I LOVED this book. A fully realized fantasy world without some kind of magic is quite a novelty and this really works. The differences between the ric..Show More »h and poor societies are carefully drawn and totally believable. Most of the characters are quite world-weary and louche - I especially enjoyed the Duchess of Tremontaine who was rather reminiscent of the Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liasons Dangereuse (no idea if I spelt that lot right). It's refreshing, too, that everyone has a fluid sexuality - you love who you love and it doesn't matter what gender they are.
Ellen Kushner narrates her own story very well and I think the partial dramatization and use of sound effects does help to draw you into the world. It's a really interesting approach to audio books and one that I hope to hear more often. I'm currently imagining how awesome this would be for Patrick Rothfuss's books.
I am definitely going to get the next book in the series.
It's just occurred to me that these books: Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, The Fall of the Kings, would make a great TV series. It's such a ..Show More »fully realized world with lots of intrigue and fascinatingly amoral characters.
As ever, it's crucial to read the books in the right order. However, I think this is my favourite of the three. Maybe it's that I found Catherine, blundering naively around Riverside, making unsuitable challenges as she goes, really charming.
Ellen Kushner is a great narrator and I enjoy the dramatic scenes and music very much.
Gosh I love these books. Having established an unusual fantasy world without magic in the previous two books, the magic of the old kingdom may be maki..Show More »ng a comeback here. Make sure you read them in the right order or your will be subject to much confusion and spoilers galore. I think the soundscape and partial dramatization of these books really adds to the atmosphere. There's a splendid and apt cameo from Neil Gaiman who is like a god to my people. Ellen Kushner does another good job of reading her own work especially with the more wicked men (Most of the men are very wicked indeed!) If you don't enjoy hearing about hot men getting it on with each other you will not have a good time with this book. If you do enjoy the eroticization of the male body then this book does that very well without being graphic or sleazy about it. It was nice to meet Catherine again as a grown woman as I had become so fond of her as a teenage swords(wo)man in Privilege of the Sword.