An amnesiac awakens in a strange place, and becomes disfigured by a poisonous plant. The plot describes the protagonist's search for identity and history. A journey is undertaken, through a world filled with amazing, magical creatures. Along the way secrets are discovered, and a little romance is encountered. The descriptions of this "Otherworld" are poetic and beautiful, the imagery is stunning. I would recommend this book to anyone. I could not put it down. I truly believe it will become one of the world's great classics. Since reading this book I have followed its progress on the Internet and seen that it has been listed as one of the Top Ten Amazon.com books of 2001, and also the Top Ten Locus magazine recommended reading. Now it has been nominated for the world fantasy award and I think this is well-deserved. I am not the only one who thinks this as many of my friends have read it and love it as well.
This report prepared by James Cooper
Deformed mute person, initially thinks self male, turns out to be female, escapes third-rate imitation Ghormenghast on flying ship, having encountered a million or so unmemorable characters. Reader dies at this point having been asphyxiated by adjective/fake archaism overload, bored witless and consumed by Irish Nationalist outrage at flagrant appropriation of ancestral language.
Is there anyone else on the planet who thinks this "dazzling" debut is hideously overwritten drivel in dire need of an editor?
This report prepared by Suzycat
Warner, May 2001, 24.95, 437 pp.
In Isse Tower on Erith, the cretin's visage is so disfigured from poisonous plants that none of the lowest will have anything to do with it. With no memory beyond its' recent arrival and unable to speak, the creature becomes a drone doing whatever tasks are required, but quickly learns about windships and magic. However, drudgery seems pleasant when Mortier the Master Swordsman makes the urchin his servant.
Needing to escape from Mortier's abuse, the mute serendipitously hitches a ride on a windship, but is caught stowing away. The youth escapes and is rescued by the treasure seeking Sianadh. He provides her with the name Imrhien and teaches her how to communicate using sign language. Her adventures are just beginning (in this book and hopefully in future novels).
THE ILL-MADE MUTE is an entertaining fantasy work that has tons of action but at times feel more like a string of vignettes. The story line never slows down and the weird world of Erith seems genuine even with flying horses and the non-human wights. Imrhien is a strong individual who will garner much empathy yet remain an enigma as Cecilia Dart-Thornton never explains why much of the realm want her dead nor how she became mute and amnesiac (probably a future sequel). Still, this is a solid fantasy epic and genre fans will want to join Imrhien's trek across her planet.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner