Author : Jeff Wheeler
Category : Fantasy,Subjects,Action & Adventure,Literature & Fiction
Formats : Paperback,Audio CD,Kindle Edition,MP3 CD,Audible Audiobook,Audio Cassette
Languages : English
Pages : 300
Price : Check Price in Amazon
PublishDate : 2013-01-15
ReleaseDate : 2013-01-15
Books Floor Rating
Book Summary & Description
Instead of employing the tropes of the fantasy genre, this story borrows ideas from the various mythologies of the Abrahamic religions and unfolds as if those mythologies played out in a fantasy setting. I tend to shy away from apparently religious works, but Im glad I read this book and the remainder of the series. I found the first chapters of the sample gripping and ended up gobbling up this book and the next two in a hurry. It includes a force called The Medium, which appears to be an analogue of the Abrahamic God, but the author twists the language enough to make it an unobtrusive fantasy element, something more like The Matrix or The Force. I found it refreshing that many of the characters in this story genuinely try to do what is right. The author precedes each chapter with a quote of wisdom from our world that he has transformed into the language of the fantasy setting.
We tend to expect this sort of outcome in most novels anyway, but tension and realism are lost knowing that the storys mythology ordains it. Perhaps these are cases of the author changing the story but forgetting to strip out old language. The foundational mythology of this series appears to be the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). This book proves that the LDS mythology does indeed make for good fantasy, at least when moved to another world. However, the constancy of this theme has me advising against allowing children to read this series, because it seems to teach that morality is a business of second-guessing others. Im a pretty wide reader of fantasy, but I have to demur a little bit from all the rave reviews on this book.
I can understand the parallels that the author is trying to draw behind the Medium and real-world religious faith, but this magic system doesnt make for an interesting story. Readers that arent tired of Epic Fantasy will probably find this as a 4 or 5 star read. The Ugly: I am not educated enough on The Church of Later Day Saints, but Ive read elsewhere that Wheeler packs lots of LDS lore into this. The true test of any series is the answer to this question: Would you/will you read the next book?Instead of employing the tropes of the fantasy genre, this story borrows ideas from the various mythologies of the Abrahamic religions and unfolds as if those mythologies played out in a fantasy setting. I tend to shy away from apparently religious works, but Im glad I read this book and the remainder of the series.
It includes a force called The Medium, which appears to be an analogue of the Abrahamic God, but the author twists the language enough to make it an unobtrusive fantasy element, something more like The Matrix or The Force. I found it refreshing that many of the characters in this story genuinely try to do what is right. The author precedes each chapter with a quote of wisdom from our world that he has transformed into the language of the fantasy setting. Although the author is an extraordinary storyteller, and although I found this series imaginative and engaging, I dont see myself hurrying to read other works by this author. We tend to expect this sort of outcome in most novels anyway, but tension and realism are lost knowing that the storys mythology ordains it. Perhaps these are cases of the author changing the story but forgetting to strip out old language.
This book proves that the LDS mythology does indeed make for good fantasy, at least when moved to another world. However, the constancy of this theme has me advising against allowing children to read this series, because it seems to teach that morality is a business of second-guessing others. 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. I’m reminded of Joss Whedon’s excellent strong females in that they seem to come by it naturally, rather than the author’s creating some sort of Xena-type character that is beautiful, strong, self-reliant and essentially perfect. Their adventure was a pleasure to read, and my shoulders drooped a tad when I learned there were only three books.
Part of the premise of this world is that the “Medium” controls all and people who surrender their will to it are taken care of. There are three settings: the Abbey where Lia starts out, the swamp, and the final town/outskirt/thing where a battle happens. Somehow, though, this book manages the most cliche plot of any fantasy novel (kid of unknown origin with power beyond what she should have sets out on a journey with a mysterious stranger she hates but actually kind of likes and they struggle to get from A to B) while at the same time being one of the smallest, most poorly filled in worlds I’ve ever read. We never see another town, what regular people think, how the “medium” works in the world outside our main characters. Audio book: This is the first book I’ve listened to read by Kate Rudd.
Apart from picking a girl to center the story around, this book follows many of the common fantasy tropes including the “young unknown thrust into adventure to discover they are more than they realize”. The world Mr. Wheeler has created is one where no matter your station (King or Innkeeper) knowing your family line is VERY important. Wretched are often abandoned to the various Abbey’s around the world and sheltered until they turn 18, at which point they must make their way in the world. His characters have reasonable depth for such a short book and varying personalities. The ending is a bit predictable, but as this is rather short story, I still found it enjoyable and have already jumped into the second book. Told in 3rd person mostly from Lia, a 13-year old heroine, a “wretched” without family history.
Even a book can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and when that happens, you blame the hands, but you also read the book.
I have no problem with inspirational stories and “virtuous characters” but the plot became too predictable once Lea discovered The Medium within her. Tiresome, poorly worded, uninteresting lengthy descriptions of settings make up about a third of the book. 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 haven’t cared so much about characters in a book since I read Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince and Dragon Star stories. I laughed and cried and just fell in love with Jeff Wheeler’s writing style and the characters he has created!I have read a lot of fantasy books and I feel that I can honestly say that this book is in my top ten of all time favorites!I know that I will check out all of Mr. Wheeler’s books and I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy them as much as his Muirwood series.
The author, Jeff Wheeler self-published through Amazon and has just bagged a new contract. Can’t wait to embark upon my next journey with Lia – Book # 3. LDS fantasy writers have a hard time creating worlds with different paradigms than those of our faith, but this one was the worst. Its 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. Ive been skeptical of 47North titles because Amazon imprints dont go through the normal publishing process, and because I was not pleased with the last couple of 47North novels I read.
Authors self-publish their books in Kindle format and keep complete control, pricing their book as they like. Amazon tracks the sales (and, I assume, the reviews) of these self-published books and offers contracts to authors whose books are doing well. Thus, authors have the burden of doing the self-promotion, often taking a monetary risk by giving away a lot of free e-copies to get attention, and those people getting the free copies are acting as Amazons slush-pile readers. This is what happened to Jeff Wheeler; he gave away lots of free copies of The Wretched of Muirwood, got great reviews, and got Amazons attention. Thats a really long introduction to Jeff Wheelers debut novel, which is a story about a girl named Lia who works in the kitchen of an abbey.
Its well-written (not beautiful, but certainly miles better than most self-published work Ive read), has a nice setting, an interesting story, and moves at a good pace. This was exactly the issue I had with the last couple of 47North novels I read, though The Wretched of Muirwood is better. Wheelers magic consists of a nebulous energy called the Medium, which has its own mission and helps those who believe in it, similar to The Force in Star Wars or, more likely, the Christian Holy Spirit. After reading about Jeff Wheeler and discovering that hes a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I suspect that parts of his story may be metaphor for LDS doctrine.
She has a superior ear for the rhythm of the story and she can convincingly read both male and female parts. 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. I did highlight several quotes during reading that hit home to me . . . but I’m not sure how much they came from this author or are some of his collection from existing texts, especially the words of wisdom from “Cuthbert Renowden” included at the end of most chapters (check out some of the quotes . . . http://www. goodreads. com/work/quotes/. . . ). (Just on a GoodReads note, I am LOVING reading the various quotes from a book I just finished!)
I have started the next book in the series, which takes up RIGHT where this one leaves off (in Chapter 1) . . . then jumps a year as Chapter 2 begins . . . 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. After reading the ENTIRE book, I still have no clue why words are only engraved in gold. What’s to prevent someone from scratching letters in dust, clay or any other surface?This is a fantastic and fun young adult fantasy featuring an amazing young girl named Lia. I recently found Jeff Wheeler completely by accident when Amazon was doing a promotional push of his new Kingfountain series. The magic system (“a fantasy version of the Force”) was interesting, and the opening action scene (featuring a huge stone hanging in midair) left me breathless.
But I’m reading book 2 with pleasure, so I do recommend this series. Published in 2011, this is the first book in a series, Legends of Muirwood. Labeled a wretched, an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. The nefarious Sheriff Almaguer soon starts a manhunt for Colvin, and Lia conspires to hide Colvin and change her fate. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right. At once captivating, mysterious, and magic-infused, The Wretched of Muirwood takes the classic fantasy adventure and paints it with a story instantly epic, and yet, all its own. Lia and Colvin distrust each other, and Lia frequently regrets hiding him, but she does it anyway.
Wheeler has created a viable and logical system of magic in the medium, and it is one of the most unique systems I’ve ever read. The evil Sheriff Almaguer uses an amulet to bend the medium to his will, and he knows who Lia’s parents were. Lia, Colvin and indeed, all the characters in this book are clear, and vivid. The mood of the tale is dark, but there is intense love for family here; Lia’s love for adopted family who is the staff at the Abbey, and Colvin for his sister who knows not what he is doing. I decided to read this book because Clarion reviews gave it a five star rating. The main protagonist is named Lia, a thirteen-year-old girl with an unknown family line and snarky attitude. Lias ambition in life is to learn how to read, something being a wretched does not afford her. Overall, I would say the story is well written, had interesting characters, and moved the plot along pretty well.
The good guys of the story are just the instruments of the mediums will as where the bad guys are the ones who try to control the medium themselves. The other thing that bothered me more was the sexual tension between Lia and Colvin, the injured man in her kitchen. I do recommend this book for people who want to read a slightly different fantasy novel, or for people who like to see religious influence in stories. I was working my way through The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson) when I picked this book up to read during my lunch break. The Religion and Magic systems are very unique from other books I’ve read. It’s also a very positive story, but it manages to avoid a lot of the white-washed attributes of many other fantasy stories. If you like Brandon Sanderson’s deep plotting, but also like Patrick Rothfuss’s eloquent storytelling, Read this book.
This trilogy proved a lot to me – as a self-published author, Mr. Wheeler showed me there are true treasures out there. I know Mr. Wheeler’s books are now out/about to be out with a new publisher, and I hope he finds even more success as he is a definite must-buy author for me now. What has impressed me the most though about this trilogy, and the other books Mr. Wheeler has written, is how little time he has each week to devote to writing yet look at all he has accomplished!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 Muirwood Trilogy has that same clean feel to me, like it was written for the sake of the story, not for the hope of popularity.
Apparently Mr Wheeler was true to the story and its characters and they never faltered. 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. Stumbled across this trilogy completely by happenstance and now I can’t imagine my life without the books. 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. The story will delight and captivate and if they take the lessons to heart the same way we’ve memorized Harry Potter spells, the world would be a much better and happier place. My rating is based on my level of expectation, and the enjoyment I got out of 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. I finished the story feeling optimistic and happy–something I wish I felt after reading every book I spend time with. 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. I enjoyed the main character Lia, a 13 year old wretched (someone who wasnt allowed to read). She worked in a kitchen but wanted to be able to read like the Learners who studied the true meaning of words, how to understand and use them, and, how to engrave them into leering stones (faces of people carved into stones to represent permanence).
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- 'The Wretched Of Muirwood (Legends Of Muirwood Book 1)' is Top 10 Selling Book in Amazon Under 'Action & Adventure Books' Category.
- 'The Wretched Of Muirwood (Legends Of Muirwood Book 1)' is Top 10 Selling Book in Amazon Under 'Action & Adventure Books' Category.