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The Man with the Knives (The World of Riverside #2.5)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A tale of loss and healing, set in Kushner's Riverside series.
Paperback, Trade issue, 32 pages
Published May 3rd 2010 by Temporary Culture (first published 2010)
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Dec 30, 2016 Lata rated it really liked it
#30 short story.

It would help if I knew a little of the background for one of the characters in this story; I think it would have helped explain some things. That said, beautifully written short about two people coming together. Beautiful illustrations, too.
May 02, 2010 Just_ann_now rated it it was amazing
Ellen Kushner's much-loved 1998 story, "The Death of the Duke", tells how Sophia, a lonely village physician, well past the age for being wed, met and married a stranger, "half-crazed with grief over the loss of his lover." Her new story, "The Man with the Knives" (available as a chapbook from Temporary Culture) fills in the details of that courtship.

The story is told in a lyrical, almost poetical style, rather than a straightforward narrative, with Sophia's and Alec's alternating points of vie
Oct 01, 2014 Nicky rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to Ellen Kushner’s work through her novel Swordspoint which became a quick and lasting favorite of mine. Kushner has a way of writing that carries both descriptive and emotional power without tipping into the realm of wordy or sappy. Her characters are neither too strong nor too weak, but that wonderful middle ground at which a fictional figure becomes a believable human.

Read my full review here.
Grace Yeo
Aug 21, 2012 Grace Yeo rated it liked it
Shelves: year-2012
With illustration from here:
Dec 30, 2015 Talia rated it it was amazing

(Brilliant, of course. Read after Swordspoint and also after bracing your entire soul.)
Kei Blackthorne
Sad and gorgeous, and sweet-bitter and lingering as the ghost of poisoned honey. I was so glad to lay eyes upon this last piece of the missing years between The Privilege of the Sword and The Fall of the Kings, and revisit one of my most beloved characters. I'm a sucker for a good, tragic tale, and Kushner's works always have that quality for me, that echo of underlying sadness, though witty and saucy and finely crafted they may be. And the illustrations are lovely. Brilliant. Swordspoint has ev ...more
Catherine Evans
Jun 13, 2010 Catherine Evans rated it liked it
As wonderful a read as ever, but far, far too short... and as unfair as it is, I have yet to conquer the sensation that this is not 'my' Alec - or come to that 'my' Sophia, from whose character there seems to be some piece missing that would explain the transition from the woman Alec meets on his island to the Sophia of Fall of the Kings.

Partly, I must admit, the problem is that what I wanted was more Alec & Richard, and while I respect Ellen Kushner's right to write for herself or even (ga
Scott Frank
Jun 07, 2011 Scott Frank rated it really liked it
I finished this short book (a pamphlet, really - it maybe took fifteen minutes to read), and just said "holy sh*t" as an expression of wonder, of the way this story is a small little jewel you did not expect to find.

That said, if you haven't read Kusher's previous novel "Swordspoint" it will have much less of an effect; probably a three-star rating in that case.

The illustrations by Thomas Canty are, as with all his work, haunting and beautiful.
Carol March
Nov 12, 2013 Carol March rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful, moving story. I am a huge fan of this world and these characters, and despite the fact that I cried over this, it was very satisfying. The way Kushner uses language in this story is just exquisite. Also, I'm a sucker for eternal love.
Feb 18, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
A love story pared down to essentials, raw and distant at the same time; lyrical. You can read it as an after-thread to other "Swordspoint" stories (one of the people involved is named Campion), but to take the shorter wordcount as a slighter story would be to miss the point.
May 17, 2010 GraceAnne rated it it was amazing
Set in the Swordspoint universe, heartbreaking and beautiful. Not only is every word perfect, but Tom Canty's spot illustrations in black and white and lyrical line and form, are simply gorgeous.
Feb 21, 2013 JM rated it liked it
Kushner can definitely write. This story is very well told and the use of language is excellent. However, it never really clicked for me. It seemed somehow uninteresting in the end.
Jan 23, 2011 Jess rated it it was amazing
Such a simple story, and it ends well, but it broke my heart in the best of ways.
Sep 12, 2010 K rated it really liked it
Beautifully written short story in a handsome little package.
Mar 07, 2013 DL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've wanted the "end" of Swordspoint for so long. Now I wish I didn't have it. This was beautiful. It was also loss and pain and loneliness.
Sidsel Pedersen
That was very sad, sweet and joyful. I'm not sure how it fits with the Riverside stories but I liked it
Jul 04, 2011 Alexei rated it really liked it
Sad :-(
Kate O'Hanlon
Jul 25, 2012 Kate O'Hanlon rated it really liked it
Finally, I have hunted down the sad but satisfying answer to the one question I had lingering after finishing the Riverside trilogy.
Jul 16, 2016 Christine rated it really liked it
Short and beautiful and I am now a broken person.
Jul 07, 2010 Yune rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Beautiful and sad. Even had I not known the story behind this one, I think I would've been enraptured by the language.
Kelly rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2012
Mirabel-chan rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2015
Jess rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2014
Jessica Broadhead
Jessica Broadhead rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2015
Jonah rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2013
David Edison
David Edison rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2013
Isabella rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2013
Vincent rated it it was amazing
Apr 12, 2015
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Becky Jones rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2014
Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2012
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Ellen Kushner weaves together multiple careers as a writer, radio host, teacher, performer and public speaker.

A graduate of Barnard College, she also attended Bryn Mawr College, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She began her career in publishing as a fiction editor in New York City, but left to write her first novel Swordspoint, which has become a cult classic, hailed as the progenitor of the “mann
More about Ellen Kushner...

Other Books in the Series

The World of Riverside (5 books)
  • Tremontaine: The Complete Season One (Tremontaine #1.1-1.13)
  • Tremontaine: The Complete Season Two (Tremontaine #2.1-2.13)
  • Swordspoint (Riverside, #1)
  • The Privilege of the Sword (Riverside, #2)
  • The Fall of the Kings (Riverside, #3)

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