The Ill-Made Mute - Special Edition : The Bitterbynde Book #1

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"The Stormriders land their splendid winged stallions on the airy battlements of Isse Tower. The superstitious servants who dwell in the fortress's lower depths tell tales of wicked creatures haunting the world outside. It is the least of the lowly - a mute, scarred foundling - who dares to scale the Tower, creep aboard a Windship, and escape...

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"The Stormriders land their splendid winged stallions on the airy battlements of Isse Tower. The superstitious servants who dwell in the fortress's lower depths tell tales of wicked creatures haunting the world outside. It is the least of the lowly - a mute, scarred foundling - who dares to scale the Tower, creep aboard a Windship, and escape...

THE ILL-MADE MUTE - SPECIAL EDITION The Bitterbynde Trilogy #1 Revised and extended, with extras never before published, including information about Ms Dart-Thornton's life as an author and fragments of her unpublished juvenilia. 'The Stormriders land their splendid winged stallions on the airy battlements of Isse Tower. Far below, the superstitious servants who dwell in the fortress's lower depths tell tales of wicked creatures inhabiting the world outside, a world they have only glimpsed. 'Yet it is the least of the lowly - a mute, scarred, and utterly despised foundling - who dares to scale the Tower, sneak aboard a Windship, and then dive from the sky. 'The fugitive is rescued by an adventurer who gives it a name, the gift of communicating by handspeak, and an amazing truth, never guessed. Now Imrhien begins a journey to distant Caermelor, seeking a wise woman whose skills may be lifechanging. Along the way Imrhien must survive a wilderness of endless danger. For the hearthside tales are all true. The unhuman wights are real in all their legions. They haunt every pool, every turn in the road, and threaten and torment all travelers.' Author Cecilia Dart-Thornton was discovered on the Internet. She had written the three books of the Bitterbynde Trilogy before she uploaded the first chapter to a Writers' Workshop, where her work was spotted by an editor. Shortly afterwards Time-Warner's publishing department (New York) offered her a contract. They published her books in hardcover, the first time they had ever done so with a new author. The Bitterbynde Trilogy hit the best-seller lists world-wide and has been translated into five languages.

Specifications

Series Title
Bitterbynde Trilogy
Publisher
Quillpen Pty Ltd T/A Leaves of Gold Press
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
ENG
Number of Pages
508
Author
Cecilia Dart-Thornton
ISBN-13
9781925110531
Publication Date
April, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.13 Inches
ISBN-10
1925110532

Customer Reviews

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Top mentions

Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
I picked up a second-h...
I picked up a second-hand copy of this some time ago after being told "you must read this book". It was apparently critically acclaimed, but few people I know had read it. My wife tried to read it first (as I was already working through a stack) and gave up without getting very far through it. The book starts off slowly, and the florid prose takes some adjustment. Scenes are frequently described in great visual detail, in language that may require you to occasionally reach for a dictionary (and I consider myself to have a pretty decent vocabulary at hand). However this really is a book that rewards persistence, as it presents an extremely well realised world and picks up pace toward the end, leaving you with a climax that should have you reaching for the second in the series. The world in which the events of the book take place is not really your standard fantasy fare, and draws mostly on the mythology of the British Isles for its fantastic elements. However I was particularly pleased to see the subtle inclusion of Australian fauna and flora in descriptions of the wilderness through which the protagonist and her companions travel. The protagonist has the genre conventions of a past shrouded in mystery of which they themselves are unaware, but the reliance on wit and determination rather than swordplay or magic is refreshing. It took me a while to get into this, but by the end I was desperate for more. I eagerly look forward to reading the second volume in the series.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
I really disliked this...
I really disliked this book because of the long-winded yet irrelevant descriptions and stories-within-stories, slow-moving plot, unsympathetic characters and trite, unbelievable ending. The descriptions were torturous in their detail and use of specific vocabulary; reading them were as bad as reading my worst textbook. Some amount of detail and topic-specific vocabulary (e.g., sailing jargon) adds verisimilitude; Dart-Thornton takes it way, way beyond what is optimal. The stories-within-stories (e.g., told in the kitchen by the servants after the workday is over) were pretty much irrelevant to world-building, entertainment, or any other purpose I can think of. Pretty much all they established was that the world-building drew from Celtic/Gaelic faerie mythology. You want a really good treatment stories-within-stories, read The Orphan's Tale duology by Catherynne Valente.
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
I picked up a second-h...
I picked up a second-hand copy of this some time ago after being told "you must read this book". It was apparently critically acclaimed, but few people I know had read it. My wife tried to read it first (as I was already working through a stack) and gave up without getting very far through it. The book starts off slowly, and the florid prose takes some adjustment. Scenes are frequently described in great visual detail, in language that may require you to occasionally reach for a dictionary (and I consider myself to have a pretty decent vocabulary at hand). However this really is a book that rewards persistence, as it presents an extremely well realised world and picks up pace toward the end, leaving you with a climax that should have you reaching for the second in the series. The world in which the events of the book take place is not really your standard fantasy fare, and draws mostly on the mythology of the British Isles for its fantastic elements. However I was particularly pleased to see the subtle inclusion of Australian fauna and flora in descriptions of the wilderness through which the protagonist and her companions travel. The protagonist has the genre conventions of a past shrouded in mystery of which they themselves are unaware, but the reliance on wit and determination rather than swordplay or magic is refreshing. It took me a while to get into this, but by the end I was desperate for more. I eagerly look forward to reading the second volume in the series.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
I really disliked this...
I really disliked this book because of the long-winded yet irrelevant descriptions and stories-within-stories, slow-moving plot, unsympathetic characters and trite, unbelievable ending. The descriptions were torturous in their detail and use of specific vocabulary; reading them were as bad as reading my worst textbook. Some amount of detail and topic-specific vocabulary (e.g., sailing jargon) adds verisimilitude; Dart-Thornton takes it way, way beyond what is optimal. The stories-within-stories (e.g., told in the kitchen by the servants after the workday is over) were pretty much irrelevant to world-building, entertainment, or any other purpose I can think of. Pretty much all they established was that the world-building drew from Celtic/Gaelic faerie mythology. You want a really good treatment stories-within-stories, read The Orphan's Tale duology by Catherynne Valente.
1-5 of 11 reviews

Gently appealing. Anot...

Gently appealing. Another new austrailian fantasy writer's debut novel, that is worth looking out for. Once upon a time in a distant continent the races of the fae and ancestors of man lived in harmony. Some ancient tragedy caused disquiet between the fair folk who left, and the fae who faded and divided into the seelie and unseelie wights, left to trouble mankind. Some 1000 years later, after a kingdom formed, splintered and remerged, a child arrives. Discovered facedown in a clump of the most noxious paradoxis ivy the face is horrendously disfigured. The shock appears to have taken the child's voice for it is mute and memoryless. Raised as the lowliest of servants in a King's way station, the nameless child soon manages to learn more about the world. And as its situation doesn't improve the child decides to escape and take its chances with the seelie infested wilds - even if this means leaving its sole joy: the wonderful flying horses of the tower. An intriguing blend of Irish, Scottish and Faerie lore. At times the descriptions run overly long, but generally the prose is gracefully slow and takes delight in a well crafted world. If I'm going to be picky it suffers from some of the normal problems of the 1st book of fantasy trilogy: The world exists as only one small continent, the hero embarks on a long Quest Journey travelling through unusual locales and having adventures that have little relevance, characters appear and fade away as the hero passes through, there are large chunks of exposition to get the reader up-to-date with the world's history, and of course much of the plot and details of the hero remain unexplained. However many of these are much less badly done than in many similar works, and we are spared the usual assortment of companions. The characters are well drawn, even if lacking in depth at times, the contrast between the experienced woodsman and the naive infantyman was particularly good. The problems associated with muteness and disfigurement of the hero are realistically described - although too many characters were somewhat easily habituated to the situation. The world is great, a very imaginative blend, with a lot of wilderness and not much farmed land to support the populations, and a vast population of wights seem to make normal life very difficult - but again intriguingly depicted. Sometimes the boundaries from one landscape to another seemed a bit coarse, but again it's a minor issue. The appeal lasts throughout, with plenty of unexplained hooks left to set the catch for the next installment. I'm looking forward to it. .......................................................................................

Gently appealing. Anot...

Gently appealing. Another new austrailian fantasy writer's debut novel, that is worth looking out for. Once upon a time in a distant continent the races of the fae and ancestors of man lived in harmony. Some ancient tragedy caused disquiet between the fair folk who left, and the fae who faded and divided into the seelie and unseelie wights, left to trouble mankind. Some 1000 years later, after a kingdom formed, splintered and remerged, a child arrives. Discovered facedown in a clump of the most noxious paradoxis ivy the face is horrendously disfigured. The shock appears to have taken the child's voice for it is mute and memoryless. Raised as the lowliest of servants in a King's way station, the nameless child soon manages to learn more about the world. And as its situation doesn't improve the child decides to escape and take its chances with the seelie infested wilds - even if this means leaving its sole joy: the wonderful flying horses of the tower. An intriguing blend of Irish, Scottish and Faerie lore. At times the descriptions run overly long, but generally the prose is gracefully slow and takes delight in a well crafted world. If I'm going to be picky it suffers from some of the normal problems of the 1st book of fantasy trilogy: The world exists as only one small continent, the hero embarks on a long Quest Journey travelling through unusual locales and having adventures that have little relevance, characters appear and fade away as the hero passes through, there are large chunks of exposition to get the reader up-to-date with the world's history, and of course much of the plot and details of the hero remain unexplained. However many of these are much less badly done than in many similar works, and we are spared the usual assortment of companions. The characters are well drawn, even if lacking in depth at times, the contrast between the experienced woodsman and the naive infantyman was particularly good. The problems associated with muteness and disfigurement of the hero are realistically described - although too many characters were somewhat easily habituated to the situation. The world is great, a very imaginative blend, with a lot of wilderness and not much farmed land to support the populations, and a vast population of wights seem to make normal life very difficult - but again intriguingly depicted. Sometimes the boundaries from one landscape to another seemed a bit coarse, but again it's a minor issue. The appeal lasts throughout, with plenty of unexplained hooks left to set the catch for the next installment. I'm looking forward to it. .......................................................................................

I picked up a second-h...

I picked up a second-hand copy of this some time ago after being told "you must read this book". It was apparently critically acclaimed, but few people I know had read it. My wife tried to read it first (as I was already working through a stack) and gave up without getting very far through it. The book starts off slowly, and the florid prose takes some adjustment. Scenes are frequently described in great visual detail, in language that may require you to occasionally reach for a dictionary (and I consider myself to have a pretty decent vocabulary at hand). However this really is a book that rewards persistence, as it presents an extremely well realised world and picks up pace toward the end, leaving you with a climax that should have you reaching for the second in the series. The world in which the events of the book take place is not really your standard fantasy fare, and draws mostly on the mythology of the British Isles for its fantastic elements. However I was particularly pleased to see the subtle inclusion of Australian fauna and flora in descriptions of the wilderness through which the protagonist and her companions travel. The protagonist has the genre conventions of a past shrouded in mystery of which they themselves are unaware, but the reliance on wit and determination rather than swordplay or magic is refreshing. It took me a while to get into this, but by the end I was desperate for more. I eagerly look forward to reading the second volume in the series.

Love this book. I did...

Love this book. I didn't know anything about it when I started reading it. Now I look forward to the other books in this series. Delightful

Although its definite...

Although it's definitely not "serious" literature, I couldn't help liking this book. A mix of original high fantasy, Celtic legend, and escapist romance come together in a dazzling - if not all that substantial - mélange.A youth, face hideously scarred and bearing other marks of violence, is found unconscious and brought to Isse Tower, a Stormrider's outpost. Deformed and ugly, and suffering from amnesia, the youth is reviled and works as a drudge - the lowest of the low. Driven to escape on one of the floating skyships, an adventure is in the offing - involving pirates, hidden treasure, dangerous wastelands filled with fantastic dangers, brigands, and, of course, a mysterious and gorgeous love-interest.Dart-Thornton's language is full of rich and gorgeous details. The reader gets to know precisely what each character might be wearing, how rooms are furnished, etc. This might seem annoying - but she makes it work. She also works in a wealth of old folktales (with a bibliography of their sources at the end.)

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