The Wretched of Muirwood


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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.

My thoughts:

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. 🙂


This Savage Song Review

Warning: This Review may contain Spoilers. 

This Savage Song is the first book in the Monsters of Verity Duology by V.E Schwab.  synopsis can be found here.

This is a must read for any musician, or just anyone who has a passion for music. For those of you in High School Orcestra, one of the main characters is a violinist! Anyway onto some of my more in debth thoughts.

Despite the book having “monsters,” It’s not a “horror novel.” It has reaper, and vampire like creatures, yes. However, even the most skidish, scardy cats will be able to get through this book without any real issue. There’s murder, and death, but it’s also a Young Adult novel that takes place in a high school for a good chunk of the book. Don’t let the whole “Monsters of Verity” fool you. It’s a fast paced YA novel.. If you can suvive something like Maggie Stievaters The Raven Boys, you can most definately get through This Savage Song.

“Sunai, Sunai eyes like coal. Sing you a song, and steal your soul.”

*The Flynn Family: Henry and Emily Flynn have adopted three “children.” Really, they’ve taken in all three Sunai. Monsters who are the equievelent of the grim reaper in the world Victoria has created. Ilsa, Leo, and August.

This is one of those rare instances where the reader can take it both figuratively, and liteally. While August, the youngist of the three siblings reaps the souls of sinners using a violin. It is the eldist, Ilsa who makes the quote above have a literal meaning. She sings a soul of a sinner- As in a person who has committed murder- to the surface. Ilsa is undoubtably the most gentle of the Flynn siblings. She has also been the most “sheltered.” Though, a more accurate word to describe the only Flynn sister’s situation would be self imprisonment. She was the first Sunai to be born, and is arguably the strongest. When Ilsa went dark for the first, and only time she reaped nearly an entire city.

Leo is the most deadly, and the most twisted. He is manipulative, and takes pleasure in “cleansing the world of sinners.” Leo can use any instrument to reap. It seems that he doesn’t actually believe in this whole famly Dynamic that his parents have created, but he will still use terms like “brother” and “sister.” Most likely because he knows it’s what August wants to hear. to believe. It’s a manipulation tool for Leo, and boy does he do it well!

August was born as a result school shooting. His choice of weapon is a violin. Supposedly, it was the first instrument August heard, and so thats why he uses the violin. He is also the most “human” out of the three. August spends most of the book wishing that he was human. Which gives him the most debth out of all the three sunai.

The Harker Family:

Alice Harker has died in a car accedent years prior to the beginning of This Savage Song.

Kate is Alice and Callum’s only daughter. She was with her mother when she passed. The accident left her scarred from Temple to jaw. Kate Suffers from PTSD.

Callum is the opposite of Henry. He houses the Malchai, Corsai, and takes the peoples money to “protect” them.

“Malchai, Malchai, sharp and Sly. Smile, and bite, and drink you dry.”

The “vampires” of this world. Sloan, the main antagonist. Callum Harkers “Pet.”

He’s almost like a mirror of Leo. Manipulative, and cunning. Will use whoever, and whatever  he can to get what he wants. For whatever reason, thats a dead Kate.

Sloan is not very likeable, but he’s not meant to be likeable. You’re supposed to hate him. While he’s very much a cliche villian, it doesn’t really take away all that much of the story.

Know what you’re getting into. It’s a YA novel, chock full of typical YA cliche’s. However, This Savage Song is still very much enjoyable. The characters are very compelling, they’ve got a fair amount of depth to them, and it will speak to any music lover.