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(Tremontaine #1.1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A new sun rises on the lives and fates of four players in a high-stakes game of wit and intrigue.

In a city that never was, sex, scandal, and swordplay combine in a melodrama of manners that returns readers to the beloved world of Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning;a passionate young Scholar with dreams beyond his reach;a
Kindle Edition, 49 pages
Published October 28th 2015 by Serial Box
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Althea Ann
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Riverside is back! Yay!!!

I honestly didn't realize this "serial novel" was a Riverside book when I picked it up, so was quite delighted to find that it is. I still have my doubts about the story being 'shared' by a number of different writers, but I'll see how that goes when I move along to the sequels. This first installment, however, is by Ellen Kushner herself, and even though it's really just an introduction, it's got the magic!

Here we meet the Duchess of Tremontaine, a savvy but
This entry into the Tremontaine series is to set up the characters. I enjoy the fact that Micah is a girl, and a character type that is usually done as a boy. Enjoyable start by fantasy's Jane Austen (with more swords than weddings).
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had to wait until Christmas break to finally get started on these, and I'm glad I did because I read eight episodes back-to-back and only stopped because I hadn't slept for like a full day. The deal with this series is, it's set in Ellen Kushner's Swordpoint universe -- 15 years before the first book kicks off; Alec is just a baby in the opening paragraphs of Arrivals -- and being published in weekly installments from Serialbox Publishing. Each episode costs around two bucks and is written by ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A promising start! Rather enjoyed that. Love the little bite-sized episode format. :)
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Arrivals is the first 'episode' of a serial set in the same world as Swordspoint (my book review for which, by the way, is generally 'AHHHHHHHHHHH!' accompanied by much flailing).

It follows Diane's time period, so Alec Campion has just been born, and I've always been interested in knowing her story! She's such a mysterious character when she's in Swordspoint so it's fantastic to see things not just from her point of view, but from a time when she still has a few rough edges.

There are a myriad
Susanna Sturgis
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all fans of Ellen Kushner's Riverside stories
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This is season 1, episode 1, of Tremontaine, which is being released as a serial by In Riverside time, it precedes Ellen Kushner's brilliant Swordspoint: the birth of the soon-to-be-in/famous Alec is mentioned in this installment. Three promising plot threads are introduced here. Spinner of the first is the shrewd, beautiful, and politically savvy Diane, Duchess Tremontaine, known in her later years to readers of Swordspoint. Next is Ixkaab Balam, headstrong daughter of a powerful ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016, own
There's a whole 13-part prequel series to my beloved Riverside books and nobody told me about it? I'll gladly take any chance to return to this wonderful intrigue- and swordplay-filled world, so this discovery absolutely made my day. The beginning, introducing both characters already familiar from Swordspoint and newly created additions to the cast, is certainly promising - looking forward to seeing these characters cross paths in the following parts!
Carrie (The Butterfly Reader)
Okay let me start out by saying that there is nothing wrong with it. The writing is nice, the characters feel real and pretty flushed out. The plot was a little perky still but I didn't get far into the series. That was my problem, I just could not get into it. I tried and tried. I don't really know why it didn't click with me. I will not be continuing this serial at all.

*I was given this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I AM SO EXCITED TO BE BACK IN THE CITY. There are so many ways I have longed for the cobbled cramped streets of Riverside, with its danger and blood; the hungry ravens of the University; the bitchy finery and refinery of the Hill.

There are 3 ongoing plot lines, one following my very favorite Duchess Tremontaine, known and loved from Swordspoint and the stories in The Privilege of the Sword, another with Micah, a neuro-atypical math savant kid getting into trouble at the University, and my new
HornFan2 (Mike)
Was a recommendation from a friend of mine, figured why not give it a try and was my first read from Ellen Kushner.

Found it interesting, although parts were easy reading, a couple of times when ever she was talking about a particular character, the writings more complex, repetitive and almost seems like it's two authors wrote this one.

Definitely will keep reading this series, liked both Micah and Ixkaab characters, they are both interesting and connectable to the reader.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the first of this serial, we meet the Duchess Tremontaine, an elite fashionista concerned with appearances and society; Micah, a farmhand who's an autistic savant; and Ixcaab, a swordswoman traveling across the seas--and they're all converging in the same city.

The first set up the characters without much plot, but the characters are enjoyable enough to continue. 3.5/5
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series
Tremontaine - episodes 1 and 2 Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner is one of my favourite books, so I was an incredibly easy sell for this series - published weekly by Serialbox, Tremontaine is a prequel to that book set some 15 years earlier in the same universe. So far, I am in love once more with the whole universe Ellen Kushner has created and she is now letting other authors play in it with her as well.

Anyway, how the whole Serialbox thing works is that you subscribe and each week, for 13 weeks,
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't read much speculative fic (it was only through recs that I discovered this) but I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I don't know if I'll continue because there are three major characters, and I was only really compelled by one and that was Micah's POV. But the world building here is fantastic and rich, making it so easy and fun to visualise. A truly original, interesting read. If you want to check it out and see if this is something you would enjoy, the first episode is free.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh no. What have I done? I really shouldn't sign up for this series. But it's like my favorite parts of Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders series, but with queer people. I love it. And it's free on
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
Ok I'm pretty/very obsessed with this now, will maybe consume all the "episodes" in one day??
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
Wonderful, and provided many interesting insights into a character we, or at least I, love to hate, Diane, Duchess Tremontaine.
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must sign on for the StoryBox for further episodes!
Renee Babcock
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First installment of a serial. Enjoyable read that introduces the characters and place.
Alleyne Dickens
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this installment!
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good pilot and I can't wait to know more about the characters and this whole new world.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ellen Kushner and her friends are writing short stories or novellas set in Riverside and the Swordspoint universe again! Yay! Woo Hoo! There are a bunch of new characters, new societies, this novel is capable of standing alone. Or of being read before the original novels, if one finds these first. What fun! Read on Kindle.
Julie  Capell
Even at just under 2 hours (audio book), I could barely finish this first installment of a new fantasy work that is being released in serialized form. As I listened, I cringed and grimaced with each awkward simile, each stereotyped character, each superfluous detail. I thought, wow, it’s so obvious this is a first novel, the bad grammar and misused words grating more and more with each passing minute.

For instance, I wondered why a “noblewoman” would describe another character as “clueless” when
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is so good! Tremontaine is from the point of view of three women each trying to be something else. The Duchess is keeping up appearances, the Trader wants to wield a sword, and the Farmer wants to be a Scholar... or Card Sharp. It's hard to tell with her. Tremontaine is set in the same world as Swordspoint. In just this short chapter the characters, their histories, and their motivations are all well established. As with Swordspoint, there are several gay and lesbian characters, and ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
DELIGHTFUL. Occasional copy-editing fail and Micah, while a very likable character, is a bit of a stereotype - but I really enjoyed returning to the world of Swordspoint. A cozy, engaging read.

(Also, if Micah and her family are intentionally all named after characters from Cold Comfort Farm - well played, Ellen Kushner, well played.)

I'll be interested in how the serial reading experience works for me. So far I really enjoy the episode length and structure.

I would normally not talk about the
Amy Mills
Good introduction to the serial, with fascinating characters. I had forgotten this was in the same world as Swordspoint when I started reading, but, as I read, I kept thinking, "This reminds me of Swordspoint...", and then a few key details made it very obvious it had to be in the same world. Lots of fun, with more variety in characters than Swordspoint (a duchess, a foreigner who's learned just enough swordplay to get herself in trouble, and an autistic youth in town to sell turnips).

Note: In
Edward Rathke
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really like how this is beginning. It reminds me very much, structurally, of a premium cable show, which isn't a bad thing. Lots of distinct storylines established, which will certainly intersect and mesh together.

Not a lot to say yet, but excited to keep reading.


I've now finished the series and definitely recommend it. It's a very cool experiment as a series but also just an exceptional piece of work. The series explores race, sexuality, gender, class, culture, and economics, while
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, owned
(Good enough to encourage me to check out the next volumes at some point, but not quite to encourage me to spend on the subscription. I guess I'm not quite the right market for it, since I'm just not quite into the serialised format, and the American prices are somewhat steep considering the length of each installment.

But I'd probably be tempted if there was ever any discount.)

The characters were fun, the world sounded interesting, the story - compelling, but I wish it was more of a real story
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-mm
I know many, many readers love this. I wanted to see if I absolutely had to read the serials before reading Swordspoint. I tried it since it was free but either bad reading mojo has hit me or it was just what is was -I didn't get much 'joy' from it.

Think I might still buy Swordspoint -joy may turn up there.

Edit to say, uh,uh I'm gonna buy Swordspoint. Pity ebooks doesn't come with return policy, you know :) -bought it.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
It was a combination of elements that contributed toward giving this first episode of Tremontaine such a high rating. Not only were the characters and storylines from Ellen Kushner fantastic (I will have to check out her other work now!), the audio was brilliantly done, and I love the serialisation aspect! It all blends together so well, to create a great package. A totally enjoyable experience, that kept me entertained for over an hour! Brava! Subscription bought!
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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 “

Other books in the series

Tremontaine (1 - 10 of 52 books)
  • The North Side of the Sun (Tremontaine #1.2)
  • Heavenly Bodies (Tremontaine #1.3)
  • A Wake in Riverside (Tremontaine #1.4)
  • The Dagger and the Sword (Tremontaine #1.5)
  • A Fair Hand (Tremontaine #1.6)
  • The Swan Ball (Tremontaine #1.7)
  • A City Without Chocolate (Tremontaine #1.8)
  • Lies in Our Stars (Tremontaine #1.9)
  • Shadowroot (Tremontaine #1.10)
  • Go and Tell The Morning Star (Tremontaine #1.11)