Jeff Wheeler himself writes that the second parts of trilogies (Empire Strikes Back
and others) are often his favorites; I feel the same about Legends of Muirwood.
Wheeler does a great job of mixing characters together and getting something beautiful out of them. In fact, the love story does as few love stories do - it actually works with the story and even enhances the plot.
However, as the novel progressed, I found that the dialogue became more stilted and the characters' voices became less distinct from one another. I was able to overlook those two problems because of the way Wheeler tells his story through words other than in character dialogue.
Whereas The Wretched of Muirwood
was more of an adventure fantasy and had elements in it from children's fantasy novels (I'm thinking Land of Elyon
had a darker, more Game of Thrones-y feel to it. Wretched
was the great world-building and then Blight
went into the even-better nuances of the world that was built.
Although I sometimes get annoyed by heavy-handed religious symbolism (i.e. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
), the Medium (which is basically The Force) and the history of the mastons Wheeler describes were surprisingly easy for me to enjoy.
Overall, though Wretched
could have been a great book on its own, Blight
took a great book and explored and introduced big picture consequences wisely and beautifully.