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The Privilege of the Sword [Hardcover]

Ellen Kushner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 23.99
Price: 21.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 Sep 2006
"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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Big Mouth House (14 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931520208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520201
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 15.6 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,352,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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"

About the Author

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
NO ONE SENDS FOR A NIECE THEY'VE NEVER SEEN before just to annoy her family and ruin her life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars on guard! 22 Sep 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
a fantasy novel from writer ellen kushner, which is set in the same world as an earlier book called Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners and features some of the same characters. I'd not actually read that but I had no trouble getting into this anyhow, as all the back story was very easy to follow.

Set in a feudal world ruled by nobles, it runs for roughly 459 pages and is divided into four parts each containing a varying number of chapters. It's the tale of katherine, a fifteen and a bit year old girl who is forced by family squabbles into moving from the country where she lives with her mother and brothers on a farm and coming to the big city to stay with her uncle, who intends to make a swordswoman of her.

her uncle 'the mad duke' seems to live up to his name at first, with his attention flitting from moment to moment. especially when handsome men are around. But Katherine slowly gets used to her new life and the way of the sword. swordplay in the city is not as honourable as it used to be. and when a friend of hers is badly treated by a man, honour must be satisfied..

most of this is told in the first person with katherine as the narrator, although there are the occasional scenes involving other characters when she isn't present which are told in the third person. This is a coming of age story, the tale of a girl without strong purpose finding what she wants to make of her life, and it's well written and engaging in that respect. It's not a book of action, as there are only occasional swordfights and they're formal things that are over quickly, and it's more a tale of character than plot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising 16 Jun 2014
I can't actually remember how I found this book but I am so glad that I did. It started off a little slow but I chugged through the first three chapters, giving it a chance. And then I was hooked. The story grabbed me, I desperately wanted to see Katherine develop in her role as a swordsman and my wish was granted. I thoroughly enjoyed the sexual exploration of both the young girl and her uncle - I wasn't at all expecting anything like that in a book about a girl learning the sword! Five stars because it exceeded my expectations. I hope the first book is as good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You have to read it at least twice 6 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have. The first time I read it I read one book and the second time another. I'm going to leave it a couple of years and see if I can find a third book hidden in that same set of pages. If you read it you might find a story I didn't see. I'm starting to wonder if it's valid to review a book I've only read once. It's not quite as good as Swordspoint but very few books are.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read 21 April 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read a previous book by Ellen Kushner and really enjoyed it. This was more of the same, but I love that sort of stories, so no complaints!
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