The Ill-Made Mute
Cover of The Ill Made Mute
|Cover artist||Paul Gregory|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||448 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-446-52832-3 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PR9619.3.D253 I45 2001|
|Followed by||The Lady of Sorrows|
The Ill-Made Mute is a fantasy novel written by Australian author Cecilia Dart-Thornton. It was first published in 2001, and it was the first in the Bitterbynde Trilogy. The two other books are The Lady of Sorrows and The Battle of Evernight.
Isse Tower is a House of the Stormriders. Stormriders, also known as Relayers, are messengers of the air for people of the high status. The Stormriders fly on winged steeds called eotaurs, and Windships that levitate above the ground because of sildron. Sildron is one of the most valuable metals in the empire of Erith. The metal sildron has the property of repelling the ground, thus, lifting objects. This metal is used to make the shoes of the Eotaurs and in the building of the Windships to sail the skies. There is only one other metal that can abolish the effect of sildron; andalum.
The foundling has no memory of who he was before he was found, but knows only that he is different from all others. Soon, he becomes sick of being treated badly and plans to escape to a city to find a cure for his paradox-ivy poisoning. He stows away on a Windship to escape, but shortly after he is discovered, the ship is attacked by pirates. He is captured by the pirates, and makes friends with one of them: Sianadh, who names the mute, Imrhien ("Butterfly"). During this time he discovers that he is really a she, and when danger threatens is rescued by Sianadh by jumping off the wind ship together.
They travel through the forest following a map of Sianadh's, which points them towards a sildron mine. Through the forest, they encounter magical creatures called wights. There are two different types of wights: seelie, mischievous and unseelie, evil.
Much to Imrhien's surprise, they actually find the mine. Due to an injury Sianadh has sustained, Imrhien is the only one who can climb the side to an entrance to the cave. Once in the mine, Sianadh and Imrhien find that they are immensely wealthy. They decide to sail down the river to the major city to meet up with Sianadh's family. Imrhien's mind is still set on finding a cure for the facial deformity. When in the city, a wizard promises to cure the deformity, but instead makes it even worse. This coupled with Sianadh's vow to get revenge on the wizard causes his family to be closely watched. When Sianadh and his nephew go back to the mine, Imrhien and Sianadh's niece are kidnapped.
They are eventually saved, but then hear that Sianadh is killed. Ethlinn sends her children (Diarmid and Muirne) and Imrhien on a caravan to Caermelor. The caravan is attacked by the Wild Hunt and any survivors scattered. Diarmid, Sianadh's nephew, and Imrhien find each other and travel together in a hope to find Muirne, Diarmid's sister. Along the way they are discovered by one of the King Emperor's Dainnan rangers, Thorn.
Everything about Thorn seems perfect. At first, Diarmid is jealous, but he comes to marvel at the Dainnan's knowledge and skill. Imrhien falls in love with him, but is ashamed of her face and knows that no one could love someone so ugly. With Thorn's help, the trio easily traverse the wilderness. Through a series of adventures, Muirne is found and Imrhien continues the journey with the Dainnan, Thorn, to find the Carlin who might heal the deformities. Before they part, Thorn takes three of Imrhien's hairs and wraps them around his finger in a ring. When he asks Imrhien what she wants (since she won't return to court with him) she signs to him saying that she would like to wish him a safe journey with her voice. He unexpectedly kisses her and leaves. Imrhien travels the last part of the road leading to the Carlin's house and receives treatment for the facial scars caused by paradox ivy. The book ends with two of Imrhien's afflictions healed, though not all.
Characters in "The Ill-Made Mute"
- An unnamed character - The mute of the title, protagonist. Is later named Imrhien.
- Sianadh - One of the pirates
- Ethlinn - A carlin, Sianadh's sister
- Muirne - Ethlinn's daughter
- Diarmid - Ethlinn's son
- Thorn - A Dainnan ranger
- The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Book 1 of the Bitterbynde