By Elspeth Cooper
Tor Forge, $24.99, 480 pages

When adventure, magic, romance and action are combined into one book, it makes for a great read. Fantasy fans will enjoy Elspeth Cooper’s debut novel Songs of the Earth. Gair is a young Church Knight in training who hears music. Unfortunately, anyone who hears the songs of the earth is considered to be a witch and condemned to death. Accused of witchcraft, Gair is brought to trial, found guilty and sentenced to death by burning. However, after an unknown benefactor, Alderan speaks on his behalf, Gair is granted clemency. The death sentence is commuted to branding, excommunication and banishment. Alderan initiates Gair into the secretive Order of the Guardians of the Veil where he can learn to embrace and control his magical abilities. Along with the other members of the Order, he is challenged with patrolling and protecting the weakening Veil between worlds from the dangers of the dark Hidden Kingdom. Cooper’s book is character driven and features quite a few sub-plots in conjunction with the main story arc. Songs of the Earth is the first part of The Wild Hunt trilogy. Fans can anticipate more adventure and magic to come.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin