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Swordspoint

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners (1987) Ellen Kushner

Despite my best efforts, I ended up re-reading Swordspoint again. I really love this book–and with good reason.

Here, see for yourself:

The falling snow made it hard for him to see. The fight hadn’t winded him, but he was hot and sweaty, and he could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He ignored it, making for Riverside, where no one was likely to follow him.

He could have stayed, if he’d wanted to. The swordfight had been very impressive, and the party guests and its outcome would be talked about for weeks. But if he stayed, the swordsman knew that he would be offered wine, and rich pastry, and asked boring questions about his technique, and difficult questions about who had arranged the fight. He ran on.

Under his cloak, his shirt was spattered with blood, and the Watch would want to know what he was doing up on the Hill at this hour. It was their right to know; but his profession forbade him to answer, so he dodged around corners and caught his breath in doorways until he’d left the splendors of the Hill behind, working his way down through the city.

Isn’t that marvelous? This book makes me want to run out and take up fencing–except for the fact that I’m a complete klutz and would most likely end up impaling myself. Though it might be worth it.

The strange thing about this book is that although it’s labeled as fantasy, it isn’t–not really. There is no magic, no faerie, no supernatural creatures–the only fantasy is that the world where Swordspoint takes place has never existed.

I love everything about this book. I love Alec and St Vier, I love the writing, I love the story, it’s all wonderful and perfect and I could sit right back down and read it again and enjoy it just as much.
Rating: 10/10

Categories: 10/10, Fantasy, Paper
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