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The Privilege of the Sword [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner...

"Unholy fun, and wholly fun . . . an elegant riposte, dazzlingly executed."-Gregory Maguire

"Spiced with humor and spot-on period detail."-Library Journal (starred review)

Sent to live with her uncle, Katherine imagines a rich and luxurious life. Her dreams evaporate when she discovers her uncle wants her to be something never before seen: a swordswoman.

Ellen Kushner is the author of Swordspoint.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   376
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Small Beer Press
ISBN  1931520208  
ISBN13  9781931520201  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ellen Kushner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ellen Kushner is a novelist, performer, and public radio personality. Her work includes the weekly national public radio series PRI's Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner, the recording The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer 'Nutcracker' for Chanukah (Rykodisc CD) and a live performance piece, Esther: The Feast of Masks.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Authors, A-Z > ( K ) > Kushner, Ellen
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about The Privilege of the Sword?

A Pleasing continuation  Apr 13, 2008
This sequel to Swordspoint isn't your typical fantasy sequel. It isn't real fantasy at all, since there are no fantastic elements. It doesn't take up where the earlier book ended, but about 15 - 20 years later, with a new focus character, Katherine Talbert, who apparently hadn't been born when the events of Swordspoint took place, and a supporting cast dominated by Katherine's younger generation.

It's also a different style. This is a sunnier book that the predecessor. This is largely because Katherine, the heroine and narrator, is a far less dark character than Alec and Richard, the main characters of the earlier work. Alec, now the rich and powerful Duke of Tremontane and katherine's uncle, is again near the center. But he isn't the tortured man he was before, and has come to peace with all his ghosts, except perhaps one - the loss of Richard.

Alec has decided to bring Katherine to the city to train her up as his swordswoman. Katherine and her family are dubious, but they are sliding into poverty, mostly because of Alec's law suits, and can't afford to turn down a possible reconciliation with the family's strongest member. The story tells how Katherine gradually finds her way in the strange world of the still-unnamed city and her uncle's strange household.

It's largely a matter of taste, but I definitely liked this second book better. Katherine is interesting and likable; the plot is simpler and more romantic. Those with a taste for darker fiction and tortured heroes may have other preferences.
Kudos to Kushner  Apr 10, 2008
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 by hired swordsmen in legal duels, and "the sword is the ultimate arbiter of truth."

Like Katherine,this book was my introduction into the dazzling realm of Kushner's first novel, Swordspoint, and it's a wonderful point of entry. But it's also a sly satire on the place of romantic fiction in female lives. Kushner weaves in references to a floridly romantic novel called "The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death," and scenes from a popular stage production of it, as spirited Katherine tries to separate romance from reality and decide whether to become the heroine--or the hero--of her own life. This book also provides an irresistible chapter in Kusnher's longer, ongoing saga of Alec Campion and Richard St Vier. Highly satisfying!

Loads of fun; a real relief from cookie-cutter fantasy!  Apr 3, 2008
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I've not read Kushner's previous works, and had not even heard of them until I read this.

This book was a wonderfully enjoyable read, and the story was fun and moved quickly. The characters were interesting, and while I never developed a strong dislike for any of the characters (and really only liked a very few), their interactions were fascinating and kept me reading.

Compared to many of the books I read, this story was like candy: an easy read that didn't demand much of me, but engaged be effectively by being different from all the other books I've read over the last several years. This was quite a refresher after the moderate-to-heavy fare I've been reading these last few months.

Well written, Ms. Kushner!
Pointless  Apr 1, 2008
After struggling through 1/3 of the book I gave up. It is not interesting, not well written, and is boring. After a very good "Swordpoint", and a mediocre "The Fall of the Kings" the quality keeps on plunging. I will not be buying anymore Kushner's novels.
A Delicious Read  Mar 27, 2008
I was stuck in Pensacola while the dealer repaired my RV, so I wandered into Books A Million looking for Naomi Novik's latest book. On the shelf above, this book caught my eye, great cover. I grabbed it because it looked like a quick, fun read that I could dip into between answering questions for the technicians working on my rig. Well, that didn't happen. The darn book reached out and sucked me right in. I was up late reading it for two nights in a row. Ellen Kushner is a wonderful writer.

I won't bore you by repeating the plot; lots of people have done that. I just want to encourage you to read this book! Of course, if you are the kind of person who has never been able to find the inside of your cheek with your tongue, you'll hate this book. Ms. Kushner skewers everyone: the tall, the short; the fat, the thin; the gay, the straight; the smart, the ignorant; the titled, the commoner. She spared no one, nor should she. We all need a good shake up every once in a while, and Ellen Kushner delivers it with wit and panache. Get a copy of this delicious book, and don't worry about reading the preceding books in the series. This book stands on its own.

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