From the award-winning author of Swordspoint comes a witty, wicked coming-of-age story that is both edgy and timeless. . . .
Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power and prestige in the city’s labyrinth of streets and ballrooms, theatres and brothels, boudoirs and salons. Into this alluring and alarming world walks a bright young woman ready to take it on and make her fortune. A well-bred country girl, Katherine knows all the rules of conventional society. Her biggest mistake is thinking they apply.
Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, the capricious and decadent Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When he decides it would be far more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to ballroom and husband, her world changes forever. And there’s no going back. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to find her own way through a maze of secrets and betrayals, nobles and scoundrels—and to gain the power, respect, and self-discovery that come to those who master. . . . “Unholy fun, and wholly fun . . . an elegant riposte, dazzlingly executed.”—Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked
About the Author
Ellen Kushner is a novelist, performer, and public radio personality. Her work includes the weekly notational public radio series PRI’s Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner, the recording The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer ‘Nutcracker’ for Chanukah (Ryykodisc CD) and a live performance piece, Esther: the feast of Masks. Her novels Swordpoint and (with Delia Sherman) The Fall of Kings share a setting and quite a few characters with The Privilege of The Swords. She is a member of Terri Windling’s Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts and co-founder of the Interstitial Arts Foundation. She lives in New York City and travels a lot, giving shows and readings, lecturing and teaching. You can keep up with her whereabouts and learn more about Riverside and its denizens at www.EllenKushner.com
Her novel Thomas the Rhymer won the World Fantasy Award.
"It's beautifully written, breezy, quick, hysterically funny, poignant and bloody and world-weary and heartrendingly naive by turns. This is a fantastic book, a coming-of-age story, and I love it with a quite deep and unreasonable love".—Elizabeth Bear, author of Worldwired
"Winning high fantasy ... a welcome return to the romantic Riverside world Kushner introduced in Swordspoint."—Publishers Weekly
"One of the most gorgeous books I've ever read: it's witty and wonderful, with characters that will provoke, charm and delight."—Holly Black, author of Tithe and Valiant
"A magical mixture of Dumas and Georgette Heyer. The dialogue dazzles and so does the swordplay."—Kelly Link, author of Magic For Beginners
"A swashbuckler for women—splendid!"—Tamora Pierce
“Unholy fun, and wholly fun...an elegant riposte, dazzlingly executed.” – Gregory Maguire, NYT bestselling author of Wicked