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The Druid (The Dawning of Muirwood) Paperback – May 1, 2022
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An abandoned child becomes a singular inspiration to the mythology of Muirwood in an epic series by Jeff Wheeler, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Muirwood and Kingfountain novels.
Eilean was born a “wretched”―a lowly foundling raised by the Aldermaston of Tintern Abbey. Then she’s chosen to assist in establishing the new abbey of Muirwood, now the site of a castle in the swampy Bearden Muir. Eilean’s role is as night servant to the druid Mordaunt, the king’s exiled advisor―and prisoner. He’s clever, dangerous, and invaluable to the Aldermaston.
Mordaunt’s priceless secret: the hiding place of an ancient tome that reveals the existence of other worlds and the magic between them. Mordaunt knows how potent its words are and how dangerous they could be in the wrong hands. But can Eilean win him over? All she must do is gain Mordaunt’s confidence and trust and persuade the apostate to divulge his secret to her. But as she learns more from Mordaunt, Eilean’s loyalties begin to fray. And the risks are greater than she imagined.
Despite betrayals, deceptions, and the deadly motivations of others, a girl from the flax fields is about to rise above her station. By exploring the potential of the power of an ancient spoken magic, Eilean is coming into her own.
“Wheeler loads his tale with magic, intrigue, and believably conflicted characters. Readers will be impatient to know what happens next.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Action and intrigue are Wheeler’s bread and butter, as are stories with the core value of virtue without ambiguity and gratuitous violence, all on display here.” ―Booklist
“A superbly crafted novel of magic, fantasy, and mythology.” ―Midwest Book Review
Praise for Jeff Wheeler
“Wheeler once again blends exciting confrontations with depth of characterization and superb world building.” ―Booklist
“Jeff Wheeler has always been one of our more dependable storytellers. Knight’s Ransom adds to his reputation. A fine page-turner.” ―Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Jeff Wheeler is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the First Argentines series (Knight’s Ransom, Warrior’s Ransom, Lady’s Ransom, and Fate’s Ransom); the Grave Kingdom series; the Harbinger and Kingfountain series; the Legends and Covenant of Muirwood trilogies; the Whispers from Mirrowen trilogy; and the Landmoor novels. He left his career at Intel in 2014 to write full-time. Jeff is a husband, father of five, and devout member of his church. He lives in the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about Jeff’s publishing journey in Your First Million Words, and visit his many worlds at www.jeff-wheeler.com.
- Publisher : 47North (May 1, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 333 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542034752
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542034753
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #90,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2022
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Part of the issue that I had when I was trying to get into this story was probably my own determination of trying to figure out the whole why and where and who of where exactly we were in the timeline. After a while, I realized that that was actually kind of ridiculous and decided to just go with the flow and find out what was happening like a normal reader. I mean, I knew a heck of a lot about what had actually happened in the future, now I just needed to read(listen) and try to understand how this new information fit into what I already knew.
This story takes us back to the very beginning and to the building of the Muirwood Abbey. This Abbey becomes EXTREMELY important in the future, but at this time, it is not even completed. We get to meet Eilean who was a "wretched" and the story takes off from there. Honestly, I found the story captivating and interesting. Maybe it was because I already knew more information about the Muirwood Abbey, but honestly, I don't think so. Mr. Wheeler made this story interesting enough that someone coming in completely cold without any prior information would be captivated.
This story is the "prequel" the VERY beginning of everything that those of us who have been a part of this entire series (gosh, and at this point I don't even know how many books it entails but it is a whole heck of a lot) this is the beginning. And what a beginning it is. At this point in time, I can honestly say that I do not know how everything is going to tie in and make sense...I only know that it will.
This was a great entry to this new timeline and I cannot wait to get to the next book.
Mr. Wheeler.... you are amazing. just thought I might mention that.
I must say, if a book has such high qualifications, I don't mind knowing I have to read the next in the series, to finally see resolutions for all the situations being described. For I really look forward to another book, continuing to see what will happen next. All I can add here, without doing a whole book review, and giving away too many tidbits, is, if you like reading good literature, which we were still taught in the 1950's and 1960's, maybe 1970's, but which young, serious authors, just don't seem to have heard of, I encourage the reading of Jeff Wheeler 's novels. Perhaps it's his historical education, but Mr. Wheeler seems to have esoteric knowledge of religion, philosophies, and occult teachings that show that humanity, at least certain, serious students, have innate talents that show just what magical creatures we really are. Bravo! This series really deserves the 5-Star rating I gave it.
I have to say that I was a bit shocked with the state of Maston Order here. Each and every book from Muirwood (previous two series I read) depict them as very noble, just, honourable and trustworthy order. And here... well, it does not look as such. But this is "dawning" of Muirwood so maybe I should not be so surprised after all :).
The Druid is definitely a nice experience and should be read by each Jeff's fan and other fantasy lovers as well. Off to next one where, I suspect, situation will become much more complicated for my favourite characters!
Top reviews from other countries
I liked the story idea and the characters are good, with believable strengths and weaknesses, although both idea and characters felt underplayed to me, with many missed opportunities to add depth, detail and interest. Even if I hadn’t known that this was the first book in a series, I would have guessed it, as it felt as though it had fallen into the ‘setting the scene’ trap, which often leaves the reader with a weak initial story, as the author intends for better things to come.
For me, the disappointing thing is that it wouldn’t have taken much for this book, and potentially the series, to be exceptional. As it is, there’s no burning desire to buy the next one, which is such a shame, as there really should be.
I wonder whether the mistake was setting the series in Muirwood again. Sometimes I found I was thinking of the other series based around Muirwood rather than concentrating on this one. This book is like a prequel to them and he does reference some events that we later learn about in those books. Maybe I'm just not that good with prequels.
Other than the above, I enjoyed the characters. The author always writes strong female characters and this series so far (I've read books 1 & 2) doesn't disappoint in that regard. The other characters are strong too but I don't think the story grabs you quite as much as his other stories do. That said, I'm still looking forward to book 3. Unfortunately I have to wait until February 2023 but I'm sure it will be worth it.
Still 4☆, so I recommend both book 1 and book 2. Just not 5☆ this time.
I now realise this series follows on from his previous muirwood series, this does read well but does imply a degree of previous knowledge, a bit like reading the rings before the hobbit
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I enjoy the age old debate about what makes good and evil and I love the old English stories of Merlin, druids etc. The book isn’t set in England although some English place names are used. There are parallels with Christianity which are not explicit. And some of the made up (‘power’) words are real words. I love a good fantasy and tales of magic but found this mash up gave an overall sense of confusion.
The book is the first of a series so there’s no sense of completion at the end which again leaves one feeling bereft