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The Ill-Made Mute - Special Edition (The Bitterbynde Trilogy) (Volume 1) Paperback – April 10, 2014
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This first novel by Australian writer Cecilia Dart-Thornton begins the Bitterbynde series, the saga of a young woman's search for her past as well as her destiny. An orphaned refugee taken in as a servant of powerful Isse Tower, a prominent Relay Station in the world's communications network, the main character is a nameless, badly scarred mute with little hope for better--until he escapes by stowing away on a magical Windship and is befriended by cheerful Sianadh, a self-professed madman and adventurer. Sianadh gives his companion two precious gifts: a name, Imrhien, and the knowledge that he is really she, raised as a boy to protect her from even worse treatment. Together, the two journey into the deep green heart of a great forest, defeat the tricky magics of various eldritch wights, and discover a vast treasure that will change their lives forever. When Imrhien learns of Maeve One-Eye, a healer who may be able to repair her scars and restore her memory, the girl is determined to seek her out. On the dangerous trip west, Imrhien meets and falls in love with the Dainnan ranger Thorn, but doubts he could ever return her affections. While this novel doesn't stand well alone, readers who crave long and detailed journeys through fantastic lands filled with magical creatures will enjoy Imrhien's travels. Dart-Thornton's world takes many traditional elements of epic fantasy and manages to stir them into something charming and new. --Charlene Brusso --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
The world of Erith, a strange, wild land filled with humans and fey creatures called wights, has its charms, but unfortunately a lack of underlying depth weakens this first novel from Australian Dart-Thornton. To Erith comes a poor unidentified soul who cannot speak and has lost all sense of self, including all memories of a past. This creature without a life has also become shunned by all after being horribly disfigured by an encounter with a poisonous plant. As the plot slowly, disjointedly spins out, the creature acquires a name Imrhien and a new identity. Her story is full of little adventures and unrelated incidents, but the author provides almost no foreshadowing or any real idea why Imrhien has lost her voice and her looks. The girl's travels, which carry her from one end of Erith to the other, include encounters with wights, which can be "seelie" (mostly not harmful) and "unseelie" (evil), and with Sianadh, a friendly man who gives her not only her name but the chance to seek pirate treasure. Later Imrhien and Sianadh's niece try to find Maeve One-Eye, a carlin who might help her recover her memory. Nasty folk try to thwart her, but their motives are never explained. Hopefully future installments will supply more background, but this initial volume makes a decidedly shallow start. (May 23)Forecast: With a blurb from Andre Norton likening this book to Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, as well as a plug from Elizabeth Hand, this novel may attract a lot of initial attention, but the sequel is going to have to be stronger to sustain interest.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Warning: the books are not for the bestseller crowd, or those who can only deal with linear plots and plain-vanilla narration. They are, however, for the literate, Tolkien-loving, Shakespeare-gobbling, romantic fantasy set. They're unique and magical.
But once you take the time, it's beautiful. The writing is elegant and the land extraordinary. This book is like a fairy-tale but the protagonists aren't princesses or beasts - they're people. Some good, some bad, but none all good, nor all bad. They're just human.
This is fantasy at its best - mythical creatures roam and magical storms sweep the land. People, as a matter of course, take precautions, but then just get on with life. We accept the magic in this world because the people do. And at the end of the day, magic doesn't seem to be the focus. This is a story about acceptance - of others, of yourself; about companionship; about the importance and permissibility of dreams. Everyone's allowed to hope for something better. Everyone can reach above her station.
By the time you come out of this story, you care, desperately, for the mute, scarred child who rises above her deformity to become someone who cares, who sees truly when others don't, who loves though she feels she hasn't the right, and who wins friends through her loyalty and her capacity for joy.
I want a happy ending for her. I can't wait to read the rest. I can't wait to be in this world again.
Cecillia Dart-Thorton weaves an elaborate and intensly detailed story of trials and triumphs, loves and loss and of course fantastic adventure. Sleep is for the weak when I'm captured in this page-turner.
I'm off to buy the second part right now, praying that the day may slow down a little so i can avoid work and get caught up in more reading. And thank heavens for kindle, i can read in the dark and without straining my wrists!
I would recomend this book to anyone but those who like fantasy novels would probably enjoy it most.
This one is worth the read, however, and I would definitely recommend it.