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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Points for ambition, 5 July 2004
This review is from: The Ill-made Mute: Pt.1 (The Bitterbynde Trilogy) (Paperback)
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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