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The Wizard's Ward (Umbria #1)

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  899 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Years before, the peaceful world of Umbria was torn apart by the ruthless Hanish invaders... Yet that is the only life Maura knows. Until her wizard guardian announces she is to be queen--but that first she must find and unite with their country's legendary Waiting King in order to overthrow the enemy occupation. Men have searched for the fabled warrior for ages--what chan ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Luna Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I blame this book for my drowsiness this morning. I had to stay up to finish the end of this book or I would never have been able to sleep.

Maura Woodbury, an enchantress, has always led a quiet life...until her uncle announces that she is to be queen of all Umbria and she has to make her way to the Secret Glade and awaken the Waiting King who will drive the evil Han from Umbria forever and restore peace to all the land.

Just when Maura begins to accept her fate, no one counted on Rath Talward, a
...more
Lolly's Library
An enchanting story, but ultimately a deeply unsatisfying book. It's as though the author went through all the time and trouble to create an exquisite wedding dress, full of intricate details and beautiful furbelows, only to stick it on a blank-faced and soulless store mannequin. It's obvious the author spent a lot of time building the world in this book, covering not just geography, but plants and animals, even taking a page out of Tolkein's book and creating a language. Yet all this wonderful ...more
Rosu Aquabutts
QUALITY: 2
ENJOYABILITY: 4

This book is wonderfully mediocre. That is not meant as an insult.

I've spent most of this year reading genuinely good books that I fall completely in love with and I'm devastated to have to part with. This was not one of those books, and that was exactly what I wanted from it. Sometimes, a book that entertains skillfully while not completely taking you over is exactly what you need, and this is one of the best books I've read that's accomplished that.

The plot is formula
...more
Jessica Pesic
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It was okay, but a little too simple and childish. The tale lacked the epicness and complexity that other fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, Sara Douglass, and Juliet Marillier have already attained. The dialogue was a little awkward too, like the author couldn't decide what form it should take. But I suppose for the first-time fantasy reader this novel could be an okay choice (with the understanding that it only gets much much better from here)...or for any 13 year old girl.
Brittany Herz
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was told that Deborah Hale was originally a romance author that decided to move into fantasy, so I was hoping for an interesting, but not overly complicated romance story with a fantasy setting. For the most part, that was I got and I enjoyed it. Many parts of the book were predictable, but that didn't detract from the fun.
Karey
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read-owned
My first Deborah Hale book. And NOT my last. Could not put this down. Ms. Hale writes the old fashioned way: you see, smell, hear the world the characters are cast in.
Gerrie
3.5 out of 5 stars. Excellent world building. The first third of the story was a little too slow moving for me, but once the pace picked up it was very enjoyable.
A.M.G. ☮Hippie/Guru☮
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy, adventure, and romance lovers.
Rating: 4.1 / 5

This is definitely an entertaining adventure-fantasy-romance that kept me interested enough to read it hour after hour without realizing how much time has passed. More so, it makes me curious to know what's going to happen next as, yes, I have grown attached to the characters and want to see where the story takes them. It's not the 100% most original plot to go by, but it definitely has some twists and turns that keeps one interested in the story. The fantasy world isn't all that
...more
Limecello
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
So someone on twitter recommended this book/series - and a few other authors [and man I really need to start keeping track of recommendations ...]

anyway, it was cute. I don't know why I kept expecting/thinking/almost even hoping that Rath wasn't the [spoiler]? ... Just to see how it'd all turn out ...
there were some parts where it got a bit draggy - but Rath is excellent, and I have to say Maura is a really strong, well rounded heroine. She has her doubts, but she's so GOOD she just powers on.

I
...more
Lisa
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just a bodice-ripper.
Ery
Hale's book has the same sort of problems that I tend to find with novels written by those who are primarily romance novelists: the world was created and yet not enough detail was given for it to be a truly fantastical world. It was shades of Dara Joy's Ritual of Proof, where all of the questions raised in seemingly passing go unanswered. But the two hook up, so I guess it is supposed to all be okay.

We are told things again and again. Maura is a practitioner of vitcraft, which is different to th
...more
Melissa
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
The Wizard's Ward has been sitting on my TBR shelves for about three years. I found it (and its sequel) on the bargain displays at Books-a-Million and couldn't resist the pretty covers and the fact that they were fantasy stories. I'm not sure what took me so long to get around to reading these, probably the fact that I just have a massive TBR pile (both physical and virtual), like every other avid reader out there.

I really enjoyed this story! The writing is generally pretty good, though the dial
...more
Jack Murphy
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First, I'd like to say this is my first Deborah Hale book but it's certainly not my last. I couldn't put the book down. Maura Woodbury, an enchantress, has always led a quiet life...until her uncle, a kindly Wizard announces that she's to be queen of all Umbria and has to make her way to the Secret Glade and awaken the Waiting King who will drive the evil Han from Umbria forever and restore peace to all the land.

Just when Maura begins to accept her fate, she meets and saves Rath Talward, one of
...more
Nancy
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
Maura has lived a quiet life as ward of Langbard the wizard. She’s learned healing potions and balms and stays out of the path of the evil Hans who’ve conquered her land. But when she spies an outlaw fleeing from the soldiers, she feels compelled to aid him. Giving the man shelter isn’t the wisest course of action, but her guardian oddly seems to approve. And when her beloved mentor is killed, she has no choice except to join Rath on a trek to danger. Her destiny as the legendary Destined Queen ...more
Al
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book was entertaining yet some parts of the book felt awkward. Maura felt unrealistic at times, and never even admitted that "hey, maybe I do need help sometimes instead of thinking I can do this on my own". I mean she was saved by Rath more than once, sooo it is okay to ask or even have some help. Human flaw I suppose. Rath on the otherhand was interesting (a bit cliche though), however, how did he wake up? Not from the heart but physically, and did he just forget a big chunk of his life a ...more
Emily
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It just ended funny, not funny haha, funny weird. It was good up until the end. The book read as a fantasy novel the whole way through and ended like a romance novel. Gah. The point of the book was for the Destined Queen to find the Waiting King and awake him, so they could overthrow the Hannish who had invaded the country a long time ago. Except the book ended when the Destined Queen found the Waiting King. Where was the freeing of the people? It didn't even end with them being recognized by th ...more
Crystal
Jan 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished-enhs
The dialogue drove me bats--pseudo-formal and stilted diction; reading it felt similar to sinking into a vat of tar. Not that that's ever happened to me, really. And it's too bad. I'm usually into epic quests with a twist. I skipped to the end to see where my time and devotion might have led me...and I found a poorly written sex scene that entailed dueling metaphors and undulating hips. I closed the book.
Christina
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
My favorite part of this book was the setting. I loved the descriptions of the "vitcraft" Maura practiced, which was useful but also had its limitations. The constant bickering between the heroine and hero in the beginning was a little tiring, but I enjoyed watching them come to understand and trust one another.
I just learned that there is a sequel, and am already searching for it. That counts for something!
Celeste Batchelor
The beginning of this book was a bit stilted, but it warmed up. I found it fairly predictable and was very disappointed in the smutty ending, which I skipped. It had such potential like so many other fantasy books turned smutty. Just leave the smut out. If I want a smutty book, which I don't, Harlequin Romances have all that.
Gardavson
What a nice read. I enjoyed this from the first page to the last. Some times a predictable read can be just as engaging as one full of plot twists. This was one of those times. I loved the heroine, the hero, and their interactions. Plenty of action. The hero, a villain, helps the heroine as she travels across the dangerous country to fulfill her destiny. Truly enjoyable.
Ashley
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book but as the chapters ended it was clear what would happen. I like the ending but I think it could have been done better. I'm not aching to read the next one. If I happen to find it in a used bookstore I'd pick it up but not seek it out.
Jaluna Rolik
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way the characters interact and grow. This story really develops the characters well, while giving a great view of the world surrounding them and how it's shaped them to who they are, and even what will become of them. Truly enchanting.
Sadie
Nov 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, z-author-h
Only made it about 20 pages in. The writing just felt awkward and a wee bit simplistic. I don't know if that was the author trying to portray a sense of innocence or what, but the dialogue felt forced.
Linda
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! Romance, witches, wizards, manly hunks, paranormal magic... interweaved to make me hate to put the book down. I've already ordered the follow-up book: The Destined Queen. I can hardly wait for it to arrive!
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Hey, this was pretty good!
Review pending
Literographer
The ending is predictable and the characters are flat, but it's a cute story nonetheless.
Lana Kamennof-sine
What an enjoyable read. I always enjoy strong female characters and Deborah Hale manages to create characters, male & female, that are vivid and realistic. It's fantasy writing done well.
Michelle
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
romantic fantasy
Veronica
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is a really good book, not what I was expecting, but really good.

Can't wait for the next one!
Carly
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-has, fantasy
3.5
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Other Books in the Series

Umbria (2 books)
  • The Destined Queen (Umbria, #2)

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