The Wretched of Muirwood
Author: Jeff Wheeler;
Narrator: Kate Rudd;
This is a fairly typical YA fantasy where an orphan girl is raised as a servant but discovers something special about herself. It’s quite a slow read, actually, because not much actually happens for a while. Most of the magic system is obscure, at least in this first book. So much goes on that is supposed to be mysterious that it was just annoying after a while.
The protagonist, Lia, is engaging to a point but does not follow rules and ignores advice. She is supposed to be an independent, strong character, I assume, but she seemed quite selfish at times and did stupid things, even when she knew better. Colvin, the squire who stumbles into her life, is mostly useless, at least in this volume. Several other characters are more interesting, including Pasqua, the abbey cook, and the scary Sheriff who hunts for Lia and Colvin.
The writing was quite good, including fine descriptions of the medieval-like world. The plot, as I said, was a little slow, but this was not an action-packed story. The narration was fine, although Ms. Rudd gave Pasqua a very irritating voice. Otherwise, pacing was good and accents were distinctive.
This is volume one of a trilogy, The Legends of Muirwood, and you need to continue the story to reach any conclusions; The ending is not a cliff-hanger but doesn’t resolve any issues.
No bad language, no sex, some violence; suitable for tweens and teens