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02 August 2009

Swordspoint (Swords of Riverside)

Swordspoint is the novel that began the Swords of Riverside series by Ellen Kushner. (Each book takes place approximately 20 years apart.)

In the center of the city is a neighborhood called Riverside, located on an island between the two rivers. It was once coveted real estate but now even the Watch will not go there - it is run by thieves and ruffians. The higher classes may venture over the bridge to the nearest tavern when they want a thrill, but they would not make it much farther without being harassed.

Richard St. Vier is quickly becoming a legend as a swordsman. Nobles, who run the city, are starting to hire him to defend their honor in a complicated system of duels. But with fighting for the higher class comes the politics of their rank - something St. Vier never had to deal with before. Luckily, his lover, an ex-scholar, knows of some of the rules that nobles live by.

Together Richard and Alec are a force to be reckoned with in this swashbuckling tale of the sword. Kushner has created a world with vague similarities to old London that is ripe with colorful characters and dangerous plots.

Kushner, Ellen. (1987). Swordspoint. New York: Bantam Spectra Books.

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