Review: The Druid (The Dawning of Muirwood #1) by Jeff Wheeler

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


An abandoned child becomes a singular inspiration to the mythology of Muirwood in an epic series by Jeff Wheeler, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Muirwood and Kingfountain novels.

Eilean was born a “wretched”-a lowly foundling raised by the Aldermaston of Tintern Abbey. Then she’s chosen to assist in establishing the new abbey of Muirwood, now the site of a castle in the swampy Bearden Muir. Eilean’s role is as night servant to the druid Mordaunt, the king’s exiled advisor-and prisoner. He’s clever, dangerous, and invaluable to the Aldermaston.

Mordant’s priceless secret: the hiding place of an ancient tome that reveals the existence of other worlds and the magic between them. Mordaunt knows how potent its words are and how dangerous they could be in the wrong hands. But can Eilean win him over? All she must do is gain Mordant’s confidence and trust and persuade the apostate to divulge his secret to her. But as she learns more from Mordant, Eilean’s loyalties begin to fray. And the risks are greater than she imagined.

Despite betrayals, deceptions, and the deadly motivations of others, a girl from the flax fields is about to rise above her station. By exploring the potential of the power of an ancient spoken magic, Eilean is coming into her own.


If you’re considering reading this and not familiar with Jeff Wheeler’s books, I have left the official reading order after this review at the bottom. His books are a sword and sorcery, historical fantasy that are also a bit YA/coming of age. This is the first book of the Dawning of Muirwood which is a prequel series of Legends and The Covenant of Muirwood, which is part of the Kingfountain world. Something that I really love about Mr. Wheeler, is his ability to create his own world that is based on Middle Age/Medieval Europe while infusing magic into it, but still keeping that same feel to it that makes it seem like it is a part of our own history.

Mr. Wheeler does a great job of building a strong female lead in Eilean, who is intelligent and resourceful. The one thing I know I can always count on is good character development from his stories. His characters always take major growth during each book and the series as a whole. There are many other characters that are introduced that will also play a big role in this and previous books, some of those didn’t really get the same treatment of development that Eilean did, but the ground work is there for it to happen later in the series.

“Sooner or later, little sister, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”

The world-building is excellent and continues to build on the already well documented lore from previous series by Mr. Wheeler. It’s so exciting to see some of these places that I’ve seen previously, but this time, to see how they started. Because he has based his world off of real places, he can really dig into what everything looks like and make it feel legitimately real. The abbeys, the landscape, the people, it all just feels like we are transported in time rather than transported into another world.

There are some religious undertones of the story that people may not like, but the story is based around a certain time period that had a lot of religious conflict, so the story reflects that same feeling. Wheeler’s stories are a great palate cleanser and an excellent light read that will draw you in further and further into the story until you realize you’ve read 20+ books in the series and wish there were more.

Official Reading order of the WOJW (World of Jeff Wheeler):

  • The Kingfountain series
    • The Queen’s Poisoner
    • The Thief’s Daughter
    • The King’s Traitor
    • The Hollow Crown
    • The Silent Shield
    • The Forsaken Throne
  • The First Argentines
    • Knight’s Ransom
    • Warrior’s Ransom
    • Lady’s Ransom
    • Fate’s Ransom
  • The Legends of Muirwood
    • The Wretched of Muirwood
    • The Blight of Muirwood
    • The Scourged of Muirwood
  • The Covenant of Muirwood
    • The Vanished of Muirwood
    • The Cyphers of Muirwood
    • The Void of Muirwood
  • The Dawning of Muirwood (Current)
    • The Druid
    • The Hunted
    • The Betrayed
  • The Harbinger
    • Storm Glass
    • Mirror Gate
    • Iron Garden
    • Prism Cloud
    • Broken Veil
  • The Whispers of Mirrowen
    • Fire Blood
    • Dryad-Born
    • Poisonwell


  1. I read Wheeler’s Legends of Muirwood and while it was ok, nothing about it made me want to go read more by him. He was just too YA for my tastes now. I do wonder if he’ll become someone like Eddings and influence a whole generation of fantasy fans.


    1. I actually started on the Harbinger series and I thought it was quite good for what it was. Then I found out there were more books to the series and I realized I read it out of order.

      Kingfountain series was good, and I found myself wanting to delve into everything of his.
      I will say that the Muirwoods were my least favorites of the series, but I did still enjoy them. Just not near as much as the others.
      I also didn’t care for his Grave Kingdoms trilogy. Wasn’t my cup of tea, so I totally understand it not being your taste

      Liked by 1 person

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