The Privilege of the Sword (Riverside Series #2)
Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS FANTASY list.
As the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners list treated me so kindly, I figure I’ll trust those same good folk to pick me some stars in their sister-list, the Locus Fantasy Award winners.
While I was working my way through the list of Locus Sci-Fi...more
Very fine when it comes to Katherine's personal life; less successful in other areas.
Katherine is adorable, and her reactions rang very true to me; I especially liked how it felt for her to put on men's clothes for the first time, and how she gradually gained enthusiasm for her fate. Her sexual awakening was done very well, too.
I enjoyed seeing the dark side of sex and marriage; I have a...more
Much of the story is told from the point of view of a girl in her young teens who cherishes romantic dreams of balls and catching a suitor with a gown and a glance--and what gal can't empathize with a princess fantasy? She is offered a chance to regain her family fortunes from her spiteful uncle if she comes to the city and trains to be...more
Some of the other characters were also intriguing -- the Duke in particular (sexy and dark, yum) -- but most of the others fell flat. Additionally, I fel...more
Okay, so, it went something like this:
First 100 pages: Restless twitching, sighing, picking of fingernails. God, Ellen Kushner, are you seriously telling me you're letting me down in this universe twice?
Next 100 pages: Oh? Oh! Eeee! Well, why didn't you say so earlier? Oh, but you're still doing that thin...more
The novel is (partly) the coming of age story of Katherine Talbert, a plucky, good-natured, and innocent fifteen-year-old daughter of a country aristocrat family in financial straits. As the action begins,...more
So anyway, I've held onto this book for a little while now. Just never seemed the right time to pick it up until a couple of days ago. *chuckles* It was good. I...more
As I've said before, Swordspoint is my favorite book in the world. This is the book that finally lets you know what happened with Richard and Alec and all the rest of them, and lets you meet a whole new set of wonderful characters besides.
Riverside has changed, in the generation since the first book. Manners have shifted, customs have evolved, and the world's definitely moving from the rough-and-tumble, late-Renaissance feel of Swordspoint to the more r...more
I honestly did not understand at first why Alec gave Katherine a swordsman's training because I never bought that reason about making her part of his guard however after his conversation with Janine, it made a lot of sense. He was giving Kat the choices and the power that was denied to her mother. He did as much for Marcus. I particularly like...more
It's not that exactly, though - I mean yes the vaguely medieval (or, what, Elizabetha...more
I love good coming of age stories about determined young women, and Katherine is a great example. She comes to the city to live with her uncle expecting one kind of life. But nothing is ever straightforward around the Duke Tremontaine, she soon learns.
The Privilege of the Swor...more
‘The Privilege of the Sword’ (Bantam Spectra, $14, 378 pages) is set in the same world as ‘Swordspoint’ and ‘The Fall of Kings’, and for the most part, it’s a pleasantly old-fashioned coming-of-age fantasy about an adolescent being brought from the country to become a swordsman (in a pre-industrial society, of course).
There are some twists, however. The first is that the...more
The Privilege of the Sword falls between the short stories “The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death” (which is the title of a novel and...more
And also very hard to describe. What historic epoch is this setting trying to echo? Renaissance Italy, maybe. Probably. Except for the part where the names are more English. Regardless: A decadent society, dominated by a noble class, with a tradition of dueling by proxy that in the present book is beginning to fade.
He also quietly makes political trouble for those intent schemes that would line their own pockets at the expense of the less powerful and the less well-connected. Aside from his...more
But, first, a brief summary:
Lady Katherine Talbert goes to live with her Uncle, the Mad Duke, who has it in for Katherine's mother (the Duke's sister) and vows to leave her alone should she commit her daughter to living with him for six months. In that time, the Mad Duke completely changes her perspective on life and her place in it, having her trained as a swords(wo)man. Once she has mastered the...more
the plot synopsis up there is pretty straight on: a crazy nobleman calls up his country cousin to attend him in the bright lights of the big city as his swashbuckler. though this is all kinds of abhorrent to a properly brought up young lady, she agrees to his terms because her family is about out of money and crazy uncle has plenty of it. a fun, fast-paced story ensues, wherein she learns to deal with wearing breeches instead of chemises, attempts to ignore her uncle's legendary...more
I am not so gentle a friend that I am not filled with righteous wrath on your account. By no means hearken to the voices of those who say it was your fault, because it wasn't. Any more than it is my fault that I have to learn the sword and wear funny clothes. They are bigger than we are, and older and have more money and can make us do things we don't want to. Remember when we met at my uncle's ball? I thought you were so brave and elegant and daring, and you were, too...more
I was immediately hooked by the characterizations of the main character, Katherine, and her uncle, the Duke. Katherine is a very responsible, though imaginative, fifteen-year-old girl. One first meets her helping her mother with housekeeping and hoping that she'll be able to have beautiful dresses and go into society. Then there's the uncle - fearfully rich and powerful, susceptible to changing moods and to acting on impulse, behaving selfishly...more
Much of the story is told by Katherine. She speaks like the 15 year-old girl she is and I was pleased to find that she wasn't initially eager to don boys' clothing or lift a sword. Her growt...more
Ellen Kushner, host of public radio's Sound & Spirit, won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Thomas the Rhymer (1990). She also wowed readers with her 1987 debut Swordspoint. She has revisited its setting in two novels: The Fall of the Kings (with Delia Sherman) (2002), and now The Privilege of the Sword. Critics admire the new novel's well-drawn characters, sharp humor, and driving plot; some even suggested starting with Swordspoint to become acquainted with the setting and the characters. Ku...more
This is a 20-years-later sequel to Swordspoint; it has its own plot and protagonist and doesn’t demand that you read Swordspoint first, but it’ll make more sense if you do. Katherine, a 15-year-old from a minor noble family in the country, is summoned to the city by her uncle Alec, the Mad Duke, who’s determined to make a swordsman of her....more
She lives in New York City with her wife and sometime collaborator, Delia Sherman. Her first novel, Swordspoint (1987), and its sequel (co-authored by Sherman) The Fall of the Kings (2002), are mannerpunk novels set in a nameless imaginary capital city, and its raffish...more