Book Titles: ‘The Wretched of Muirwood’ (Book #1) | ‘The Blight of Muirwood’ (Book #2) | ‘The Scourge of Muirwood’ (Book #3)
Author: Jeff Wheeler
Legends of Muirwood
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Magic
‘The Wretched of Muirwood’ (Book #1)
In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. All but doomed, her days are spent toiling away as a kitchen slave under the charge of the Aldermaston, the Abbey’s watchful overseer. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the kitchen’s doorstep, an opportunity arises. The nefarious Sheriff Almaguer soon starts a manhunt for Colvin, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her fate. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right. At once captivating, mysterious, and magic-infused, The Wretched of Muirwood takes the classic fantasy adventure and paints it with a story instantly epic, and yet, all its own.
‘The Blight of Muirwood’ (Book #2)
The Aldermaston, the protector of Muirwood Abbey, is directed by the Medium to make Lia the new hunter of Muirwood. This will take some doing and a lot of training, but with leather bracers, a shooting glove, and quivers in hand, Lia rises to the challenge. Her first real order is to protect Ellowyn Demont from rivals like the Queen Dowager and the Earl of Dieyre. Lia knows very little about the princess’s land of Pry-Ree, but when Ellowyn is abducted, Lia will join forces with Colvin to bring her back. Lia and Colvin must venture into the heart of a fallen kingdom, one devastated by an encroaching sickness called the Blight. It is here that a dark new secret is revealed – one that will make safeguarding the Abbeys nearly impossible.
‘The Scourge of Muirwood’ (Book #3)
When a deadly plague is unleashed in the land of Muirwood, the fate of the world is placed in the hands of a young woman named Lia. Charged to be a magical protector, Lia volunteers to be sent on a desperate quest to rescue the squire Colvin, her love, and his pupil Ellowyn Demont, the alleged heir to the fallen kingdom of Pry-Ree. Still recovering from the injuries of her last adventures, Lia sets off across land and sea warning the kingdom of the oncoming plague. The journey leads her to Dochte Abbey, where her friends are supposedly held. Instead, though, a fallen enemy lies in wait for her, as well as an unbearable new truth. The revelation will force Lia to choose between the lives of her closest friends and her deepest desires…
The trouble with reviewing books is deciding whether or not you should be objective or subjective. That’s why I take the easy route and just share my experiences while reading. I read the three books in very quick succession, so it is hard for me to remember which book things happened in. Hence the series review.
I really enjoyed Wheeler’s writing style. The characters had an engaging (at least for me) way of interacting with each other. That helped me become engrossed in the world and invest in the characters. I have noticed that I am now increasingly picky about writing style and narrative voice. I just don’t have any tolerance for stories where I find those things jarring (hence why I gave up on ‘A Glimmer of Hope’ after only 11%).
I was pretty sure I knew Lia’s secret from early on the in story, and although there were attempts to convince me I had it wrong eventually I was proved right. My main motivation for devouring the books so quickly though was not the magic or the intrigue. It wasn’t learning about how society worked in the world. Nope. It was the romance.
And I hate myself a little bit for it.
Remember when you read the ‘Twilight’ saga in a matter of days because the angst was just so real you became addicted to it? A similar thing happened to me in this series. Now please don’t misunderstand me, these books are FAR superior to ‘Twilight’ but as the story lost its way a little bit across the three books I just kept reading. I read past bits that made me momentarily think ‘huh?’ so that I could see the lovers finally unite.
The world created in the Muirwood series is explored by Wheeler in another series but I won’t be picking those up. The last book just left me feeling meh. Which is a real shame, because for most of the series I was much more engaged than that.
So would I recommend The Legends of Muirwood? Yes. Definitely books 1 and 2, and then prepared to be a bit disappointed with the third one.