The Wretched of Muirwood, the opening novel in the Muirwood Trilogy, is the tale of the orphan Lia - who is part of a pariah caste known only as the "wretched", a people unloved, unwanted, and destined to a life of servitude. Forbidden to read or write, and forced to slave away in the Abbey kitchen, Lia is all but resigned to her fate. But when an injured squire named Colvin is abandoned at the Abbey kitchen, opportunity arises, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her life forever....
Her plan becomes a perilous one when a nefarious sheriff starts a manhunt for Colvin, and the land is torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army. Ominous and illuminating, Lia sets out on an epic quest for freedom with hopes to unravel the secrets of her concealed past.
©2013 Jeff Wheeler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
What an amazing package?! Original story set on another world - a magical one at that and yet I felt as if I had always known the concepts, their way of life even their language. Utterly captivating, cleverly written and totally addictive. Such an accomplished performance. A complete, mesmerizing combination.
This historical story was easy to listen to. I am now moved on to book 2
Game of Thrones.
Sometimes her voice is rather monotonous but she adds to the different characters with her different voices. Very good.
I listened to the sequel Muirwood series first, having the first in the series on a whim. I quickly became hooked and started on this series as soon as I'd finished. Really rich story and characters that you come to genuinely care about.
Being written by someone with a talent rather than an agenda.
There is a strong whiff of religious fervour, I kept expecting the trust in god theme to descend into outright Christian proselytising. Although god isn't mentioned, the author has evidently spent too long watching Star Wars and is stuck with the idea of The Force padawan.
Having a better story to read.
The middle and the end.
Will not be bothering with the others in the series.
"An unexpected gem"
This book was offered at a discount and not many seemed to have listened to it. Based solely on this my expectations were not high as to the books content. I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised to find a story which excelled in every way. It was well written, well paced and rooted in human emotion. Each character is complex (and gets even more so in future volumes.) It is an old world book about magic but don't expect any Lord of the Rings type creatures. The story works perfectly well without them. I found myself thinking of the book when away from it, caring and wondering what would happen next to the characters and Jeff Wheeler never disappointed me.
Kate Rudd does an outstanding job in her narration with both male and female voices. She gives each character a distinctive voice with emotions that you can hear the change. (Not all the males sound the same no matter what they are feeling.)
This book and this series is highly recommended!
"Nice Surprise from Unknown Author"
I wasn't sure what to expect when picking out this book, and was pleasantly surprised with an engaging listen - follows the story of an orphan kitchen girl as she helps an unknown knight.
Nice, strong girl lead, characters a bit cardboard cut-outs- act asone would expect - the shy sidekick, the wise leader, the fiesty girl, the rough on the outside, tender on the inside cook. But the plot and premise is original.
A good listen, and I bought the following one in the series.
"Better than Jeff's other book Fireblood"
I'd just completed "Fireblood: Whispers from Mirrowen" and had fairly low expectations when beginning this novel. I was pleasantly surprised. It is hard to believe that they are written by the same author. This story was so much better than Fireblood. The narrator was better as well.
I found I could empathize with the main character Lia. I celebrated her victories and lamented her defeats. It was such a stark contrast from Fireblood where I didn't really care if any of the main characters lived or died. They were all a rather unsavory bunch.
That being said you can tell that writing is not Jeff Wheeler's day job. That doesn't diminish from my enjoyment but you can tell his writing lacks the depth and polish you would find from a fantasy author who makes his living as a writer. I suspect Mr. Wheeler will get there someday if he keeps writing and I would encourage him to do just that.
If you're looking for something polished or an epic fantasy this isn't it. If you want a solid story with a likable main character I'd recommend you pick this up.
"The Wretched of Muirwood: Book 1"
This was a surprise to me. I read the book and enjoyed it not thinking that it was outstanding so surprise when I found myself thinking about it for several weeks after I read it. I am now almost thru book 2 and still don't know what took my attention but I am hooked on the story. Good characters that come alive without being aware that they took root in my mind. Very good writing, good story line and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys other times and magic.
"Narrator can kill a decent story"
The story itself is decent. Typical fantasy with the protagonist discovering they are special rather than the ordinary person they have been told they are. No surprises there. So don't listen to this story for novelty. Sadly, it is the narrator who makes the story almost too hard to listen to. She fluctuates from sing song words to a stilted articulation of every syllable which is so distracting that it keeps the listener from being lost in the story. I purchased theses books without listening to the example. If I had, I probably would have just read the kindle edition.
The way magic works in the world is interesting.
A different narrator.
"Coming of Age Story"
First, I've listened to all three books in the trilogy, so this review covers all of them.
When I first read the summary for this book I wondered why I had gotten it, but luckily it was a pleasant surprise. I'm usually not too fond of coming of age stories but this one was pretty good. The characters developments grow through the story. Even minor characters have depth to them. There's magic and action. I read some reviewers who said there was a lot of preaching and religious aspects but I didn't find it overwhelming or even really thought of this as a religious book, unlike some I've accidentally listened to. After all, the main character was raised in an Abby and the storyline is centered around them.
Lia starts out as a wretched (what we would call an orphan) in an Abby. We get to go along with her on her adventures as she discovers who she really is.
The narrator did an excellent job and added a lot to the story.
The narrator, the story itself is not all that complex or wonderful, its entertaining and likeable but as a book by itself i would probably not remember it after a week.
I would probably recommend it to a younger crowd, teenage years to enjoy the teenage angst.
"Great ideas and wonderful narration"
I have not listened to but about a dozen audio books. Given that I really enjoyed this book I rank it close to the top. I have not heard Kate Rudd before and think she is wonderful.
I liked the whole concept of the magical source known as the "medium" and how it Is used. Very near like how god gives powers to prophet of the bible I think. I like the fact that the person with the gift to use the medium must allow the medium to help them make the decision to use said power. I like the main character. I found the setting interesting. It is a YA book and I find that refreshing from time to time. I have chosen to purchase the other two books in the series.
The main character Leaha (not sure of spelling). I also liked the crazy maston knight Medera.
I would like to but don't have time for that.
It not Tolkien or Robert Jordan. It's a YA book that I think does a great job and is entertaining.
I had high hopes after reading previous reviews. There was nothing special about this book, it was very average. It filled the time, but I found the main character pretty annoying at times. It is a coming of age story, however the young girl just comes off as a complaining winer rather than a woman trying to find herself. There were times when you just wanted to tell her to "shut up" :-X
I would move on. There is better stuff on Audible.
"Will the Real Wheeler Please Stand Up"
HUNGER MADE THE CALMEST MEN CRANKY
I will be honest, after listening to this I looked the author up on the internet. The whole time I was listening, I felt that this was probably a female writer who was using a male pen name to capture a new audience. The writing had that sort of feel to it. According to the internet, Jeff Wheeler is a man and he is married with children. I think if you like Bujold, Moon, McCaffrey, or LeGuin you will like this. Also a little similar to Butcher's, Lord of Fury series.
I believe this to be an early work of JW's and it is obvious he can quit his day job now. I was not thrilled with it, as I had trouble with the main character. I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her, she was so bull headed. Yet, I am married to a bull headed woman, go figure. I won't continue the series, but you might like it.
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