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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Ropemaker Paperback – October 14, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Ropemaker Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like his stellar novels Shadow of a Hero and Bone from a Dry Sea, Dickinson's latest offering moves from the mythic to the particular and back again, making clear the ways in which an individual's extraordinary experience could metamorphose into an entire culture's legend. Readers who are willing and able to fall into step with its majestic pace will be rewarded by a thought-provoking trek through a fairy tale world that is as breathtakingly fresh as it is archetypal. For 19 generations, the comfortably prosperous Valley has been tucked away from the outside world kept safe by powerful enchantments. When these powers begin to weaken, however, it's up to Tilja and her grandmother Meena, along with their companions, Tahl and his grandfather Alnor, to journey forth in search of a magician powerful enough to protect their home once again. In the course of this pilgrimage, Tilja who has recently and heartbreakingly learned that she possesses not a jot of the hereditary magic that would entitle her to inherit her beloved family homestead comes to understand more about the unique and valuable gift she does possess. Eerily, the novel is sprinkled with images that take on an unforeseen resonance: a rebel magician be-turbaned and lanky and collapsing towers that crush their proud builders. A challenging magical adventure for the thinking reader. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-The Valley is left alone by barbarian marauders from the north and by the powerful, greedy Empire to the south. Old stories explain why. Although these ancient legends are hardly believed any more, Tilja's mother still goes into the forest to sing to the cedars and Tahl's grandfather talks to the waters that flow along the northern border. Their families have been protecting the Valley in this manner for nearly 20 generations. Now that magical protection is breaking down, and Tilja, her grandmother, Tahl, and his grandfather set out on a quest to find a mysterious man who may or may not still be alive but who probably holds the secret they need to discover. As this band of travelers makes it way across hostile, unfamiliar territory, Tilja begins to learn of her ability to neutralize magic, rendering it powerless. Since the Empire's leaders have harnessed magic as a tool to control its subjects, this proves to be a most important talent. The travelers experience one dangerous, exciting adventure after another. They meet a strange man known as the Ropemaker, whose magic is mightier than any in the Empire. As the four come closer to achieving their goal, evil forces conspire to destroy them. And the suspense does not let up until the very last pages. While on one level this tale is a fantasy, it is also a wonderful coming-of-age story. Tilja is a young woman who is discovering who she is and what she is meant to do in life. Fascinating questions about time are posed, and there is much for young people to think about here. As much as anything, this book is about the power of story and the influence it can have on ordinary people's lives.

Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385730632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385730631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shanshad VINE VOICE on January 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a startlingly good example of the kind of gems that can get hidden in the YA section of bookstores and libraries. The author proves himself very adept at word use, world-building and storytelling in an amazingly rich story.
The young female protagonist of this story lives in a peaceful valley that has remained sheilded for generations from the depredations of those who live on either side of the valley. But when the magical defenses begin to fail, it is up to Tilja, her grandmother and a young man and his grandfather (along with one ornery horse) to venture beyond the valley and seek the one person who might help them.
The bare bones plot is not new, but this author is a master--he handles the adventure of these four and brings the tale full circle with care and precision. The images are powerful and for anyone who recognizes the power of stories, the author's underlying message will ring true.
Being a YA book there is some limit to the adult reader who might desire an adult protagonist, or more mature themes explored that are not dealt with in this story. Beyond that, I highly reccomend this book to any fantasy reader as an example of high caliber story telling. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
The Ropemaker will keep you involved and leave you wanting a sequel (which doesn't exist yet, unfortunately). Be prepared for the fact that there is a bit of a disconnect between the title and the actual main character. You won't meet the title character until well into the book (p. 142), and he turns out to be, although important to the outcome, tangential in terms of character development. The story line otherwise revolves around the main character, a teenage girl named Tilja, who is initially despondent about the fact that in a world of magic, where even her own little sister has the gift (horrors!), she is decidedly non-magical. Magic things lose their magic in her touch. But, wait, if there's bad magic out there, that's a good thing, right?! And there is the story. Tilja must risk everything in an attempt to protect her beloved home valley from military attack as well as from the forces of evil. The valley has been protected for 20 generations by a spell cast by a now-dead enchantress, and so Tilja and her companions must find a new magician to renew the spell. This quest in itself is an exciting story and well-written, with a lot of very creative and detailed development of this strange world and society. (For example, the emperor exercises the ultimate taxing authority by forcing people to pay in advance for permission to die of old age!) As Tilja and her companions pursue their life-or-death quest to save their homeland, we get a lot of build-up about how Tilja's "power" may elevate her to a position of prominence, but her potential is never reached or explored in this book. Likewise, the "good" magic of the Ropemaker is unique, with hints of power to come, which are not developed. I hope the cryptic Epilogue isn't a sign that no sequel is planned. This book is, nevertheless, a very good and engrossing read. My 12-year-old daughter loved it, too.
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A Kid's Review on March 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Valley is the only passage between the horsemen of the plain and the Empire, which means that it is constantly under attack. The residents of the Valley can¡¦t withstand all these killing and raiding; therefore, they send some of their people on a long, difficult journey to find a magician powerful enough to get them some peace. Two people, Reyel Ortahlson and Dirna Urlasdaughter, found a powerful magician, Faheel, and he promised the people of the Valley peace for twenty generations. After twenty generations the magic wore off and the Valley fell again in turmoil. Tilja, Tahl, Meena, and Alnor decided that the must find the magician again to restore peace. With extraordinary luck and many breath-taking adventures, they found Faheel on an island. However, Faheel is too weak to do what they asked for, he is already on his deathbed. Before he passed away, Faheel gave them a magical ring and told them to give it to another powerful magician, the Ropemaker, who can restore peace in the Valley with the help of the ring.
I had a great time reading this book. Every book that has to do with magic has to have an explanation of how magic works. The explanation in this book is very reasonable and makes perfect sense. This makes the book a lot easier to understand and enjoy. The author tells of how magic is flowing everywhere, and only gifted people can make use of this magic. When a person is more gifted than others, he/she in turn can take control of larger amounts of magic at a time. Nevertheless, when a person is overwhelmed by the magic of another, he/she will lose their gift to use magic and can very possibly die at the same time.
My favorite part of this book is when Tilja realized the power she possesses.
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Format: Paperback
The Valley had always been a wonderful place to live, a peaceful place, but then the Empire came. Greedy tax collectors forced the farmers to pay back taxes for all the years that they didn't pay and the horse warriors on the plains raided, raped and murdered the people. Desperate, the Valley sent out a small group of people to seek aid from a powerful sorceress. Two of them found the sorceress, but she was dying and so sent them on to the great wizard Faheel. Faheel heard their plea and accepted the gift that they bore and set up protection for the people in the Valley. To the man, he gave a flask of crystal water and instructed him to empty it into the stream high in the mountains of the Valley and sing the song it told him. To the woman, he gave a loaf of barley and instructed her to plant a small field of barley every year and to feed the cedars in the forest of the Valley and sing the song that they told her. The man and the woman returned to the Valley and every generation there was an Ortahlson who sang to the stream and an Urlasdaughter who sang to the cedars. The Valley became impenetrable to the Empire's soldiers and tax collectors as there was a strange sickness in the forest that made men dizzy, ill, and knocked them out and then killed them. High in the mountains, there was a glacier that blocked the pass that the horse warriors used. As time passed, the people of the Valley told the story for entertainment for they knew it wasn't real, but the Ortahlsons and the Urlasdaughters kept singing...
Generation followed generation until twenty has passed since the original adventurers found the wizard Faheel. The unthinkable began to happen as the glacier started to melt and the trees stopped singing and producing their sickness.
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