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Synopsis (From Amazon)
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.
Things I loved:
This took me awhile to get really invested in, but once I was drawn in I really enjoyed this story! The magic System was wonderful, and curious. I think Wheelers ability to build such a fascinating world is remarkable! Beautiful descriptions are what kept me reading this.
The main cast was developed well enough, but no so much that they can’t be more fully throughout the next two books of the series. One of my favorite characters, Sowe was really only in the book for a little while. Though, I do hope that she’ll be returning throughout the next two books. She really felt like she fit the world that Jeff had created. She knew her place, knew what she was, and didn’t really question it. Though some people might find this a bit annoying, I felt like it worked really with Sowe’s timid personality.
Colvin was probably my second favorite character. He was kind, but not over done. He cared about Lia, and I predict he will become a love interest for her in the later books.
Things I didn’t like so much:
I know she’s the main character, but I really didn’t find myself caring much for Lia. Though, to be fair I wasn’t all that fond of the audiobooks narrator.- She did a fine job! Her voice kept me reading the book, but in my honest opinion, she made Lia just a tad obnoxious to listen to.
I stopped listening to the audiobook the last few chapters, and found that Lia was much less obnoxious that way. — I liked the narrators performance for the rest of the time, but since Lia was the main character, and I felt like the voice being used didn’t represent her very well it was a bit of a let down.
That being said my biggest critic of the book is that Lia is so strong with the Medium, the magic that Miurwood uses. This could be due to her lineage, and could be explained later on, but I couldn’t help but find it odd. She was supposed to be an outcast, with no education. So the fact that she was so strong, so early on with seemingly no explanation by the end of the first book had me tilting my head. Just the tiniest bit. Though I’ve still two books to go, plus the spin off.
All in all, if you like fantasy, and a very different magic system I can whole heartedly recommend The Wretched of Muirwood! I’m very much looking forward to continuing the series, and seeing Wheelers writing improve as time goes on. 🙂