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The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood #1)

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3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,999 Ratings  ·  682 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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Kasie I would agree with 10+ unless you have a really sensitive child. The older they are the more they will grasp each element of the story. I'm an adult…moreI would agree with 10+ unless you have a really sensitive child. The older they are the more they will grasp each element of the story. I'm an adult and loved it.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura
Oct 05, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Rob
Feb 03, 2015 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
...more
Donna
Jun 26, 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
Susan
May 17, 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
...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
Jen Blackham
Aug 16, 2012 Jen Blackham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jason
Mar 05, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it
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...
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
I.S. Anderson
Jul 07, 2012 I.S. Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
...more
Daniel Donithan
Oct 24, 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.
...more
Annie
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
Aimee Elizabeth
Nov 03, 2012 Aimee Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ellen
May 18, 2012 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Angela
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
Jennifer
Aug 30, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 24, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2012 Marina Mowrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alysia
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.
Christine
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.
David Pomerico
Nov 01, 2013 David Pomerico rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 24, 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
...more
T.E. Blair
Feb 16, 2015 T.E. Blair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aaron
Jan 04, 2015 Aaron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
sh(e)reader
Aug 17, 2012 sh(e)reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-cloud, ya
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
Mar 13, 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
Kat  Hooper
Mar 11, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
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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.” 11 likes
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