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3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596076887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596076884
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 15.7 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average fantasy novel. 16 Jan 2002
By A Customer
At the start of the story our main protagonist is injured, amnesiac, and mute. The reader finds things out with this character, and is kept guessing right to the end. I can't write too much without giving plot spoilers.
The story starts at Isse Tower, a home for a powerful aristocrat, nexus in the worlds communication system - perhaps a cross between a castle and a stately home - where messages and valuable trade items, carried through a strange and dangerous world by Stormriders, (and air ships) can be exchanged. HOwever, our main character soon journeys in other parts of the world, and has adventures interesting to read about, though perhaps not such fun to live through!
Some elements (wights, seelie and unseelie) are drawn from traditional folklore sources, and there are attributions in the back of the book. However, this will not enable you to second guess the plot - it will take you by surprise. Now I can't wait to read the second book in the trilogy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over-written, but worth the slog 3 Jan 2004
I'll admit that, for about the first 50 pages or so of this book, I could cheerfully have put it down and not bothered to finish. Cecilia Dart-Thornton has a lush, heavily-detailed writing style which really interfered with me getting into the story and, to be honest, which annoyed me quite a bit.
Once I really engaged with the character, though, I found this to be an excellent, mature read. Yes, the character does come of age and yes, the plot revolves around a quest for self-knowledge, but this story has little in common with the common run of fantasy novels. There's a maturity here that can't help but ensnare the reader.
I found the world-building breathtakingly detailed, and although I found myself skimming great chunks of descriptive detail right to the end, I also ordered my copy of The Lady of the Sorrows as soon as I finished the last page. What greater praise?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply not compelling 16 Dec 2007
By Anine
I shall have to confess that I gave up about one third into the book. I see that there are many reviws here that are full of praise, so pay no heed to my review unless you find that you have the same preferencs as me:

I like to get into the story, and I like page-turners and "un-put-down-ables". The urge to find out what is going to happen next, or to learn more about the world in which the story is set, will make me read on. Now do not get me wrong, I do not like shallow writing, on the contrary, I like to experience as much of the culture around the actual plot as I can.

My problem with this book was that it simply went too far. Ms Dart-Thornton writes page after page filled with a lot of description and little action, and even less action that seems to be relevant to a plot.

Yet, she somehow manages to leave out proper descriptions of important things, like how the towers work. I am sure she had it all worked out in her head, but she fails to pass this knowledge on to the reader.

I put this book down because I just couldn't see where it was going, and it was hard to read. If you are an extremely patient soul, perhaps you will be rewarded, and perhaps I just cannot appreciate a true masterpiece. It depends on what you like in a book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally awesome 30 Jan 2002
By A Customer
I loved the Ill-Made Mute and my only problem is I didn't want it to end. I have never been so fascinated with another world. I felt like I was really there and sharing all the emotions of the characters. Its a very original book in its style of language and also in the plot.
One of the best books I've ever read, by far.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing & Confusing 28 Jun 2008
Take a large amount of folklore (wights, waterhorsese, will o the wisps), add most of an obscure dictionary, an amount of bad poetry and way too many minor characters, squish them all into one book with a sprinkling of inspiration and you get The Ill-Made Mute. I did enjoy the opening scenes and the main character's bewilderment about who or what they might be, and what this place they find themselves in is, but when the bewilderment of the reader continues at about page 150 and I've read enough description consisting of lists and have only a vague idea of what this world is and what we're about its time to call a halt.

This was terrible, far too ambitious a project, badly constructed and epic in the "tedious, needs an editor" sort of way. A lot of the ideas were good but when you find yourself skimming past flying ships and winged horses to find the storyline and waiting for things to slot into place, its not a good sign. I didn't actually finish this and was very glad I only borrowed it from the library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Points for ambition 5 July 2004
By V. Chan
Ms Dart-Thornton is the first fantasy writer in a long time who is clearly trying to emulate, not Tolkien, but the baroque excesses of E R Eddison. She fails, of course, but the lunatic courage of her ambition deserves respect. There are good things about her trilogy (this review is of all three books: she is not a hack; she has a real story to tell, and in fact each volume has enough story in it to fill your average ten-volume epic all by itself; and at the end of the second volume I had no idea how the whole thing was going to turn out. These are rare virtues. But she really needs a very fierce editor, with a big blue pencil and a hatred for adjectives. And nouns. CDT has clearly done a vast amount of research into absolutely everything, but there is no need to put it all into the book. That is what author websites are for. CDT has managed to sustain a seriously archaic style of dialogue at length, mostly successfully, though she has a tin ear occasionally (the Fair Folk may well have an"allergy" to iron, but the use of 20th century medical terminology is fatally jarring in the context); however,the rest of the work needs serious editing. The baroque is an agreeable style when well-handled, but I can only assume that her editors were too intimidated by the admirable breadth of CDT's vocabulary to warn her when her story collapses under its weight of overwrought verbiage. Cruel fans will be playing the Stephen Donaldson game with her books.
in short, I will still read her next book, but with some nervousness,and a dictionary to hand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too much description
Some of the 2* reviews say it well enough, there is far too much description where it is not required so that the story drags with very little happening for many pages. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Harper
3.0 out of 5 stars Debut novel syndrome
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, and while I liked it, it took me a while to really get into it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Erica
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is the 2nd time I've read this book and I still love it, I lost my original copy. Always a pleasure to pick up and read, very imaginative and relaxing!
Published 16 months ago by kez
1.0 out of 5 stars HEEEEEELLLLPPPPP!!!!!!
The only reason this got a star, is because you cannot submit a review without at least that. Amazon really should look into an option of negative star rating. Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2008 by CeNedra Red
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ill Made Mute
I have to start by saying aaaaaaaaah! This IMHO is fantasy at its best, I have read this before but, for some reason never got round to reading the other two in the trilogy so a... Read more
Published on 17 May 2008 by Clare
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to rate...
The Ill-Made Mute is the first book in the Bitterbynde trilogy (before The Lady of Sorrows and The Battle of Evernight). Read more
Published on 20 May 2007 by Stephanie Noverraz
2.0 out of 5 stars Over written
O.k first off I'm still reading this - currently about of the way through. While the book is o.k. I really cannot agree with all the glowing (blinded? Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2007 by E. A. Mullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutley beautiful
There are very few books that i would say are written beuatifully this goes on the record as being one of them (along with Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man series hint hint) The... Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2006 by Andrew Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Dart-Thornton opens a window into another world
I have to admit, the first time I picked up this book, I didn't finish it. Dart-Thornton's writing could be called over-descriptive and long-winded, if you are not in the... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2006 by K. Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it after a while...
I have been a reader of fantasy for about six years now I was captivated by the works of Tolkien and Jordan by the age of twelve and now you never find me without my nose in some... Read more
Published on 23 May 2005
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