ARC Review: “Muirwood: The Lost Abbey #1” by Jeff Wheeler


“Muirwood: The Lost Abbey #1” by Jeff Wheeler, Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus, Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John

Release Date: August 26th, 2015

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Page Length: 32 pages (ARC electronic edition)


Told in graphic novel form, Muirwood: The Lost Abbey introduces an all-new chapter in Jeff Wheeler’s Muirwood universe.

Maia, the daughter of the king of Comoros, has been banished, her rank and station taken away. Although magic is forbidden of women in her world, Maia secretly learned…and now her desperate father has sent her on a dangerous quest to save their kingdom. Protected by a hired killer, Maia voyages to another realm—the cursed shores of Dahomey, where an ancient Blight has destroyed all the inhabitants. Maia believes she can restore the deadly lands by using her magic medallion, but if she’s discovered wielding her clandestine power, she will most certainly be hunted down and killed.

From renowned fantasy writers Jeff Wheeler, Matt Sturges (Jack of Fables, House of Mystery), and Dave Justus (Fables: The Wolf Among Us), featuring stunning art by Alex Sheikman (Dark Crystal: Creation Myths) and Lizzy John (Dark Crystal: Creation Myths). Covers by Inaki Miranda (Fairest). (description from Netgalley)


I have never read the Muirwood novels previously, but I felt that any reader coming into this story would have no trouble following the plot since it’s a graphic novel adaption. From the very beginning of the story, it felt like the book was telling me “Let’s go on an adventure!”. There’s a forgotten princess, men in knight’s armor, and the landscape is set in a far away place. Basically this book had no trouble grabbing my attention.

The art is beautifully drawn and there is intense detail to characters and landscapes. And in addition the colors are vibrant and give life to the story. Everything is also appropriately drawn for the “medieval-like” time period it’s set in.

However, the biggest downfall to the first volume of Muirwood is that I wished there was more character dialogue and interaction rather than all the heavy narration. I understood it’s purpose was there to help set the story up for readers (like me) who are new to the story, but there was still too much.

I do like the protagonist, Maia, so far. Though she has been stripped of her title she doesn’t dwell on it or let it consume her. She seems very strong, regal, opinionated, and wants to fights for justice in her kingdom.

Overall, the first volume sets up Maia’s quest and ends right before the adventure really begins.

Final Verdict:

Even though there was too much narration I was still intrigued by the story and will be continuing to read this series.

3 star rating

FTC Disclaimer: This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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