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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Privilege of the Sword - Ellen Kushner

The Privilege of the Sword is the story of Lady Katherine Samantha Campion Talbert, who is shipped off to live with her uncle, the mad Duke of Tremontaine. He wants to make Katherine into a swordsman. He’ll also pay off all her family’s debts in the process, so Katherine dutifully goes to the city, and finds herself in the midst of the duke’s crazy household.

This a great story, with plenty of humor. Katherine is initially unhappy with the idea of being a swordsman, but as she trains, the lifestyle grows on her. She also meets a number of interesting people along the way.

The story is billed as high fantasy, and it is a great, swashbuckling adventure in a fictional land, but there’s no magic, only lots and lots of intrigue. The story is technically a sequel to the earlier story of Katherine’s uncle (something I didn’t know until I actually had my hands on the book), but I get the feeling you don’t need to know too much of that story to enjoy this one.

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