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The Wretched of Muirwood

(Legends of Muirwood #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  20,414 ratings  ·  1,225 reviews
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 name ...more
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by 47North (first published January 7th 2011)
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Jedi Jax Yes, absolutely. This is one of the most romantic trilogy!! I love Lia and Colvin!! =)

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Laura Warde
Oct 04, 2012 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
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 i
Feb 18, 2013 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 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
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant!

Wheeler was recommended to me by so many of my Goodreads friends and I am glad for it! It's been a long time since I took a risk on a book and came out on the other side having had enjoyed myself.

One of the reasons why this book is remarkable is its consistency. From start to finish, the Wheeler delivers on excellent writing and strong storytelling! The characters are memorable, well fleshed out and compelling. I am not a fan of good versus evil themes, but this was a refr
Jun 24, 2013 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 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
Kat  Hooper
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

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
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
Feb 02, 2013 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 03, 2017 rated it liked it
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
I.S. Anderson
Apr 11, 2012 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
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 ...more
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
Em Lost In Books
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
I went into this one blind, as is my newfound tradition this year, and as much as I enjoyed The Wretched of Muirwood I was not blown away.

There are Orphans, and there are Wretcheds. While an orphan's parents are dead, wretcheds are simply abandoned by their families.

In the world Wheeler has created, the magic, which is called the Medium has power over all things, and only the Mastons and Learners are able to wield it.

Lia, a rather mouthy wretched who is very powerful in the Medium, and wants t
Jen Blackham
Aug 13, 2012 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
Apr 11, 2012 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
Crystal Starr Light
Our novel opens with a storm. A man, John Hunter, comes into the kitchen to tell the chef, Pasqua, to make up 500 loaves of bread. A massive storm is outside and causing havoc - people will be heading to Muirwood Abbey for sustenance. Meanwhile, young Lia Cook, a Wretched (an abandoned child/orphan), overhears and steals one of the rings that John Hunter dug up from outside.

Fast forward to when our young protagonist is 13: Lia Cook hears a pounding at the kitchen door. What looks like a Knight h
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, e-books
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...
The Book Goblin
I didn't like it.

Se a fuller (but still brief) review at

The Book Goblin
Sierra Lynn
3.5 Stars

For just finding this at my library it was pretty good. the only thing that i didn't like about this is thoughts/ info before each chapter. it seemed to take me out of the story every time i read them even tho they gave information. i really like Lia she is a very interesting chara. i like how strong she is and kinda cocky in a way. im hoping she gets to understand what she has and i hope she learns about her family and how to control what she has. i cannot wait to see what happens to h
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
Daniel Donithan
Oct 23, 2013 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 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
Aimee Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2012 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
Feb 24, 2012 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
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
Marina Mowrey
Feb 17, 2012 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
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Wretched of Muirwood [July 5, 2020] 7 8 Jul 06, 2020 08:08AM  

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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

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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