The second volume of award-winning author Ellen Kushner's classic of modern fantasy, set in a world of unforgettable characters whose political ambitions, passionate love affairs and age-old rivalries collide with deadly results.
Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballrooms, 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.
This is the second volume in a loose trilogy set in a swashbuckling 'Three Musketeers' style world: Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword & The Fall of the Kings.
It's beautifully written, breezy, quick, hysterically funny, poignant and bloody and world-weary and heartrendingly naive by turns. This is a fantastic book, a coming-of-age story, and I love it with a quite deep and unreasonable love - Elizabeth Bear
One of the most gorgeous books I've ever read: it's witty and wonderful, with characters that will provoke, charm and delight - Holly Black
A magical mixture of Dumas and Georgette Heyer. The dialogue dazzles and so does the swordplay - Kelly Link
Unholy fun, and wholly fun . . . an elegant riposte, dazzlingly executed - Gregory Maguire
Ellen Kushner (1955- )
Ellen Kushner is the author of World Fantasy Award-winner Thomas the Rhymer, and 'Swords of Riverside' comprising the interconnected novels Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, and The Fall of the Kings (with Delia Sherman). She narrated these as audiobooks for Neil Gaiman Presents, winning an Audie Award for Swordspoint. She has taught creative writing at Clarion, the Odyssey Workshop, and is an instructor at Hollins University's Children's Literature M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman and far too many books.