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Het privilege van het zwaard (The World of Riverside #2)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  3,079 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Katherine, een jong en welopgevoed plattelandsmeisje dat op uitnodiging van haar oom, Alec Campion, naar Rivierenkwartier komt, kijkt haar ogen uit. Maar wat zij niet weet is dat Campion, een wellustige en decadente man die in de volksmond de Waanzinnige Hertog van Termaine wordt genoemd, zo zijn eigen plannen met haar heeft.
Zo lijkt het hem bijzonder amusant als zijn nich
Paperback, 382 pages
Published June 26th 2008 by Luitingh Fantasy (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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The book is set a dozen or so years after Swordspoint, one of my very favorite fantasy stories. Alec Campion, the Mad Duke of Tremontaine, summons his young niece to the city. He promises to alleviate her family’s financial situation if she’ll obey his one command—she must dress only in men’s clothing and learn to fight. There are many fantasy books about young, naïve girls who learn to swordfight and defy convention, and most of them are terrible (even the Alanna series has some serious faults) ...more
The one where Mad Duke Alec brings his 15-year-old niece, Katherine, to the city to make a swordsman of her.

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

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
About fifteen years after Swordspoint, young Katherine is sent from the country to her uncle the mad Duke, who has a nefarious but possibly brilliant plan to turn her into the first swordswoman.

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
Like Swordspoint, which I also loved, this novel is an extremely entertaining read that manages to provoke far more thought than I would have expected from a book that's such pure fun. I think what I loved so much about The Privilege of the Sword is that it manages to grant the reader the very real narrative pleasure of the comedy of manners and the swashbuckling revenge tale while at the same time illuminating the gender and class politics at the very foundations of these genres. This knowing a ...more
Sherwood Smith
readers who have not encountered the previous books set in Kushner's Riverside could read this one first with no confusion or diminishment of pleasure. One doesn't need to know the characters' back (or forward) history; as Katherine encounters them, we do too, through her descriptions both trenchant and humane. (Though it must be said certain lines and situations inevitably will resonate more with readers familiar with the previous Riverside stories.)

Kushner begins with sixteen-year-old Katherin
There are some things I liked very much about this book. The moment of the main character's first sexual awakening is both hilarious and yet also believable; there are moments of brilliant wit and biting sarcasm; there are scenes of such vicious depravity and cruelty that one's breath is taken away; and there are a few moments of tender love. One problem many sequels have—true sequels, in which previous characters appear in a new story—is that characters one has learned to love or hate, or who i ...more
Aug 20, 2007 Darlene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA, fantasy, gender, queer
The main character of The Privilege of the Sword (which my husband insisted on calling the Privilege of the Phallus) was a delight. Katherine was fascinating, multilayered, complex. I really liked her. She grew from an independent, loyal and sensitive girl into a fiercely independent, fiercely loyal, and dangerously armed sensitive woman. Yeah!

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
This is one of the oddest sequels I've ever read - so much time has passed, and all the characters have changed so much, but their development in the intervening decades makes perfect sense - it's like we've tossed a ball high in the air, ran a few feet with eyes closed, and caught the ball again.

These characters are some of the most richly illustrated I've ever read - they sparkle with humanity and ignorance and dark secrets. one can't help but loving all of them, for their vanity and pain and
Feb 22, 2011 Belcky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Belcky by: Don't remember, but if it was you, tell me so I can thank you!
Girl learns to be a swordswoman in a world full of swordsmen. Honestly, I expected a lot of corn n' cheese... and feminism. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

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
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this strange little "fantasy of manners". This is a sequel of sorts to Kushner's novel Swordspoint, but I liked this one better.

It's about a country girl who comes to town to live with her mad, debauched uncle who insists that she dress like a man and learn swordsmanship. It sounds like bad YA fantasy, but Kushner pulls it off well, with great characters and a very amusing and often poignant story.

In the background, the complex and mesmerizing romance between Alec and
Feb 23, 2014 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jess by: Neil Gaiman Presents
Overall an enjoyable coming of age book about gender roles, sex roles, society expectations, various other roles and boxes we get jammed into, and of course, swordplay.

It drags in a few places, but some of that may be because I listened to this one.* I want to get to what happens next but it's going to take an hour to get there. Katherine can be too silly (as may be expected from a teen) but plenty of good moments to go with 4 stars. Gay main character who's open and while there are comments abo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rambles On
Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint has the distinction of being among the most intelligent and stylish fantasy novels I’ve ever read. As it happens, I have to go back to a very basic definition of “fantasy” to make that statement, since Kushner’s universe shares no characteristics with traditional fantasy save that she made it up and it is most definitely not this world.

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
Therese Arkenberg
Alec Campion, the “Mad Duke” Tremontain, is jaded and disgusted with the behavior of his fellow nobility. Their facade of elegance and respectability is a sham, while they abuse their wealth, power, and privileges—including the privilege to sic trained swordsmen on anyone they disagree with. Alec decides to twist that latter privilege on its head by inviting his niece Kate from the countryside and training her to become his swordswoman/bodyguard.

This is a sequel to the original Riverside novel,
Lis Carey
Alec Campion, the Mad Duke, is some twenty years older than in Swordspoint, but he isn’t any less a trial to his family, friends, and enemies. Dividing his time between Tremontaine House and his Riverside house, the Duke Tremontaine hosts parties ranging from the risqué to the debauched, and lives a life of dissipation.

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
Cara M
Honestly, up until the final two chapters, this book was the best book I had ever read, which made the crashing failure at the end the most depressing thing that happened to me in a long time. The fact is, this was a story about Katharine and Artemisia. This isn't just my opinion. They had a majority of the POV parts, and their stories were the interesting arcing plot lines. I absolutely loved the story-line where they were interacting with the trashy romantic novel and the play based on it. It ...more
Scott Marlowe
The short of Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword: I liked it. Though I have to say I'm split.

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
This story made me want to cheer. It's so much fun!

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
*Review of audiobook edition*

Ellen Kushner's "The Privilege of the Sword", an Austen-esque tale spiced with romance (and swordfights!) is a delight from start to finish.

Artemisia, a gently-reared young lady of the nobility, discovers to her shock that the process of Growing Up actually equates to "being marketed as a valuble commodity", and that she herself has no real say over the consummation of the deal. Katherine, fresh from the country, looks forward to a conventional coming-out, as befits
Lisa Jensen
Expecting a swashbuckler, I found this much more tasty, original and complex. The compelling voice of teenage Katherine, brought to the city by her uncle, Alec Campion, the notorious "Mad Duke" of Tremontaine, to train as a swordswoman, drew me in. What kept me delighted was Kushner's fanciful metropolis of decadent high life, colorful low-life, and intellectual Bohemia, rife with political and erotic intrigue. Disputes over everything from a maiden's honor to the quality of poetry are settled b ...more
Filling in some backstory to The Fall of the Kings, and giving us something of a sequel to Swordspoint, Kushner gives us the story of Katherine, niece to the Mad Duke Tremontain, whom readers of Swordspoint will have met.

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
It took me quite a while to get around to reading The Privilege of the Sword, but once I finally did, I was rather glad of it. It didn't strike me as quite the oh-my-god-amazing thing that the buzz for the book made it out to be when it first came out, but still, I did like it quite a bit.

This is a long-awaited sequel to an unusual little fantasy novel called Swordspoint, although I didn't realize this until I'd actually picked up my copy. What made that initial novel unusual is still in play he
The Privilege of the Sword is just as easy to read as Swordspoint. It's a little different in style, given that there are sections in first person and some in third. I think this is actually a little lazy on Kushner's part. It could easily have all been written in third person, it would have been much harder to do in first person. I think she should have picked one and stuck to it; the POV changes are odd and sometimes awkward.

Alec and Richard are no longer the main characters, but they're still
FEELINGS. This book decided to hit all of my narrative kinks at once, basically. Sequel set in same 'verse from different POV! Beloved characters from previous book reappearing but not quite as you know them, lurking around the edges to make me heartclutch at intervals (alllll my Alec/Richard feelings allow me to show them to you). A young woman on a quest to support her family and discover herself! Sword fighting! Training out in the middle of nowhere where everything is peaceful and hidden tal ...more
I really liked Ellen Kushner's other novels in this world, but this one was very hum-drum. Of course, I previously read the other novels about 10+ years ago, and I have changed a lot since then.

Essentially this novel is about a crazy rich man who buys his niece from his sister in order to train her as a swordsman to protect him.

The girl, Katherine, only fights in two duels in the entire novel. The last part of the book she is just a horny teenager who is attracted to her uncle's valet.

I was an a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
One of my favorite books of all time, though I just read it a few months ago. Everything about it is astonishingly well done. It's the sort of book that one day, I hope I might be able to write. Not the particulars, of course, but the sense of painful, yet joyful, longing it invokes. The scenes with St. Vier in the middle had me weeping. I had to lock myself in the bathroom with some tissues just to finish this.

This won't mean anything to most people, but if you've read Lymond: I felt the same
I purchased this book first, then realized that it was the second in the series thanks to Neil Gaiman's intro, and listened to the first one before moving along to this one.

I don't know how necessary it really was, as the main characters in the first book are only secondary characters here (and not really very critical). Alec, one of the main characters in the first book is the crazy Duke who wages (financial) war on his family thanks to some unresolved issues he has with his sister. After break
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topics  posts  views  last activity Bo...: The Privilege of the Sword. 1 47 Aug 07, 2013 11:07PM  
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American writer of fantasy novels, and the host of the radio program Sound & Spirit, distributed by Public Radio International.

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 about Ellen Kushner...

Other Books in the Series

The World of Riverside (3 books)
  • Swordspoint (Riverside, #1)
  • The Fall of the Kings (Riverside, #3)
Swordspoint (Riverside, #1) Thomas the Rhymer The Fall of the Kings (Riverside, #3) The Man with the Knives Outlaws of Sherwood Forest (Choose Your Own Adventure, #47)

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“He said, 'They're only whores,' as though their very availability rendered them worthless.” 8 likes
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