The Privilege of the Sword (Swords of Riverside, Book 2)

By Ellen Kushner

Welcome to Riverside, the place the aristocratic and the formidable conflict for strength within the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this attractive global walks Katherine, a well-bred kingdom woman versed within the ideas of traditional society. Her mistake is considering that they observe. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is dependable here—and to him, principles are made to be damaged. whilst Alec makes a decision it'd be extra fun for his niece to benefit swordplay than to keep on with the standard route to marriage, her international adjustments ceaselessly. Blade in hand, it really is as much as Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and techniques and scoundrels and to achieve the self-discovery that involves those that grasp: the privilege of the sword.

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The blade’s glossy steel darkened the instant my finger touched it. and people edges should be sharp, too, although the end used to be blunted. Venturus gave me lime powder and oil and a delicate leather-based fabric. For as soon as, i used to be pleased of my breeches; it will were tough to do in skirts. Venturus waited ’til i used to be performed. Then he acknowledged, “I pass. What you do now? ” I appeared out to the backyard. It was once raining. “I practice,” I stated. “Good. ” To my shock, he further, “Not too lengthy, first day. Then make tub, reliable soak with—tss! —how you name, solid salts—then wine. After. ” On his approach out the door, he paused and whirled again to me: “No-wine-no-sword! ” “I beg your pardon? ” “You no drink with sword! Drink is break sword. ” With a swirl of his cloak, he used to be long gone. THE extra TIME I SPENT IN TREMONTAINE residence, the extra appealing i discovered it. I couldn’t comprehend why my uncle the Mad Duke didn’t love it the following. perhaps it used to be simply too solid for him and he knew it. every little thing concerning the condominium used to be excellent: the colours conscientiously selected, the furnishings balanced in shape and dimension to each room; even the perspectives out the tall home windows have been as stunning as images. i might locate myself simply taking a look at the way in which the strains of a room’s molding met the ceiling. occasionally they joined in carven leaves, edged with a bit gold; occasionally faces peered among them; occasionally there have been patterned jags, difficult edges that nearly made blocks of letters, like phrases you couldn’t rather learn. each one room used to be packed with treasures. I made myself decide upon a favourite in each: the sport was once that i'll keep just one factor from each one room, and what would it not be? in a single it was once a tiny ivory carving of balls inside of balls, every one relocating individually yet by no means touching. In one other i used to be tough positioned to choose from a painted fan fixed on a stand and a bit china calf with the main profitable expression! i used to be stunned at what percentage of the issues i discovered have been girls’ issues. I remembered the duke my uncle announcing with a few distaste, “It’s very dependent. I inherited it from my grandmother. ” His grandmother were Duchess Tremontaine earlier than him; that a lot I knew. maybe it used to be her own armchair that I enjoyed to sit down in, in my room above the river, my toes tucked up below me as I watched the colours switch over the hills. I beloved to go to the eating room with the lengthy home windows and mirrors, even supposing I by no means ate in there. on the middle of the big desk, there has been a serving epergne as huge as a baby’s cradle, made from silver. Branches twisted round it, finishing in oak leaves on which candies can be put; the center was once a wide dish supported via silver deer that grazed or glanced up round it, among life-sized silver walnuts that have been part as monstrous because the deer have been. occasionally I patted or stroked the deer, even supposing I knew it is going to make the silver tarnish quicker. however it was once folly to go away silver out like that during the air, besides. a woman got here in as soon as every week to shine it; I stumbled on her someday and provided to aid, yet she wouldn't enable me. If the servants came across me strange, they didn’t say so.

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