633 Following

Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot. DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU'RE HERE TO ADVERTISE, ESPECIALLY NON-BOOK PRODUCTS. I WILL BLOCK YOU!!!

Currently reading

Kitchen Witchcraft
Rachel Patterson
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army
Edoardo Albert
Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances
Cody Johnson
Hero at the Fall
Alwyn Hamilton
Progress: 5%
Pieces of Her
Karin Slaughter
John Peters in the land of Demons
Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, Book One)
Tamora Pierce
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream
Christopher Golden
Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab
Columbkill Noonan
Sound—The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos
Ramiro Mendes, João Mendes
Progress: 1%

The Banished of Muirwood

The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood Book 1) - Jeff Wheeler

by Jeff Wheeler


This is an old style mock-Medieval Fantasy novel with the Patriarchal society typical of these fantasy worlds, but it's well done. The main character is Maia, a princess who is learning magic forbidden to females. The world building starts early on and has a dark, conspiratorial feel to it. Magic plays a big part and there is something called the medium which serves as the magical force that everyone tunes into.


The patriarchy is strong in this one to the point of serious misogyny, but that plays an important role in the plot. Much of the political situation is unfair to Maia and her father, who I felt was a bit of a pig, does nothing to protect her from the machinations of men, though he says that he loves her and insists on her loyalty to the kingdom. To be fair to him, he does protect her from the wicked stepmother who adds a Cinderella-like subplot to the story.


I went back and forth a few times deciding whether I liked one of the important characters (The king of Dahomey) or not. Deciding who to trust was a feature of the story and I think the author did a good job of keeping me wondering about several characters through different phases of the story.


My one real complaint is the flashbacks and dreams. I found the changes too abrupt and therefore confusing more than once. It is largely typical of Fantasy in that the protagonist goes on a journey fraught with dangers and enemies on every side, but the ambiguity of the good/evil dichotomy in various characters, including Maia herself, gives it an original slant and hold interest.


As a first book of a trilogy, the ending did tie up the immediate situation adequately, while leaving larger questions open for the books to follow. I will look forward to reading them.