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The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood #1)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  6,817 ratings  ·  576 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' ...more
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published January 7th 2011
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Jami I'd say any age that can read it. It's got violence in it, but not gross or descriptive. No sex at all. A fair amount of religion (of the Narnian…moreI'd say any age that can read it. It's got violence in it, but not gross or descriptive. No sex at all. A fair amount of religion (of the Narnian type).(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura
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
...more
Clark
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
...more
Rob
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
...more
Susan
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
...more
Donna
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
Preethi
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
...more
Jo Anne B
“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
...more
Jen Blackham
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
Ellen
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
Joanna Paula Cailas
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
...more
I.S. Anderson
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
...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...


The Wretched of Muirwood is a book that I wouldn’t normally have picked up. It’s the opening installment of a trilogy that was first self-published by Jeff Wheeler through Createspace (an Amazon company) after being rejected by the traditional publishing houses Wheeler pitched it to. The book was later picked up by 47North, Amazon’s speculative fiction imprint. I’ve been skeptical of 47North titles because Amazon imprints don’t
...more
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
...more
Cee
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
...more
Manju
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
...more
Daniel Donithan
(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.
...more
Aimee Elizabeth
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
...more
Jennifer
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
...more
Karen
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
...more
Marina Mowrey
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
Alysia
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.
Christine
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.
T.E. Blair
Let me just put my disclaimer out there first. I am biased. Why? Because this was the first book by Jeff Wheeler that I read. I happened across it, and loved the cover, so I did a virtual peek inside and knew within a few lines I had to buy it.

As it turns out, this is not only my favorite book out of all of the books by Mr. Wheeler, but also one of my favorite books period. I rate it right up there with Goodkind, which for me is like giving it a gold medal. The blend of beliefs, setting and scen
...more
David Pomerico
One of my books at 47North. Biased, but love it. The conclusion to an amazing entry-level fantasy series that reminded me a lot of David Eddings (which is the reason I wanted to partner with Jeff on it) with a female protagonist.
Geoff
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
...more
Aaron
At times the dialogue is very stilted and painful to read. I also rebel against the main tenet of this book: That everything happens as the Medium wills it. You almost have to read this as a religious book, or else as a book about fate/destiny (and in fact, after I read the book I learned that the author is a leader in his local church from his 'about me'), and substitute in God for the medium. The problem with that idea is that God gives everyone free will, so the future isn't preordained nor s ...more
Andrea
This will be the review for all three books:

I read this on a law school friend's recommendation. It was definitely worth the read, and it was a bit different from other fantasy I've read. Part of that was the interesting theological bent to the magic in the story (familiar theology, although I didn't know that starting out). The story was unique, which is really hard to do in fantasy, yet it was familiar as well. Also exciting enough that I sped through the series pretty quickly. I liked the cha
...more
sh(e)reader
I haven't read "Game of Thrones" but I have seen the HBO series, and just the name "Winterrowd" was so close to "Winterfell"... I almost expected to see a STARK there :) It was in a similar midieval/fantasy setting ( also "The Thief" and "The Ranger's Apprentice" series which I've read and reviewed). I do always find NAMES interesting, expecially when they are created for a new world ... I liked these (Lia, Colvin, Sowe, Pasqua ... Muirwood).

Commenting on the religious/spiritual feel ... "the me
...more
Martin Belcher
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
Crystal
I was looking for some fun, escapist fantasy to distract me while I was sick, and this book was perfect. It's definitely readable, although some of the language is a little formal for the situation. There's also plenty of action, with the caveat that exciting events at the end pass a way too quickly relative to the first half of the book, which is mainly introduction. Lia is a plucky orphan who finds out she has more abilities than she ever dreamed, which just goes to show that well worn fantasy ...more
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BE IT KNOWN THAT: We have locked Jeff Wheeler away in Muirwood Abbey for a couple of years and have commanded him to write many more adventuresome books. He is permitted free time to roam the grounds under heavy guard. After he has written enough books that we can scarcely read them all in a lifetime, we may finally become, in our old age, sated in our quest for new characters and lands. Perhaps t ...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)
The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2) The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3) Fireblood (Whispers from Mirrowen, #1) Dryad-Born (Whispers from Mirrowen, #2) Poisonwell (Whispers from Mirrowen, #3)

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“There is wisdom in climbing mountains... For they teach us how truly small we are.” 11 likes
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