I love it when authors get better. It makes it all worthwhile!
Elspeth Cooper is an author I have befriended over Twitter, beyond just the “OMGOSH! I love you!!!” tweets. We've actually had interesting conversations, albeit limited to 140 characters. Seeing her skills grow, her storytelling abilities sharpen, is a real pleasure.
‘Trinity Rising’ is the second novel in Cooper’s ‘Wild Hunt Trilogy’.
Gair's battle has only just begun and yet his heart has already been lost. As he struggles with a crippling grief, still outwardly functional but inwardly torn into pieces, he sleepwalks into a situation that's greater and more deadly than he or Alderan ever anticipated. A storm of unrest is spreading across the land and they are going to be caught up in it - at a moment when Gair's hold on his magic, his greatest defence and most valuable tool, is starting to slip...
He is not alone in noticing the growing unrest and sensing something darker looming behind it. Beyond the mountains, in the bitterly cold north, Teia has seen the signs as well. After hundreds of years of peace her people are talking of a risky invasion to reclaim their ancestral lands her Speaker claims the gods are on their side, but Teia fears another, hidden hand of stirring her people up. Whatever the truth, all she can see in her future is blood, battle and death. If she could only see a way to avert that fate.
But how can men be convinced to fight, when they have no idea they are part of a war.
I've noticed a couple of times now this thing that authors do sometimes: they’ll leave out perspectives or entire storylines from a first or second book only to bring them in later. Cooper has done this with Trinity Rising, and I think she’s done it in a way that really serves the overall story well. Here’s what she had to say about her decision to me;
“Teia's story starts at about the time Gair arrives on the Western Isles. Originally, Teia's story was included in Songs, but didn't reach a natural conclusion before Gair's, so it got cut. This way isn't perfect, but lesser evil.”
I really actually enjoyed the decision Cooper made. Not only does it allow for a fuller expression of a storyline that may otherwise have had to be chopped down, but it also helped me come to grips with where I was left; it helped me realise what I’d read, who was who, and what had happened originally.
The story felt a little rushed towards the end, which was sad because I was really getting into the characters by that point. Gair continued being a fascinating character, and the introduction of Teia and the gift of POV to Savin really helped draw me further into this already captivating story.
Cooper writes with a real passion for her characters, that doesn't stop her from bringing them into disastrous harm, but does imbue them with dimension and makes them fully relatable, no matter their age or disposition.
Trinity Rising is definitely a step up for Cooper, which is hopefully more a comment on just how good this book is rather than any criticism about her previous efforts. The use of magic, the threat and peril, and the characters in these novels are worth your time, and will bring you much joy in the reading.
Review by Joshua S Hill
This week Josh talks to UK author Elspeth Cooper about her fantasy series The Wild Hunt, her latest book Trinity Rising, and all manner of topicsYou can subscribe to our podcast through our RSS Feed or via iTunes. If you have [...]
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