis London, United Kingdom 30/04/2013 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "this is a terrible book"

    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,

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR Sidcup, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    MR Sidcup, United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Story"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas YORK, United Kingdom 10/04/2013
    thomas YORK, United Kingdom 10/04/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "Nothing really new but still good"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Old Hall Green, United Kingdom 19/05/2012
    Melinda Old Hall Green, United Kingdom 19/05/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Fantasy Flop"

    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

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Eivind
    New York, New York
    11/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The beginning"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Elspeth Cooper? Why or why not?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peppermint
    Berlin, Germany
    13/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good start"
    Would you listen to Songs of the Earth again? Why?

    Yes. The book started out very slow (and a bit boring) but it slowly got better and better as it progressed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not agree with this being

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

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