Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction


Monday, April 16, 2018

Swordspoint (1987) Ellen Kushner

I have no idea what brings it on, but I’ve been in one of those moods where I read a few paragraphs of a book, decide I’m not in the mood for it, and try something else.

As is typically, I have to resort to something I know I love, so I can dive in and stay immersed. As is often the case, this time that book was Swordspoint.

Yet as many times as I’ve read this book, I am always surprised again by how political it is.

“Politics,” he said flatly. “Just like here. It went contrary to the ranking professors’ findings, and they couldn’t have that.”

The duchess nodded approval. “Politics. You should have stayed there. You would have learned a lot.”

“I didn’t want to learn that!”

It never seems it at the start, with all the sword fights and arguments and death, yet by the end you realize the whole really is about politics and power, and the subtle ways of wielding both.

But of course it’s also about love and lust–both of power and sex.

But mostly there’s Richard and Alec.

I’m a swordsman.” He shrugged, no easy feat with his head touching the floor. “If I stay active, I can’t last much past thirty. There’ll be someone better someday.”

“You don’t care.” Alec was still lounging picturesquely, long limbs on display; but the rigidness of his hands clenched on the frayed upholstery betrayed him.

“It’s all right,” Richard said; “it’s what happens.”

“Then what,” Alec articulated with crystalline clarity, “in hell are you doing all that practicing for?”

I love this story so much, it’s hard not to immediately flip back to the beginning and just start again.

Publisher: Spectra

Rating: 10/10


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