The Ciphers of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #2)
by Jeff Wheeler
Series: Covenant of Muirwood #2
Published on September 15th 2015
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
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Also by this author: The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #1)
From the moment she was banished by her father, the king, Princess Maia journeyed to seek sanctuary at Muirwood Abbey, the epicenter of magic and good in the land. Now safe for the first time since her cruel abandonment, Maia must foster uneasy friendships with other girls training to be Ciphers: women who learn to read and engrave tomes of ancient power, despite the laws forbidding them to do so.
As Maia tries to judge whom to trust, she makes a shocking discovery: her destiny is to open the Apse Veil and release trapped spirits from her world. Then she learns that her father is coming to Muirwood Abbey to celebrate the Whitsunday festival—and Maia’s estranged husband, whom she was forced to abandon, will join him. Torn between deadly political machinations and unstoppable spiritual forces, Maia must channel unknown powers within herself to save her friends, the abbey, and the entire kingdom of Muirwood.
The Ciphers of Muirwood is the second book of the Covenant of Muirwood series (see the review of book #1 here) and I have to say that I love it. Now that I’m more familiar with the world created by Wheeler and the politics and I was able to understand everything much better.
Ciphers start where Vanished ended. Maia and her grandmother escaped the Victus and arrive to Muirwood Abbey. Here Maia is safe from the ‘spirits’ that chase her and will study and prepare to take her Maston test. I liked this gentle side of Maia. For the first time she has a stable environment, a place to stay, plenty of food and is surrounded by people that learn to love her and appreciated. I was very happy for her and especially by her connection with Suzenne.
“Your greatest test may come from your father himself. He has treated you most cruelly. “Tears gathered in the old man’s eyes. “Our greatest pain in this life often comes from those who should love us the most… The heardest thing you will ever be asked to tame is your own heart.”
Collier is back! He was freed from captivity and is resentful and hurt by Maia’s betrayal. Their first encounters are rocky at best, but after a while Collier stars to forgive her and most importantly, to understand her. Maia is too good for own good. She is humble, wise, and careful of everyone’s feelings and way too forgiving! I really liked their relationship and how it turned into something real and sincere.
“Surely all can plainly see that Maia is the fairest woman in this room. And to Maia’s beauty, add grace, wisdom, and refined talents. She was born to be a queen in her own right and not just trained as a courtier. I can see why you have so jealously hidden her from me, my lady.” …
“Lady Deorwynn, forgive me, but you are blind. Your power has waned. Maia and I were secretly married in Dahomey many months ago. I came to Comoros to reclaim my wife. And I am not departing these shores without her.”
The plot, politics, betrayals, changes of sides get very complicated! The “religion” is very present and prevalent during the book, but it didn’t feel preachy at all. I actually understood everything much better. The book ended with a really bad cliffhanger so I was very excited when I found the last book in Netgalley! I devoured the entire series quite fast.
Overall, The Ciphers of Muirwood was a great addition to the series. It expands more on the history, the politics, and the cast of characters is much bigger. Collier and Maia get reunited (which I’ve been waiting for!) even if wasn’t all I was waiting for.