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. 🙂

Our Dark Duet Review

**The first half of this review will be what I would consider to be spoiler free. All major spoilers will be put under a read more tag to discuss all major character deaths and things of that nature. Those are what I consider spoilers.**

Our Dark Duet is the second and final book in the “Monsters of Verity” Duology . The fist book in the series is This Savage Song.

Our Dark Duet synopsis as it is on the dust jacket:

Kate Harker isn’t afraid of Monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. August Flynn once yearned to be human. But no longer. He has a part to play, and he will play it. No matter what the cost. The war has begun. The Monsters are winning. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new Monster is waiting- one that feeds on chaos and brings out it’s victims inner demons. Which will be harder to concor: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

Let’s talk about character development and how it was done really, really well with August, because he was the one I felt had the most ups and downs overall over the two books. Yes, Kate certainly had her fair share of it. Not nearly as much as August though.

August has essentually taken up Leos position- and since you’re reading this review, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that you already know that Leo is dead. If you have not read the first book in the series, then well.- That happens and now you know. August also has Leo’s voice constantly going through his head. At first, I thought the poor boy might be experiencing some sympotoms of PTSD. Over the course of the book, and by the time the book broke back into part two, I firmly believe that Leo’s soul perminantly resides in August, and he listens.

This was one of the most frustrating things . Augusts’ dramatic personality change during the first part of the book and about halfway through part two, after Kate’s return, he comes to his senses, and sort of tunes Leo out. Then we get to see the August we knew and fell in love with during TSS. I understand the change. I just didn’t find the progression of in all that natural. That being said- In his defense, it very well could simply be because Sunai are naturally controlling. Leo being as manipulative as he is, probably progressed the change. And in a way, August just kind of accepted and gave in.

He starts to back peddle a bit when he is reunited with Kate, as stated before. Kate knocks sense back into him, and Leo has less of a hold over him. Kate gave August back his “humanity” and I think it’s a wonderful display of friendship. It shows just how much Kate means to August.

Kate, had very little character development in comparison, however I also felt that not much character development was needed with her. She had spent a good chunk of her life fighting, and inner turmoil.  The best character development seen from Kate is that she can finally bring herself to let people in. To accept help when she needs it.

Although the reader doesn’t get to hear all that much from the newer characters, (With the exception of Alice) they were all good. Which leads me to believe that this might not be the last we see from Verity. Somewhere in the future- perhaps not the near future with everything Victora has on her plate for the next few years. It’s a fairly safe assumption that there will at the very least, be a short novella.

For those of you who love Diversity! A new Sunai has arrived! And they go by they/them pronouns!

That concludes the spoiler free discussion of this book. If you have not finished Our Dark Duet, proceed with caution. I will be discussing the ending, and who did not make it to see the end of the series.

I believe the epic conclusion is worth the read!

Links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble provided for convenience. Not sponsored in any way!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab/1124651131

Continue reading “Our Dark Duet Review”

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.