What I loved so much
about The Privilege of the Sword is that it manages to grant the reader the The Privilege of the Sword is that it manages to grant the reader the 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 awareness permeates the book s wry humor specially in the scenes revolving around the fictional novel The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death which is both a vehicle for its society s oppressive s and the catalyst
for subversion on the part of several characters who ncounter and reinterpret it The role of popular fiction in the subversion on the part of several characters who ncounter and reinterpret it The role of popular fiction in the and self conceptions of these characters amounts to an incredibly smart commentary on the limitations and subversive potential of genre fiction as well as the power of alternative readings of ven the most reactionary seeming stories It s also a hilarious affectionate parody of the novel s own genre Who says that critiues of deep seated power structures can t also be funTalk about the pleasure of the text To roughly uote a character as the book is not in front of me It s full of noble truths of the heart And swordfights 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 swordswomanOkay so it went something like thisFirst 100 pages Restless twitching sighing picking of fingernails God Ellen Kushner are you seriously telling me you re letting me down in this universe twiceNext 100 pages Oh Oh Eeee Well why didn t you say so arlier Oh but you re still doing that thing where you think all your other characters in addition to Richard and Alek are interesting and you re still wrong sighLast half of the book Clever clever book Oh Katherine Oh Alek You are all marvelous and delightful and I love you readers who have not Buried 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 Katherinencounters them we do too through her descriptions both trenchant and humane Though it must be said certain lines and situations inevitably will resonate with readers familiar with the previous Riverside storiesKushner begins with sixteen year old Katherine whose uncle the Mad Duke Tremontaine offers out of nowhere to cancel all debts and ven to help the family out of poverty if Katherine consents to live with him for six months and train with the sword Of course she s going to take the offer despite the fact that young ladies do not have anything to do with swords Here are a couple of lines from the opening graf and what swashbuckler among us can resist This was before I had ver been to the city I had never been in a duel or held a sword myself I had never kissed anyone or had anyone try to kill me or worn a velvet cloakAnd then for the readers who know the story that graf finishes I had certainly never met my uncle the Mad Duke Once I met him much was xplained pause for guffaw from those who know what that meansKatherine does indeed learn to handle a sword But you absolutely cannot predict what is going to happen while she goes about it Meanwhile Katherine s first person storyline interweaves with other points of view to make a delightful whole that covers a surprising spectrum of situations and motions There just isn t a note wrong anywhere the characters are vivid the humor a splash of light amid plenty of tense moments introspective ones sad ones and some with xuisite poignanceTwo observations of things that particularly impressed me one the true to life secret lives of school girls who are mostly shut away from the world for their own good These girls read and reread romantic novels in order to decode the world novels chosen in hopes that the glorious landscape passionate heroes specially heroic villains and noble motions found there will indeed prove to be what the girls ncounter when at last given the chance to take their place in the world Their language is a private language the characters in the romances so well known so ndlessly discussed they prance alongside the realtime story as dream shades This so resonated with my own teen xperience when ncountering others who adored Man from UNCLE and Lord of the Rings and Georgette Heyer and Star Trek what s this phenomenon resonates right back through literary letters and fiction clear to Charlotte Lennox who in the 1750s gave us The Female uixote about a girl who raised herself on romance As well as Jane Austen s far fun iteration of the same plot in Northanger AbbeyThe second thing that impressed me was how as the young people ncountered the worst aspects of the world and indeed did not always scape them they could observe comprehend and still retain their own integrity How very refreshing and how rare unfortunately in far too much fictio. Than to follow the usual path to marriage her world changes forever Blade in hand it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self discovery that comes to those who master the privilege of the sword.
Read & Download ¾ PDF, DOC, TXT or Book à Ellen KushnerI feel bad for this book because I chose
to read it at a time where I wanted something lse completely tonally different so I m not actuallyread it at a time where I wanted something lse completely tonally different so I m not actually what to rate it Full review and rating latersix months laterI DECLARE REVIEW AMNESTY Giving it a rating though35 stars rounded up This is the second of the Riverside books that I ve read and I think I ve figured out what is peculiar about them they feel like fan fiction without a source text Even Swordspoint the first book which sets up the world of Riverside and the couple Alec and Richard who are the clear Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies emotional heart of that book and in some ways of this as well despite being in the background seems like it is assuming our affection and investment as readers sharing an inside joke It works because it s asasy to care about Richard and Alec as it is to care about some of the best fandom pairings out there and because the short handing gives us as readers the pleasant feeling of being a privileged audience being in on something with them But it s an interesting xperience as a reader I want to think about the generic traits that make this and some other fantasy feel like fic where that originates is it because fandom writers all learn from Kushner and others are there shared sources to this Anyway Privilege of the Sword is a lot of fun but it doesn t work as well as Swordspoint there s something about it that feels tonally a little off It might be that I find it hard to get invested in Katherine as a heroine when she is not in on the joke with us similar problem sometimes with Kel in Tamora Pierce s Protector of the Small when she interacts with Alanna and Daine but that rings a little differently because the world of Tortall is developed and as readers we have had time to become invested in it or because I m made somewhat uncomfortable by the way volition becomes unimportant in the fantasy fulfillment narrative of her becoming a swordsman it s what Alec wants for her not what she wants for herself she at first finds the reuirement to change her gender presentation unpleasant and scary and then she accepts it It becomes a source of pride and joy for her and this makes some sense motionally but I couldn t uite get away from seeing it as her The Power Of A Choice embodying Alec s dream for her his own fantasy of a woman who can defend herself and cannot be coerced not her own Alec and Katherine s relationship is problematized but by thend of the novel those problems sort of fade into the background it s interesting Maybe my overall feeling upon finishing the book that it was fun but didn t uite stick came out the construction the side plotlines don t really fit together for me and like some other reviewers I would have preferred it to be all 1st or all 3rd pov I also wanted it to go darker I wasn t satisfied with the denouement of the libertine aristrocrat revenge plotline it wasn t nough for me again like the side plotlines in Protector of the Small Hmm Alec and Richard remain a joy Kushner is very ffective at giving us just nough of their relationship that we still very much want Though I would sort of just still very much want Though I would sort of just preferred books straight up about them i liked this book a lot better than the first one tbh in my opinion the characters made much sense and again the diversity is a 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 areasKatherine is adorable and her reactions rang very true to me I The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right especially liked how it felt for her to put on men s clothes for the first time and how she gradually gainednthusiasm for her fate Her sexual awakening was done very well too I Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling enjoyed seeing the dark side of sex and marriage I have a feeling that the Regency romances you ve read andnjoyed the chilling it is to see the other side But the book has a complex view of sexuality and fantasy repeatedly it shows the same act with radically different meanings for the participants It was nice to have a tiny bit of backstory on Alec and nice to see that the author is aware that he s insane sometimes I ve wondered I m still not clear though on what he was doing by making a swordsman of Katherine was it only to fit her for the family role or was there some larger purposeI don t know what Flavia was doing there for all the long term significance she has she might as well have been left out And I object to Rose s plot being dropped at such a critical point though of course that s setting up for a seuelAnd the Ferris plot To have it resolved in so blunt and hasty a fashion was a real letdown for me and I also don t believe that Alec would have been able to walk away from such a thing with so few conseuences to himself and his family The nding was hasty in general I felt that two or three chapters had been left out but maybe that s because the book was Katherine s but the climax was Alec s so we never really got a climax for Katherine s Welcome to Riverside where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom brothels and boudoirs Into this alluring world walks Katherine a well bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society Her. ,
Tory2007 Locus poll 1 fantasy 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 na ve girls who learn to swordfight and defy convention and most of them are terrible ven the Alanna series has some serious faults This is not one of those books Kate is initially far from pleased at her new situation and the gradual growth of her appreciation for dueling is believable The story starts frothily with characters new and old whipping about all having a grand old time double crossing ach other But as it progresses Privilege of the Sword becomes about intimate
power struggles and the right to personal freedom than just politicalstruggles and the right to personal freedom than just political Kate s character also deepens and while she retains a silly streak she has a tendency to romanticize she becomes a very likeable character In the background of her story are Alec and Richard St Vier the main characters of Swordspoint hearing hints of their story percolate up is both teasing and satisfying The very nd is a little too pat for my tastes but overall I loved this book almost as much as its preuel I was into this book as much as Artemisia and Katherine were into The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not DeathThe nding was a bit abrupt but not out of character I would ve wanted a intricate nding and a few chapters But I m completely willing to forgive this considering how fast my heart was beating during other parts of the story and how lost in the story and world I was Following the resounding success of my Locus uest 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 listAs 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 winnersWhile I was working my way through the list of Locus Sci Fi Award winners I decided to dip a toe into the sister list for Locus Fantasy winners I ordered a trio of books from authors I d never read before Lavinia Paladin of Souls and The Privilege of the Sword and this came second out of the three At heart it s a traditional coming of age tale for our teenage heroine Katherine a sweet and romantic girl who dreams of getting dolled up in pretty gown and snaring a handsome gentleman at a fancy ball She s forced to put her own desires aside in the name of familial duty when her rich mad uncle the Duke comes a calling His fairly arbitrary offer is this she comes with him to the city dresses only in men s clothes and learns to be a swordsman and in return he will save her family s financesBased on this premise I was xpecting some pretty cheesy clich d shenanigans and a bit of sledgehammer subtle feminism I was pleasantly surprisedIt s a lot grounded and convincing than cheeseball The mad Duke keeps things unpredictable and sometimes pretty funny Katherine is a very likeable lass and as she s slowly won over by the honour and xcitement of swordplay it s hard not to feel a little of her Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. elation The blind sword master was pretty cool as was his unconventional relationship with the Duke The overall tone and spin on the regency style was lively refreshing and funThis is the second in a trilogy but I read it as a stand alone and it holds up perfectly well I understand the first book is set nearly twenty yearsarlier so while it fleshes out the world and the duke s Patrick the Wolf Boy, Volume 1 early life it s notssential reading My main complaint with this book was the nding I don t want to give too much away but it s abrupt carries no motional punch and wraps things up far too conveniently for the next book feel true The Privilege of the Sword scores a very comfortable three star rating from me I read it I Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, enjoyedvery minute of it and look
BACK ON OUR TIME TOGETHER WITHon our time together with but it didn t rock my world and I didn t feel compelled to check out the preuel or seuel The Privilege of the Sword won the 2007 Locus Fantasy Award The Locus Sci Fi award that year went to Rainbow s End which I didn t Il morto di Maigret enjoy and the Locus Y A Award went to Wintesmith which is my favourite of the three but not top drawer Pratchett Conclusion 2007 wasn t the finest vintage for Locus award winnersHaving said that The Lies of Locke Lamora was nominated that year and finished 22nd in the rankings I wonder how that would fare if the award were given retrospectively Might be a fun little project one day or perhaps I havenough lists already Like Swordspoint which I also loved this novel is an xtremely ntertaining read that manages to provoke far thought than I would have xpected from a book that s such pure fun I think. Mistake is thinking that they apply For Katherine's host and uncle Alec Campion aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine is in charge here and to him rules are made to be broken When Alec decides it would be amusing for his niece to learn swordplay. .