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Tremontaine: The Complete Season One

(Tremontaine #1.1-1.13)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  106 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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Martha It is a book but it started on Serial Box as a 'play' or narration 13 episodes in Season 1. There are now 4 Seasons all of which may be found on Seria…moreIt is a book but it started on Serial Box as a 'play' or narration 13 episodes in Season 1. There are now 4 Seasons all of which may be found on Serial Box or in Kindle e-book versions(less)

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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: fantasy, lgbt, university
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
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
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.
Thanks to, the authors and serial box for the advance ARC copy for my honest review.

'Tremontaine: Season One', was a recommendation from a co-worker of mine, figured why not give it a try, it's my first read of a Riverside book and even if it's not a typical genre that I read. That it was a serial installment book, with various authors did make it attractive to read and also may discover new authors to read.

With that said, I did like Ellen Kushner, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Malinda Lo,
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.
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.
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
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
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Tremontaine comes from the folks at Serial Box, who are putting out novel-length works in weekly installments. It's set in the world of the Riverside novels by the incomparable Ellen Kushner - and while she wrote the first and last segments, the others are credited to other members of a writing team - like the writing staff of a TV drama. Thus, "The Complete Season One," which is admittedly not something you see much on Goodreads. (Also, adding each installment as a separate book has totally inf ...more
Katherine Kendig
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Considering the length of this and how many authors had a hand in it, it read pretty smoothly. But the characters were one-note for most of the 650+ pages: Micah likes math more than people! Kaab thinks the Locals are inferior! Rafe thinks he's right about everything! Diane is scheming! By and large, I didn't find them likable or interesting to begin with - and many of the episodes felt like they were killing time, reintroducing personality traits and dynamics with only small forward gains. It t ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was a long reading experience.

The Riverside books are among my favorite, but I never got around to finishing Tremontaine, finding that the serial format (and price point per episode) didn't really work for me. I ended up returning to it as an audiobook, which was maybe not the best format for this title. Not because of the narration—Sarah Mollo-Christensen is an unparalleled voice-actor, and Katherine Kellgren is fabulous as Diane—but because the darned thing is so cursedly long, and
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
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, betrayal and treachery know no bounds with stakes this high. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkli ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway, audiobook
I listened to the audiobook version on Serial Box, and the production was quite good. The voices worked, and though there were different readers for the most of the PoVs each character had a recognizable 'voice' throughout.

My problem, from the beginning, was that three of the four PoV characters were, if not actually unlikeable, at least unsympathetic. The neurotypical characters were all self centered and annoying. To be fair, there was some character growth for all of them.

As far as world bui
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
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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 52 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)

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