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Tremontaine: The Complete Season One

(Tremontaine #1.1-1.13)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband’s dangerous affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius on the brink of revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, ...more
ebook, 462 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Serial Box (first published January 27th 2016)
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Althea Ann
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Riverside is back! Yay!!!

1. 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 less-tha
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Driven by the excellent experience I had with Bookburners earlier this year, I vowed to myself I would check out more serials from Serial Box. Pleasantly surprised by how well the structure of the serial novel worked for me, I wanted more—and thus my attention immediately fell upon Tremontaine Season One, the collection of all thirteen episodes released from Saga Press.

But while Bookburners came out of the gate running, th
Sherwood Smith
Oct 16, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
So many interesting experiments going on in publishing today. One of the most successful to my eyes is the adaptation of Ellen Kushner’s Riverside stories and novels to serial publication via Serial Box—and a group authorial experience.

I thought Season One a coupe de foudre on a number of levels. I wondered how a group effort would work, especially in attempting to emulate Ellen Kushner’s supple, witty style. And I wondered if the season would repeat storylines I already knew.

I should not have w
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, owned
I read the season without having read the original novels by Kushner, and knowing very little about them beyond the fact that they are a staple where queer sff is concerned.

The truth is, I started reading Tremontaine season 1 a long while ago. I got through the first three episodes on my own before becoming frustrated with the format, particularly when some sections appeared to become repetitive (giving us the same information to clue in a reader who read the last part a month ago would be okay,
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Tremontaine is the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint and also a story published through Serial Box, a service that provides serialized “episodes” of written stories somewhat in the manner of TV shows, with different authors writing each episode. The edition I’m reviewing gathers together all thirteen episodes of Season One into a single volume.

Duchess Diane Tremontaine teeters on the edge of financial and social ruin when a ship she’d heavily invested in goes down at sea. At the university,
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: university, fantasy, lgbt
I'm kinda disappointed because The Privilege of the Sword is one of my favourite novels ever, because it hit so many fantastic emotional and narrative notes for me, and then Swordspoint won me over with a strange charm. This had neither? It was slow and kind of blander (which is a shame because I know how immersive the setting can be in TPOTS) and didn't have nearly as great an emotional, melodramatic crescendo of a climax. The writing by every author involved was fine, but the plot let me down. ...more
Ju Transcendancing
An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review reposted from my blog The Conversationalist.

What isn’t to love about sword wielding women, politics, hot chocolate, frocks, parties, manners and physics? The serial format of Tremontaine works very well, it’s clear that the background world and universe of Ellen Kushner’s is beloved by all the authors that are invited to play in the world for this story. I’d fallen off the appeal of epic fantasy for
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Due to life, it took me several weeks to finish this book. But like a good cup of hot chocolate, this was a book to be savored. It was twisty and full of political machinations, and I loved it. (Though side note: The plot was not nearly twisty enough, or subtle enough in its twists for me. But maybe that was the point? Since the book mimicked a season of a TV show, foreshadowing could be a little heavyhanded deliberately.)

I had not read the original Riverside books, though they are on my shelf.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this up attracted by the idea of a swashbuckling LGBTQIA adventure written in a shared-world way by multiple authors.

The result is indeed a fabulous swashbuckler of a book, with terrific characters and excellent worldbuilding. The writers overlap timelines occasionally, offering difference perspectives for characters. The styles don't always meld quite smoothly and sometimes information is repeated, but on the whole the shared writing works very well.

The various and intertwined stories
I enjoyed this; it was a fun revisiting of one of my favourite settings, that contains so many things that I enjoy. Plus some tasty bonuses, like foreign traders with their own views of the world, and a glance at the political complexities of intellectual development.

Once again, the episodic nature of the initial medium led to some oddities of pacing, both within episodes and across the whole arc, but it worked better for me in this long-term unfolding-of-story style of "show" (rather than the m
Laurie Boris
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fell into this story and this world so easily, and immediately started loving all the characters, especially Micah, the daughter of turnip farmers who loves math and dresses as a boy when she comes to the city with her cousin to sell their wares at the market, because nobody bothers her when she dresses as a boy. And what a unique proposition: a novel with a common universe of characters, each chapter written by a different author. There were slight differences in voice, and except for one sce ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it
A faux-historical romp through the queered world of Tremontaine. Although a little pantomime-ish in places, it's generally an easy holiday read. At times the shift from author to author was slightly disruptive.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2016
Romance and adventure in the chocolate trade! Big fun.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, physical-2017
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! And the narrators were awesome, especially the duchess.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi, queer
This was a really interesting project to read. I enjoyed it a lot, although there were episodes that I struggled to get into because of the author's specific style. All in all, it was a really solid work. If you enjoyed the other books set in this world, I think you'd very much enjoy this serial.
Elaine White
* NOTE: It wouldn't let me copy my entire review (8 pages) so let me just say that I fell in love with Rafe and Will, I want to read more about Joshua and Micah, and I hope Diane burns in the deepest pit of hell. *

Book – Tremontaine (Season One)
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 462
Cover – quirky and clever!
POV – 3rd person, multi character, often omni-present
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Serial, Historical, Coming-of-Age, Queer
Content Warning – mild violence, sexual situatio
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fun to return to Riverside, but the fact that each chapter was written by a different author made the experience uneven.
Lee Ann
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this book! The concept is awesome: Multiple authors working together to create an episodic novel, with an "episode" released each week. And some of my favorite authors, Ellen Kushner (of course -- as this serial is a part of her Swordspoint series) and Malinda Lo, contributed to it.

Buuuuutttt.... a lot of the time, transitioning from one author's voice to the next is jarring. The characterization was surprisingly very consistent, but there were definitely some au
It was a fairy tale, they said—a Riverside fairy tale. The fair maiden Tess needed a protector, and so the foreign princess had fought every pretender until she found the one Riverside swordsman who was honest and true. [loc 3991]

Serialised fiction, like the renaissance of the novella, is one of those publishing trends that's increased in popularity with the rise of the e-reader. Personally I prefer my fiction in complete chunks, so -- after sampling the first 'episode' of this SerialBox series
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cooperatively written, serialized prequel to the "fantasy-of-manners" Swordspoint (which in turn is followed by the heavily recommended The Privilege of the Sword). I haven't read the background but it feels like it was handed around between authors with a rough outline of where they wanted to end up, and everyone seemed to be on the same page when it comes to the spirit of the work. It's mostly solid storytelling and really has the feel of a 19th century serialization. Occasionally th ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I started reading this in the serial box app but the combined price would be so far above even a hardcover that I didn't keep up after the second chapter, despite my love for Swordpoint and all the rest of Ellen Kushner's books. So I was delighted when my library got the omnibus of Season 1.

Overall I really liked it. Since it was over 1000 pages according to my app, I was worried i wouldn't finish it before the ebook auto returned but it was very very compulsively readable. It was very dense an
Everdeen Mason
(More like a 3.5)
Tremontaine (Saga) is fantasy only in that it’s set in a made-up city, one full of brigands, politicians and partying nobles. The real magic is how well six authors can spin together a narrative. The book is a prequel of sorts to Ellen Kushner’s “Swordspoint” series, but stands perfectly well alone. Kushner, as well as five other authors such as Malinda Lo and Alaya Dawn Johnson, have written a sprawling narrative following four main characters, the likes of whom are often not s
Richard Rogers
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It didn't end up being quite what I thought it would be, but I liked it.

I expected it to be almost entirely a novel of manners fantasy, something between Austen and Moorcock. Maybe a little Gormenghast. There was some of that, particularly whenever we were in Duchess Tremontaine's POV, but that happened much less than I expected, and the society aspect was muted outside of a single fancy dinner. Kaab and the traders, with their Mesoamerican-style culture, were interesting and refreshing, but the
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-lit
This serial is an absolute blast to read, once you're quite a ways into it. It doesn't require having read Ellen Kushner's Riverside novels, to which this is technically a prequel, and instead is more like a story that stands on its own but happens to be set in the same world. It has swordfighting, and political maneuvering, and murder, and blackmail, and a really great cast of characters. There's a conniving duchess, a sea trade "princess" newly exiled from her home country, a genius pre-teen g ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
After rereading Swordspoint, I found myself in dire need of more adventures in the City, and, conveniently, have been subscribed to this serial since the beginning. And while I didn't mean to wait this long and to binge it all at once (over a weekend, up until 2 a.m.), it rewarded the close reading dates.

One of the ways it does this is by taking characters and events of the world building established in previous books (that take place chronologically later in the series) and really fleshing out
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
writer and editor Ellen Kushner once wrote a neat little trilogy which was a fantasy of manners about an unnamed city, two parts of which were called The Hill and Riverside. all this time later, along comes a prequel, written in installments by a number of writers, with Ellen Kushner writing the framing (first and last) episodes of the 'season'. it's compulsively readable on every stage, and the season story is pretty good too. the relationships are mostly same-sex, the world is mostly a fantasy ...more
Sara Norja
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable foray back into Riverside! I have to admit it's been so long since I read Swordspoint and its successors that I had almost no recollection of anything, so I approached Tremontaine with a rather clean slate. However, Tremontaine certainly addressed some of the quibbles I had with the original books - mainly, the lack of women and people of colour. So, this was a delight. The characters had life and the bantering was awesome.

I especially enjoyed the Kinwiinik - the cultural diffe
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, own
I won this book in a giveaway. I was enticed by it being written by 6 successful authors and a prequel to a successful series. I started reading it and got almost a quarter of the way through the book. Being a fantasy series the names were difficult and the environment different. It set the stage through several characters and then started connecting them. Being relatively new to reading fantasy, I thought this was a bit much to understand. I read in snatches and I couldn't keep the characters s ...more
Rene Sears
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've never been to the world of Riverside, you are in for a wonderful treat. (If you *have* visited Riverside, you are *also* in for a wonderful treat.) This is a prequel serial to Ellen Kushner's iconic novel Swordspoint. It gives background on some of the characters you know if you've read Swordspoint (I may have squealed out loud upon meeting a certain swordsman from the original book), and introduces a bevy of new ones, all of whom are wonderful.

If you are into: kissing! betrayal! duch
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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

Other books in the series

Tremontaine (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Arrivals (Tremontaine #1.1)
  • 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)