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 topics
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Elspeth Cooper was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east of England.
Her parents read her 'Ivanhoe' as a bedtime story, which was, she says, their first mistake. Then an inspired primary school teacher introduced her, at age 8, to 'Beowulf', and by age 11 she'd worked her way through every book in the house, including her Dad's Penguin Classics editions of 'The Odyssey' and 'The Iliad'. 'The Lord of the Rings' was pretty much a natural progression, and an epic fantasy adventure fan was born.
Elspeth describes herself as a voracious reader, and cites amongst her influences Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert Holdstock and Tad Williams. She currently lives in Northumberland with her husband and cats, in a house full of books.
'Songs of the Earth' was her first novel, and the first in The Wild Hunt series. The adventure continues in 'Trinity Rising', out now.
The awesome music you'll hear at the beginning and end of this podcast is by musician and composer Bart Stoop, who you can find on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bartstoop and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/bartstoop1991
Three moons are rising. They are rising over the snowy Archen Mountains, where Teia struggles through the high passes to carry her warning to the Empire: the Nimrothi war band is poised to invade and at their head stands Ytha. She means to release the Wild Hunt - and with it Maegern the Raven, the Keeper of the Dead. In the desert of Gimrael, the moons are rising over the fires of revolution - flames that have already robbed Gair of a friend and left him alone in a hostile city, unsure even if the Song is still his to command. He has one last duty to discharge, and then nothing will stand between him and his ultimate goal: vengeance. And in the Nordmen's chilly halls, Savin plays out a game in which kings and chieftains and men are but pawns on a chessboard that spans the Veil itself. Three moons are rising. When the trinity is complete, the endgame will begin.
"Characters like Teia and Gair have to use every ounce of their guile, experience and wits to navigate this potential minefield. Cooper manages to weave a web of intrigue and combine this with tough storytelling and wonderfully descriptive prose, keeping the reader engrossed and engaged. If you are not already familiar with her work, then I implore you to read one of her books, you will not be disappointed."
As Gair struggles with grief over the loss of the only home he had known, and his beloved, he is walking into a conflict that's greater and more deadly than he or his mentor 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 defense and most valuable tool, is starting to slip...
"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."
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 witchfinder would be hot on his heels while his burgeoning power threatens to tear him apart from within. There is no hope . . . none, but 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.
"Cooper has written a book that kept me glued to the page hour after hour. I am very much looking forward to the second book in this series, and I would recommend this to most readers."