Review: The Banished of Muirwood/The Ciphers of Muirwood

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

the banishedTitle: The Banished of Muirwood

Author: Jeff Wheeler

Series: Covenant of Muirwood #1

Published: August 18, 2015 by 47North

Source: eARC

In a stand-alone series set in the world of Muirwood, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and heir to the throne. As a result of her father’s ceaseless need for authority, she was left disinherited and forced to live as a servant in her enemy’s home. When the king invites chaos into the land by expelling the magical order known as the Dochte Mandar, Maia finds herself on a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret—despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it. Hunted by enemies at every turn, Maia realizes that danger lurks within her, too. Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself free and save the realm she loves—even if that realm has forgotten her?

This was an ok book. I expected more from it. Maia is an exiled princess due to her father(the king) of trying to divorce her mother and he thought the only way to do it was to strip Maia of her title and force her to become a servant to the new Queen (reminded me of Cinderella). Maia doesn’t care because she knows that she will always be a princess no matter what her father tries to do because legally he can’t divorce her mother. Maia is sent on a journey by her father to reclaim a covenant that has long been vacated. Along the way she is met with a lone hiker, a prince, and her swordsman. She soon realizes that the power she has is not only her own.

This was at times confusing. The first chapter alone was confusing-I felt like I missed out on the first half of the story. We find Maia waking up in the middle of the forest with no recollection of her going into the covenant but then later on in the story she flashes back to it but there is no reference from before. I felt like a chunk was missing :/ Maia is a strong woman but she grated on my nerves at times. She was weak at times and her right vs wrong was very black and white. There was no gray area and maybe that’s how Mr. Wheeler wanted her to be but for me it was just annoying. It dragged in some parts but the writing was really good and descriptive. I loved the world building and learning more about the world!

I did pick up the second book which you can read about below. BEWARE: Spoilers below for the next book in the series!!


I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

ciphersTitle: The Ciphers of Muirwood

Author: Jeff Wheeler

Series: Covenant of Muirwood #2

Published: September 15, 2015 by 47North

Source: eARC

From the moment she was banished by her father, the king, Princess Maia journeyed to seek sanctuary at Muirwood Abbey, the epicenter of magic and good in the land. Now safe for the first time since her cruel abandonment, Maia must foster uneasy friendships with other girls training to be Ciphers: women who learn to read and engrave tomes of ancient power, despite the laws forbidding them to do so.

As Maia tries to judge whom to trust, she makes a shocking discovery: her destiny is to open the Apse Veil and release trapped spirits from her world. Then she learns that her father is coming to Muirwood Abbey to celebrate the Whitsunday festival—and Maia’s estranged husband, whom she was forced to abandon, will join him. Torn between deadly political machinations and unstoppable spiritual forces, Maia must channel unknown powers within herself to save her friends, the abbey, and the entire kingdom of Muirwood.

Maia learns the truth about who inhabits her body and it’s someone evil and wants to take over the world. Maia learns more about her past, her true feelings and meets her grandmother. Maia must learn who to trust since the voice in her head is now quiet.

Maia is again weak and sees only black and white-no gray. There was also an information dump a lot during the story and it bothered me. Mr. Wheeler also brought in characters from another one of his stories which I have not read so it wasn’t as exciting as I’m sure other people would think. It just confused me more-like I should know more about these characters than I did. Again, the world building and descriptions were beautiful and I loved learning more about the Abbey but the characters fell short.



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