by Elspeth Cooper
Cover Artist: Dominic Harman
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765331663
Date: 19 February 2013 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The wall between the real world and the world of the fae is breaking down. Having survived the assault on the Academy, Gair is grieving. Gair's rage and grief are driving him to confront Savin, but he isn't ready. In order to help him, Alderan forces him to help on a mission to the desert to search for a clue that will explain how the empire defeated the barbarians centuries ago.
The Empire and Legion from which Gair fled, is facing its own problems. There have been conspiracies and attempted coups. Now a new challenge comes. A novice attempting to earn his spurs, will challenge the traditions that have been ingrained into every member of the order.
Ytha is the Speaker for Crainnh. She dreams of power and uniting the northern tribes. She will do whatever it takes even allying with a dangerous power. She will try to use the Wild Hunt to bring the tribes the victory they were denied so many years ago. But Maegern, the Goddess has her own plans.
Teia has hidden her power for years. But a ceremony, that summoned Maegern, brings her power into the open. Teia is forced into a marriage she doesn't want, but may still be the key to defeating the Wild Hunt that Ytha called. She sees visions that may or may not come to be.
Tanith has returned to her people. She is a skilled healer, but as the heir to a powerful family, she has a duty to fulfill. But she fears the forces beyond the veil. She feels that bringing her people into the coming battle is more important than her family.
I was a little thrown off by the opening of this novel. I expected to see Gair near the beginning. Instead the first perspective was Savin. Then new characters were introduced cold. The new perspectives are important and play a critical role, but I prefer starting with familiar characters first.
As the second volume of a series, it is not the best starting point for new readers. Songs of the Earth is worth a read and is the right place to start. Overall I am enjoying this fantasy series. Elspeth Cooper writes an enchanting tale where she morphs some old legends into an interesting story. I look forward to the third volume where more of the history will be revealed and the major battle will begin.