What is it?
Who wrote it?
What did I like?
As with The Wretched of Muirwood, this book has beautiful descriptions and strong-voiced characters, as well as a fully developed world and cultural history. There are so many times throughout the story where I can picture myself walking in Muirwood Abbey or snacking on a legendary Muirwood apple. I really disliked the main character, Lia Cook, in the first book because she whined a lot, but in this book, set two years later, she has matured quite a bit and is a lot more likeable as a protagonist. Lia has become the Hunter of the Abbey and has learned how to fight, how to track, and how to survive.
The Blight of Muirwood is fast paced and engaging. It’s one of those books that I really had trouble putting down once I got into it.
What didn’t I like?
The Blight of Muirwood is a pretty good follow up to The Wretched of Muirwood, but I won’t be shy about saying the first book was better. I enjoyed it well enough to download the third book, which I plan to start reading soon, but I’m concerned about the direction the characters are heading. Both the protagonist, Lia, and her romantic interest, Colvin, displayed some harsh emotional mood swings in this book, but the damage the hurtful words did seemed superficial—or at least Lia recovered too quickly. Maybe the point of the book is to prove that forgiveness is the way to go, which I have no problem with, but Lia restores him to his previous place of friendship without a second thought. Maybe the author is trying to communicate something, but a girl like Lia isn’t going to just accept someone who said those kinds of things back into her confidences. The growth of their romantic relationship didn’t seem realistic to me … but then I didn’t want Katniss Everdeen to choose either Peeta or Gayle, so that may tell you something about my personality. =)
Additionally, some of the chapter titles are misleading, and some chapters are loaded with back story that I personally would have found a different way to integrate. And though the concept of the Blight is mentioned a few times, I don’t think the whole story is enough about the Blight to merit naming the book after it.
Overall, I liked it, and I’m eager to read the next one. But certain parts of this one felt like an afterthought, or like the author was just trying to tie up loose ends that weren’t explained well enough in the first book instead of trying to tell a new story.
Should you read it?
I think so. Though there are some portions I personally feel could have been handled differently (everyone is entitled to their opinion, right?), overall the book was a fun read. I stayed up way too late reading it. I hit the 33% mark in the book, and I seriously couldn’t put it down.