Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler

cover of The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler shows a bolder with a face carved onto it sitting in a clearing in the woodsThe Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler. 47north, 2013 (first published 2011). 287p. (9781612187006) Series: Legends of Muirwood, #1

A fun YA fantasy series that I got over a year ago as an Amazon freebie but hadn’t read until now. Shouldn’t have waited so long! Drawing richly from medieval and ancient history, world religions and human nature this imaginative tale drew me in and kept me turning the pages until I’d finished all three books.

Goodreads Summary:
Imagine a world where words are so precious they are only etched in gold, and only the privileged are allowed to learn how to read. Muirwood Abbey is one of the few places where learners are taught to read and engrave, and thirteen year-old Lia wants nothing more than to learn both of these skills - yet she is a wretched, an orphan, and doomed to remain in the Aldermaston's kitchen, forbidden to read and subject to his authority. Her future is destined for preparing recipes in a privileged household until, unexpectedly, a mysterious knight-maston abandons the wounded squire Colvin at the Aldermaston's kitchen in the middle of the night. Soon after, Sheriff Almaguer comes hunting for Colvin, and Lia is thrust into the greatest adventure of her life as she and the squire are forced into a partnership that brings her closer to her dream - and Colvin closer to his fear of dying on the battlefield.

My Review:
Lia is a great heroine; she thinks she’s a nobody, even though she will play an important role in the history of Muirwood Abbey and it is exactly what makes her a nobody that makes her perfect for the job. She’s spunky, she’s inquisitive, she’s loyal, she doesn’t know any better, and she wishes for a family.

We also get to know the supporting characters pretty well and they are a part of the story throughout the series. It’s nice not to be left hanging and the author does a great job of tying them in and then closing their parts.

I really enjoyed the world and its landscape and customs – since I’ve traveled in Europe it was easy to imagine the monasteries and cathedrals that no doubt influenced the author’s description of Muirwood Abbey and the other abbeys.

(Image Source)
If you enjoy fantasy novels that get their fantastical elements from mystical powers rather than from fantastical creatures or beings than this is a book for you. If you enjoy adventure stories with a strong heroine than this is a book for you.

The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler - four star rating

Go read it! Find it at a library near you; Buy it from Amazon; Buy it from Barnes&Noble
Disclosure: I downloaded this book for free during a sale on Amazon. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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  1. Thanks for the review! I appreciate it.

    1. No problem! Thanks for writing the stories!


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