Gollancz signs new fantasy series

<p>Gollancz associate publisher Jo Fletcher has acquired a &quot;major&quot; new fantasy series that will open in 2011. Fletcher bought world rights to three books by Elspeth Cooper from Ian Drury at Sheil Land Associates. </p><p>The first title, <em>Songs of the Earth</em>, is due out in early 2011, with <em>Trinity Moon</em> and <em>The Dragon House</em> following subsequently. </p><p>Fletcher described Cooper as &quot;a winner&quot;. She added: &quot;There is no shortage of good books out there, but when you read a really great novel you know, instantly, that you have an absolute gem in your hands. This is one of those rareties: an unputdownable fast-paced adventure with characters who leap off the page at you and leave you begging for their stories.&quot; </p><p>The books follow novice knight Gair, whose gift is being able to hear the songs of the earth, creating magic from them. But in the Holy City where he lives, that makes him a witch. Gair is condemned to death, but with help from &quot;an unlikely source&quot; he escapes to a secret retreat in the western isles, where he can learn to master his new skills. </p><p>Chased by an &quot;implacable witchfinder&quot;, Gair must also help in the fight against &quot;a renegade Guardian is striving to tear down the Veil that will release evil, uneathly monsters into the human world&quot;.</p><p>Fletcher said: &quot;It&#39;s the sort of fantasy that reminds me why I fell in love with this genre; if I were not a grown-up and able to sit up all night when I choose, I would have been reading this under the covers by torchlight until I&#39;d turned that very last page.&quot;</p>