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Guest Post from GreenBeanSexyMan: Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper

Back in December I got Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan a book to review for me. He has finally finished the book and so here is his review. You can also check out his twitter: @Andydoesitagain if you want to see what else he is up to when he is not doing guest posts for me.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: October 6, 2009

Publisher: Tor

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Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long since my last review. When GreenBeanTeenQueen brought this book to my attention, I told her that I would be happy to review it for her blog. However, I must confess that I procrastinated picking it up and then took my time leafing through the first few chapters. As it turns out, I am just a bit shy when it comes to new books, but after I got into the story I was kicking myself for taking so long to get into it. I just finished it yesterday so here are my thoughts.

About the book: The story focuses primarily on an excommunicated knight named Gair as he struggles to understand the magic inside him. Set in a world similar to medieval Europe, Gair attempts to come to grips with who he is when the teachings of the Church and Knighthood that he was raised in clashes with the fact that he is naturally gifted with magic. Excommunicated and tortured for being a witch, Gair is banished from his home. Physically and mentally broken by torture, he flees a group of knights who desire to see him killed rather than banished. As he runs, Gair is rescued by a man who not only seems to know a lot about the Church and the Knighthood, but seems to know a lot about magic as well.

Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says: I really enjoyed this book. In some respects it is similar to Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series, but is much more optimistic in tone. The characters are approachable and amiable if a tad one dimensional. Gair has a faintly Potterish personality, but has a more adult viewpoint. The villain is interesting but underdeveloped. The point of view is mostly from Gair and perhaps 2 or 3 others and because of this I believe that we as the reader suffer a lack of perspective.

Ms. Cooper excels in her descriptions of nearly everything, and her words paint visions of a vibrant world. The system of magic in the world is beautiful and potent even if there doesn’t exactly seem to be system of rules that govern it. Perhaps the magic’s simplicity and organic nature are what make it so beautiful, but I wish there was more structure to hold up that beauty. The love story is tender and passionate, but also shallow and predictable. The storyline of the Church was compelling but overshadowed by Gair’s adventures. I am certain that these storylines will merge later in the series and that is where this series will really gain traction.

All in all, I think that this series has enough depth to bring the story arc to an exciting conclusion, but I am not entirely sure I will be staying around for that conclusion.


  1. Can I just say that, although I enjoyed your review, I love your name (Mr.GreenBeanSexyMan) even more? This is the first time I've heard it ! Looking forward (hopefully) to more of your posts. :-)


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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee