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The Privilege of the Swordby Ellen Kushner
Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.
"Kushner's winning high fantasy with its sophisticated swordplay marks a welcome return to the romantic Riverside world she introduced in Swordspoint (1987). Coming-of-age gets complicated for winsome Lady Katherine Samantha Campion Talbert after she's shipped off to her uncle, the Mad Duke of Tremontaine (aka David Alexander 'Alec' Tielman Campion), who reigns over a decadent world of erotic and political intrigue. At first Kate's frightened of becoming a swashbuckler, but after training with the duke's favorite lover, the dashing Richard St. Vier, and becoming friends with Marcus, Alec's devoted young assistant, she finds she's more than up for the task. Her skills are tested in her effort to avenge the rape of her best friend, Lady Artemesia Fitz-Levy, by one of her uncle's foes, Anthony Deverin (aka Lord Ferris, Crescent Chancellor of the Council of Lords). Kate's discovery that 'Fear is enemy to the sword' and love is the key to triumph leads to surprising consequences." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Ellen Kushner is a novelist, performer, and public radio personality. Her work includes the weekly notational public radio series PRIs Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner, the recording The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer ‘Nutcracker for Chanukah (Ryykodisc CD) and a live performance piece, Esther: the feast of Masks. Her novels Swordpoint and (with Delia Sherman) The Fall of Kings share a setting and quite a few characters with The Privilege of The Swords. She is a member of Terri Windlings Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts and co-founder of the Interstitial Arts Foundation. She lives in New York City and travels a lot, giving shows and readings, lecturing and teaching. You can keep up with her whereabouts and learn more about Riverside and its denizens at www.EllenKushner.com
Her novel Thomas the Rhymer won the World Fantasy Award.
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