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The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
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The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  12,652 Ratings  ·  852 Reviews
Imagine a world where words are so precious they are only etched in gold, and only the privileged are allowed to learn how to read. Muirwood Abbey is one of the few places where learners are taught to read and engrave, and thirteen year-old Lia wants nothing more than to learn both of these skills—yet she is a wretched, an orphan, and doomed to remain in the Aldermaston’s ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published January 7th 2011 by CreateSpace
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Jackie***Obsessed with my Kindle Yes, absolutely. This is one of the most romantic trilogy!! I love Lia and Colvin!! =)
Rollie Reid Yes, I did, it was what drew me to the book. Do you realize that muir also means moor, and is the Scots Gaelic word for sea. If you read the book, you…moreYes, I did, it was what drew me to the book. Do you realize that muir also means moor, and is the Scots Gaelic word for sea. If you read the book, you will see that at one point muir is used in the sense of moor.(less)

Community Reviews

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Oct 04, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
I stumbled onto Amazon with a overfilled glass of Malbec looking for something, anything, to stave off the boredom of Sunday evening. After clicking around a bit, I chanced across this book.
Now, the nebulous "they" always tell us to never judge a book by its cover, but in my particular state of mind, the term "wretched" jumped out at me. The reviews were good, and the price tag better, so I purchased, and it whispered over to my Droid.

The best part about this book is that it's well-written and
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

I wanted to LOVE this book, as it was recommended to me by a dear friend of mine. But I don't think we were meant for each other, sadly.

I want to stress that it wasn't BAD, I just don't think it was memorable . Which is kind of a problem when it comes to fantasy, in my opinion.

The main issue I see is that this is a foundation novel, it spends most of it's time setting up the premise for the novels to come. And it does nothing to disguise that fact. So very little action, lots of intro
Feb 18, 2013 Clark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like looking at a kid's paint-by-number project. Yeah, it's fine. All the colors are there, in the right places, mostly staying inside the lines. It's exactly what I expect, exactly what I predicted it would look like when the brush first hit the page. I can't say I'm disappointed. I'm just not excited.

Lia's actually pretty interesting at first because she bucks the safe path and takes some big risks to get what she wants. Ironically, it's when she's out on the road and her life is actually in d
Mar 14, 2013 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: Jenny (Reading Envy)
Executive Summary: A decent fantasy story. Quick and easy reading. Nothing especially great, but has me interested enough to jump right into book 2.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listened to read by Kate Rudd. Ms. Rudd is a good reader, but nothing spectacular.

She sort of does voices for some of the Male characters, but seemed to read all the female characters in her own voice.

She has a clear and pleasant sounding voice, but I didn't find her performance to add anything extra to the bo
Fantasy, with recognizable religious messages — mainly Mormon undercurrents. Faith versus fear. Family, ancestry, resurrection. Clean living. The Medium represents the Spirit, or God. The "myriad ones" are demons.

Told in 3rd person mostly from Lia, a 13-year old heroine, a "wretched" without family history.

At first I thought the book was going to be quite intriguing, with the empty tombs, the floating boulder, the gargoyle "leering" from every rock. I liked Lia, and felt for the decisions she h
Jun 24, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jeff-wheeler
I don't really do very good reviews. I guess this is more of a comment than a review, so I hope you don't mind but I HAD to let people know about this book! I was a bit skeptical at first because I bought it on my Kindle for about $3.00. I read the little sample that Amazon provides and was intrigued! Well, I started the book on Friday night and finished it on Saturday afternoon! I could NOT put it down! I haven't cared so much about characters in a book since I read Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince ...more
May 14, 2013 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a lover of fantasy and sci-fi!
But not this book.

This book was annoying on so many levels. There is an emotionally abusive male main character. The female main character doesn't dare touch or talk to him for fear of his unpredictable outlashes of abuse. But she continues to serve him, coddle him, heal him, save his life, allowing the abuse. It is a terrible example for any young adult to identify with.

Then there's the writing itself. Tiresome, poorly worded, uninteresting lengthy descriptio
Jul 17, 2012 Preethi rated it really liked it
What a wonderful surprise this book was and so glad to have chanced upon it! To think that I borrowed it for $0 on Kindle. I feel guilty that something so precious is available for free. I am on to the second book in the series, 'Blight of Muirwood,' again 'unputdownable'.

Writing style is marvelous, added to that is this enticing story-line, marriage between Pride and Prejudice and brand new Fantasy with a slew of characters who jump off the book ,grabbing your attention from page 1. I could no
Apr 03, 2017 Snooty1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
I liked it...didn't love it.
The pacing was good, and the magic was intriguing. I enjoyed that importance of self confidence and courage in the acceptance of the medium. It felt a little to "convenient" at times but I'm not entirely sure what age this book is geared towards.
The thing that I didn't get, was that Colvin was an ASS to her most of the book, and she just keeps saving him and following him??? Huh??? A THANK YOU would do just fine. I get that she wants to read, but he was an A-hole way
Jen Blackham
Aug 13, 2012 Jen Blackham rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this read. A medieval setting in a fantasy world ... it was a little slow to start for me, having to learn the characters and customs. In the author's note at the end of book 1, he states that he collects "snippets of wisdom" from our own history (religious and philosophical)and weaved them into this series. There were several things that did sound familiar (any LDS reader will likely see parallels to BOM stories)and the Law of Attraction ... "That which you fix your heart to, believin ...more
Erstaunlich guter Zufallsfund in der Kindle Leihbücherei. Ich erinnere mich vor einiger Zeit eine englische Leseprobe runtergeladen zu haben. Leider hat mir diese damals nicht so gut gefallen, dass ich sofort das restliche Buch lesen wollte. Fataler Fehler, denn das ist Fantasy der angenehmen Sorte. Ich warte jetzt entweder sehnlichst auf die deutsche Übersetzung des zweiten Teils oder knöpfe mir in zwei Wochen das englische Original vor (auch als Leihe verfügbar), wenn ich wieder neu ausleihen ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
4 Stars

This is a fantastic and fun young adult fantasy featuring an amazing young girl named Lia. It also has an interesting magic system.

Review to come...
Nicholas Kotar
I recently found Jeff Wheeler completely by accident when Amazon was doing a promotional push of his new Kingfountain series. I was intrigued by his "clean fantasy" branding (honestly, I'm a bit over grimdark), and an interview he did in "hostile territory" at the Grim Tidings Podcast showed him to be an intelligent, interesting man.

So I came into this series with every intention of loving it.

The beginning was pretty good. It reminded me of the first chapters of Anthony Ryan's Blood Song, but w
Connie Jasperson
Today I am reviewing "The Wretched of Muirwood" by Jeff Wheeler. Published in 2011, this is the first book in a series, Legends of Muirwood.

The Blurb:

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 wh
I.S. Anderson
Apr 11, 2012 I.S. Anderson rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because Clarion reviews gave it a five star rating. I usually don’t go by what critics say, but in an effort to be more supportive of independent writers, and since it was in a genre well within my comfort zone, I gave it a try. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

The story is well written and draws you in right from the start. The story takes place in a world different from our own with some of our older philosophies mixed in. At first, the world appears
Daniel Donithan
Oct 23, 2013 Daniel Donithan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Minor Spoilers, nothing plot revealing at all, but beware)

This book was amazing! I was working my way through The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson) when I picked this book up to read during my lunch break. I could not put it down.

The Religion and Magic systems are very unique from other books I've read. The whole setting just breathes a sense of awe, depth and history. Wheeler really appeals to your senses, making you feel like you are in Pasqua's kitchen, or walking the ancient Abbey grounds.
Feb 21, 2013 Cee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommend
My favorite of the trilogy, mostly because when I started to read I could not put this book down. Except I had to, which was annoying - darn work! I loved the unfolding of this story, loved Lia and very much enjoyed traveling along beside her, and positively am envious of the magic system Mr. Wheeler has created.

This trilogy proved a lot to me - as a self-published author, Mr. Wheeler showed me there are true treasures out there. And, that those treasures can find enormous success even without t
Apr 11, 2012 Ellen rated it it was ok
The premise of this book teased me with such potential. The idea of a world where words were so precious that they could only be engraved in gold, where those who don't have proven parental pedigree are deemed "wretched" is compelling. Add in the magical aspects of a special power called the Medium, and I should have been sold on this book from the get-go. I found myself so disappointed by this book. After reading the ENTIRE book, I still have no clue why words are only engraved in gold. What's ...more
Aimee Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2012 Aimee Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I love this series. It is cleanly written and, while it goes beyond allegory and into theology, it never felt moralising to me. That said, it is young adult fiction and ought to be classified as a five star 'light read'. I don't mean that as a put-down, just to make sure readers don't walk in with expectations too high and miss the story.

I once heard an author say that he knew that most books never got published, so he only hoped to write a story he'd be happy to have in a box in the attic. The
Feb 24, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this trilogy. It's been a long time since I have enjoyed a series so much. One reason I love it is because this series stays strong through the end. The characters have stayed with me long after I closed the book.
I'm not sure how to describe this trilogy other than it is a romance about good verses evil. At first I felt a little strange when the characters discussed their religion, but after talking with several people I realized how little I know about other religions. Many religions h
Joanna Paula Cailas
Aug 23, 2012 Joanna Paula Cailas rated it it was amazing
Stumbled across this trilogy completely by happenstance and now I can't imagine my life without the books. I'm currently reading The Blight of Muirwood.

Graceful language, lovable characters (Pasqua and Jon Hunter and Colvin Price, the Earl of Forshee, and Lia herself. I adore Lia), a world of magic and belief so uniquely and enticingly arranged/rearranged, Lia's mysterious past and lineage. *squee* And such lovely, lovely lessons and applications on the law of attraction a.k.a 'What you think a
Marina Mowrey
Feb 17, 2012 Marina Mowrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It was free on my kindle, which always makes it easier to try something new and unknown! My rating is based on my level of expectation, and the enjoyment I got out of reading this book. This is a fantasy story, with a little historical realism. The protagonist /narrator works in the kitchen of an abbey, but that abbey is not quite typical of usual abbeys. I liked that the author didn't explain everything straight out, you had to read along and wait for the world to be revealed. There were some r ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! I typically don't enjoy reading stories with medieval settings, but mixed with the magical elements within Jeff Wheeler's creativity, the setting was very interesting for me to walk through.

The writing is fluid, his characters are well developed, and the tension had me eagerly flipping pages.

What I enjoyed most about reading this book is the feeling it left behind. The main characters' internal struggle with staying positive during adversity and their fa
Dec 30, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not totally sure why, but I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps it was just different enough from what I've been reading lately? The characters have a rather formal way of speaking that might be off-putting for some, but for me it worked well with the feel of the story: something of a medieval-type fantasy.
Jo Anne B
Feb 21, 2012 Jo Anne B rated it liked it
“It begins with a thought.”

This book was a mix of the religious, spiritual, and magical. There was also a lot of symbolism in this book that got the reader thinking. The premise was that a person can be born with the ability to communicate and draw strength from the Medium. Was this “Medium” another name for God or something spiritual or magical? This was left up to the reader’s interpretation to add intrigue to the story. This is reflected in these passages from the book:

“In as much as you str
Apr 14, 2013 Manju rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star, 2013
It is a pretty cute, simple and quick. This is my second fantasy series (first was LOTR, which I didn't complete as I'd watched the movie version). And just like LOTR it also it is the journey of unknown land by our protagonist.

So Lia is a 13 year old wretched who was found at Muirwood Abbey when she was a little child. Now she works as a cook in the kitchen. Lia has only one wish for which to fulfill she would do anything. Because she is a wretched she is not allowed to educate. She wants noth
Martin Belcher
Feb 09, 2013 Martin Belcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I am so glad I found this book and completely by accident whilst browsing Amazon. Weary of reading so much identikit fantasy out there with no originality, I thought I would read a few of the reviews and give it a try to see what all the fuss is about. Well I was not disappointed! This is fantasy with a fresh feel, a very original world and incredibly likeable characters, it has a knack of drawing you in from the first few pages and not letting you go until the end and then wanting more! I reall ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know why I bought this book in December of 2013, but I am SO glad that Books on the Nightstand Bingo encouraged me to read it! (It’s the square with an author who shares my name – I’ve already re-read Chaucer and most everyone spells my name Jeff anyway.)

I’d been making my way through Not Gay on my iPad and didn’t want to take it to the beach, so I pulled this up on my Kindle and was absorbed within minutes. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly that pulled me into the book
Feb 02, 2013 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun story, but so BLATANTLY Mormon in its inspiration that it's almost a copyright infringement, seems like. I would have given it more stars had it been a bit less in-your-face, copied-directly-from-scripture. LDS fantasy writers have a hard time creating worlds with different paradigms than those of our faith, but this one was the worst. Even if he had changed the wording on some stuff, since some phrases were taken straight from the scriptures. The glasses that mount on a breastplate t ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Alysia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I know some will balk at me comparing the author with c.S. Lewis, but he really reminded me of him. There are so many religious undertones throughout the story. It made me think about myself and submitting my will to God, and made me think of other aspects of my spirituality as well. When a book can direct my thoughts in that directiona and in what aspects I can become better, I really love it.
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Jeff took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state's majestic redwood groves. He is also one of the founders of Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Sc ...more
More about Jeff Wheeler...

Other Books in the Series

Legends of Muirwood (3 books)
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)

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“There is wisdom in climbing mountains... For they teach us how truly small we are.” 12 likes
“If it looks a bit rough, a little worn, with little splotches - those have the swetest flavor. The ones that are perfect on the outside tend to be a bit more bland. That is true about many things in life.” 12 likes
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