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. 🙂

Wandfasted By Laurie Forest

I absolutely, unapologetically adored The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. When I heard that a novella would be coming, I was very, very excited!

Synopsis:

A prequel to The Black Witch.

The Kelts have attempted genocide of Tess’s people. She’s a level three Mage saves the day, and is forced to wandfast. A fast that had initially been forced upon her by her religous zealot of a Grandfather, quickly turns to legitimate love.

There were a lot of things I loved in Wandfasted. I loved that readers of The Black Witch could easily connect the dots. Things connected, and flowed really well between the characters. Just like The Black Witch, the writing was beautiful. I could picture the world super clearly in my head! It was nice to finally meet a lot of the characters, see what they were like as younger people, and just get to know Tess and Vale.

Though the Novella was enjoyable to the very last page, my biggest critic for this novella is that the ending, while light and fluffy, felt really underwhelming. The book had a great beginning! It was full of action It showed the beginning of the war. However, after Tessie is Wandfasted to Vale… the book takes a very different turn.

As in it is very romance focused. Something that should seem fairly obvious! The Novella is in fact titled, Wandfasted! I’m not usually a romance reader, but that still didn’t stop me from enjoying the novella as a whole.

It was really, cute. Though another criticism. (And this may be answered in the future.) We never really know what happened to Jules! He is mentioned a bunch of times. I kept thinking that the novella would create some sort of rift between Vale and Jules. However, he just never came back.

He was mentioned quite a bit by other characters, but never actually appeared again, and I personally found that really disappointing.

Though the Novella wasn’t quite as action oriented as I hoped it would be, I still found it enjoyable. I highly recommend it. Even if you have not read The Black Witch! It’s a short read, and I honestly feel like if you read this novella first, you would feel very differently about it.

Get the ebook here:

Directly from the publisher:

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488027857_wandfasted.html

Amazon:

 

 

Our Favorites Are Not Perfect

I absolutely adore Maggie Stiefvater. She is my #1 favorite author. My queen. The Moon of my life! I read The Raven Cycle no exaggeration, at least once every two-three months. I adore the world she has made, I love the characters, I love Will Patton. I love her art. You get the idea. I adore Maggie Stiefvater.

But just because Maggie is my favorite, does not neccissarily mean that I believe her writing is the best thing I’ve ever read. In fact, I think the opposite. Her writing can be very, very wordy. Sometimes often flowery, and a tad bit overdramatic. I can admit that. I accept that. Her writing flows, and she tells her story in the best way that she knows how.

I wouldn’t call her a “guilty pleasure” because she’s very much not. I am not guilty at all for loving Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. I love Blues family. I love the magical realism, unapologetically. And yet, there are so many flaws. And I take them for what they are. It does not mean I love anything about it any less.

TRC is not the only work I’ve read by Maggie. I’ve also read the first book in the Shiver series, The Scorpio Races, and now I’m lucky enough to have an ARC of “All The Crooked Saints.” I haven’t finished it yet, but while I was reading all of these I noticed some things all of these stories have in common.

There is no way of distinguishing which character you’re inside the head of, unless Maggie spells it out for you on the page. The character that sticks out the most distinctly for me out of all these works? Ronan. Ronan is the only character I’ve come across with her that has his own little inner monologue, narrator, head voice, whatever you would prefer to call it.- And I’m not just saying that because he is my favorite either.

You know you’re in Ronan Lynch’s head, not just because he dreams, but because of his mannerisms. He’s the typical bad boy, the only one I’ve spotted so far, that has his own voice on the page. Because he’s so different from the rest of the characters.

I also decided to stay away from Shiver because I don’t know what it is about Young Adult werewolves,  but they just don’t mix with me. Not a fan of them, and so needless to say, I found Shiver very boring.

I was so very excited to read The Scorpio Races. Then I started reading it, and I became very much less excited. Why? Not because horses were eating people! But because I just couldn’t tell the difference between the two characters when the POV changed. I’d forget who was who. It became exhausting to flip back and fourth to go “Oh okay, thats what character I’m listening to. I gave this book two chances, and I’m considering giving it a third.

The read through I attempted was just the book itself. I stopped reading a few chapters in for the reason’s I listed above. I let the book sit around for a few months and after looking at it hopefully for awhile, I decided to give the audiobook a try. Maybe that could help me know who was who!- Well, it certainly solved the whole “Who’s Point of View am I reading from” issue. And this time around, I managed to tough it out, and get through it. However, I didn’t really enjoy it. I couldn’t get past the “sameness” of it all.

i’m noticing this slightly less with ATCS. I love how Maggie always has some sort of animal in her work. It shows her passion and enthusiasm for wildlife! (And also cars if you read TRC.)

So why am I writing this? Because I still love her. I still put her at the top of my “favorite Author” list. Despite all these flaws. Despite her not being the best writer, her ability to write realistic characters, and have a passion for them. To make them feel real, makes all the difference in the world to me. Sure, they might have a “sameness” to their monologues. But that doesn’t make me love them, or her any less.

Our favorites are never going to be perfect, and it’s important to acknowledge that. We can love something to heaven, hell, and back again, but it’s never going to be perfect.

Don’t shy away from acknowledging your favorite authors flaws. Embrace them with open arms, and never, ever feel like you have to apologize for it. Just remember to acknowledge that they exist.

How I Wish More Series Ended

I’m sure that we’ve all been here before. You’ve finished a series! Yes! And the Author has been kind enough to tie up all those loose ends! How kind of them! You’re probably thrilled. I admit, I love when this happens. However, life doesn’t always get a nice wrap, complete with shiny wrapping paper, and a nice big bow on top.

I wish more authors left us with loose ends, and broken hearts. What made me think of this? Or just about this topic? Last night I finished Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, and I cried.

Which really isn’t all that unusual. I went in knowing I was probably going to cry at the end. I was expecting them to be “Oh man! That series was so great!” tears. And they were that, but they were also tears of ‘Why did -insert name here- die?’

It wasn’t wrapped up nicely. And that’s fitting for books about wars. Really, all it comes down to is that it doesn’t matter what side you fight for. People die. there are no “real winners.” I think Victoria did a fantastic job with it.

I also hope that George RR Martin will leave me with the same feeling when that last book finally gets released. Or probably more accurately… I hope thats the same thing season 8 leaves me with. A wrap up that’s real. Not a gift.

Spoilers under the read more. proceed at your own risk. MAJOR spoilers for the ending of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Continue reading “How I Wish More Series Ended”

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.