Imagine a world where words are so precious they are only etched in gold, and only the privileged are allowed to learn how to read. Muirwood Abbey is one of the few places where learners are taught to read and engrave, and thirteen year-old Lia wants nothing more than to learn both of these skills—yet she is a wretched, an orphan, and doomed to remain in the Aldermaston’s kitchen, forbidden to read and subject to his authority. Her future is destined for preparing recipes in a privileged household until, unexpectedly, a mysterious knight-maston abandons the wounded squire Colvin at the Aldermaston’s kitchen in the middle of the night. Soon after, Sheriff Almaguer comes hunting for Colvin, and Lia is thrust into the greatest adventure of her life as she and the squire are forced into a partnership that brings her closer to her dream—and Colvin closer to his fear of dying on the battlefield. The Wretched of Muirwood is the first book of the Muirwood Trilogy.I enjoyed this book more than I expected and immediately started book two, The Blight of Muirwood. I thought the second book to be better than the first. I've started the third, The Scourge of Muirwood, and it's great so far, too. I highly recommend this trilogy. I'm guessing the trilogy as a whole will be at about 4 stars out of 5 unless the last books ends up disappointing hugely.
I also just finished listening to Phantom by Ted Bell this morning. This is the 7th (!) in the Hawke series and as is the norm for the Hawke novels, I found it ridiculous but fun. I don't know why I stick with these books, but I like them. Only 3 stars out of 5.