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The privilege of the sword
Ellen Kushner
Adult Fiction KUSHNER

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Summary: Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here--and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.

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main characters Katherine Samantha Campion Talbert
Well-bred country girl; shipped off to live with her uncle; trains to use a sword by Richard.

Alec Campion
Katherine's uncle; known as the Mad Duke Tremontaine; morbid; sarcastic; cynical; emotionally troubled; Richard's lover believes rules are made to be broken; wants his niece to learn swordplay instead of marriage.

Richard St. Vier
Pragmatic; amoral; world-weary; expert swordsman; Alec's lover.

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