S.A. Thorup's Reviews > The Blight of Muirwood

The Blight of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
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I had mixed feelings about this book and the last book, but I'll mostly talk about Book 2 in this review.

Things I liked:

Again, very clean book. It presents some great contrasts between good and evil, including mortal and immortal entities. I like how the author delved more into the theological background of the world, which is heavily influenced by LDS doctrine (he claims influence from the writings of Josephus, which probably talks about some of that stuff too, but I wouldn't know for sure, as I've never read it). The idea of Idumea and the Essaios, godly beings who dwell in another world, was a nice development, although it was info-dumped on the reader quite suddenly when I think it should have been introduced in book 1.

We got to see a lot of good character development, at least on Lia's part. I might be mixing it up with what I read in book 3, but it seemed like descriptions of Colvin got monotonous: he looked hard an angry almost all the time. Lia, though, was still a gem when it came to character development, and I like the good and hard times she went through.

There are a few good villains introduced in this book. There's the dowager queen Pareigis, a seducer if I ever saw one. There's also Dieyre, whom I wanted to strangle multiple times, as he likes to make sexual references and is a sexually promiscuous character. I applaud Wheeler for making me feel that angrily passionate about a character.

Things I disliked:

Like I mentioned, Colvin's character seemed monotonous, and doesn't seem to change a whole lot. The last part of the book seemed to drag somewhat.

I wish that Wheeler would have gone more into the theological background of the world from the beginning of book 1. Though I like the idea of Idumea and Essaios, it took hundreds of pages out of the entire series just to explain it. It would have been great if he even did a simple prologue in book 1 touching on just what these things are. It would have made other things, like the Medium, make a lot more sense; otherwise it was needless mystery.

I mentioned earlier that Wheeler was influenced by LDS doctrine. I've been inspired by it in my own writing. But there is a difference between being influenced and inspired. In my book, influence is more copying ideas word for word persay, rather than forming similar ideas with different aspects, which would be inspiration. In this book, readers are introduced to a sacred maston ordinance, or ceremony, that was way too close to the Temple endowment that LDS members can participate in. I'm not saying it's bad; it made me uncomfortable because that particular ceremony is very sacred to me, and I don't think it should be lightly written about in fiction. Even though I'm an LDS member, reading this book and book 3 has actually made me more adverse to books written by LDS authors that have obvious references to LDS practices. I don't think Wheeler was trying to be blasphemous, but he came way too close for me.

As well as that, this book started coming across to me as much more preachy than the first book, and focused more on the message rather than the story, unfortunately. I'm all for a good message, and the message was good (fighting evil, self-discovery, and others), but if it unbalances everything else in the book, I become less interested and even uncomfortable.

The plot was weak in this book. We are introduced to the Blight, which seems to be the focus of this book, but after the first few chapters or something, nothing seems to really happen with it until towards the last 4th of the book. The way the Blight is presented and what it actually does is very vague and frustrating to understand.

The last thing I'll touch on is the exposition. There is a lot of info-dumping from characters, where there could have been more showing instead.

I enjoyed reading about Lia the most. 3/5 stars.
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Reading Progress

July 21, 2014 – Started Reading
July 21, 2014 – Shelved
July 25, 2014 – Finished Reading
November 25, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
January 28, 2015 – Shelved as: clean-reads

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