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Ellen Kushner is the author of World Fantasy Award-winner Thomas the Rhymer, and 'Swords of Riverside' comprising the interconnected novels Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, and The Fall of the Kings (with Delia Sherman). She narrated these as audiobooks for Neil Gaiman Presents, winning an Audie Award for Swordspoint. She has taught creative writing at Clarion, the Odyssey Workshop, and is an instructor at Hollins University's Children's Literature M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman and far too many books.
This is a welcome UK outing for Kushner’s 1987 novel that launched her acclaimed Swords of Riverside series. Fans of Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora novels will adore Kushner’s artful, witty and richly told tales of swords and rogues and gallants (both male and female). Lynch, like Kushner, began his fantasy series in a beautifully described city. Locke Lamora would be very much at home in the cramped and dangerous streets of Kushner’s Riverside; a labyrinthine and lawless district of the capital where swordsmen settle disputes for the rich Lords and Ladies on the Hill and make money for themselves and those who bet on them. Or die. Kushner takes particular delight in the people of the alleyways and the drawing rooms and the shadowy interplay between them. This is a fantasy world that has a Regency feel to it – fine etiquette and manners overlay vicious rivalries and ambitions and it’s all described with Kushner’s sharp eye for both dialogue and vividly poetic detail. The books have been described as Mannerpunk (as opposed to Steampunk) but whether punk, or duchess read Swordspoint and you will find yourself in a world of derring-do, sharply described sword play and dark secrets. ~ Simon Spanton Highly Recommended.