The Privilege of the Sword (2006) is the third book in Ellen Kushner’s critically acclaimed fantasy series Riverside, after Swordspoint (1987) and The Fall of Kings (2002), which was written with her collaborator and wife Delia Sherman.
The Privilege of the Sword follows a young girl named Katherine, who is surprisingly summoned to the home of her uncle, the Mad Duke of Tremontaine, to learn swordplay. The book won the 2007 Locus Award.
Kushner’s books often include queer main characters. Regarding this, she told Cleveland Magazine: “I feel like the best fantasy literature are the ones where the author is writing out of their profound sense of truth.”
Kushner has won both the World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Award, and her horror and fantasy stories are widely anthologized.
From 1996 to 2010, she hosted Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner for WGBH in Boston, a radio program that featured world music and thoughts on art, literature, and spirituality.
If you enjoyed The Privilege of the Sword, we suggest these Ohio side trips:
- Katharine Kerr’s Daggerspell
- Christopher Moore’s Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings
- John Scalzi’s Zoe’s Tale