Winner, 2007 Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel.
Nominated for 2007 Nebula Award, Best Novel.
Nominated for World Fantasy Award, 2007.
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.
Nominated for Spectrum Award.
Greenman Review Best Adult Novel.
Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award Winner.
Tiptree Honor List.
Nominated for Lambda Literary Awards.
Nominated for Cybil Award.
*”A fearless and resourceful heroine with a true heart and a keen-edged blade. Spiced with humor and spot-on period detail.”
—Library Journal(Starred Review)
“Great characters, beautiful prose, and swashbuckling combined with depth—I just uncritically adore this book.”
— Jo Walton
“It’s beautifully written, breezy, quick, hysterically funny, poignant and bloody and world-weary and heartrendingly naive by turns. This is a fantastic book, a coming-of-age story, and I love it with a quite deep and unreasonable love.”
“If Swordspointis a perfect gem, The Privilege of the Swordis the gem in its full setting: elegant, wicked, funny, intelligent, and fluent.”
—Robert M. Tilendis, The Green Man Review
“Unholy fun, and wholly fun… an elegant riposte, dazzlingly executed.”
—Gregory Maguire, Wicked
“[A] ripping good yarn that is chock full of engrossing and subversive undercurrents.”
—Adrienne Martini, Bookslut
“One of the most gorgeous books I’ve ever read: it’s witty and wonderful, with characters that will provoke, charm and delight.”
“A magical mixture of Dumas and Georgette Heyer. The dialogue dazzles and so does the swordplay.”
“Fantasy’s answer to The Catcher in the Rye.”
“My favorite fantasy novel of the year! I haven’t had so much fun reading anything in years.”
—Nancy Werlin, Cynsations
“I adored this book…[F]illed with such quiet, taut beauty I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.”
— Alaya Dawn Johnson
“[A] delight to read, with colorful, well-defined characters and a droll sense of humor. For newcomers, it is a sparkling introduction to Riverside’s intrigues.”
—Yoon Ha Lee, Strange Horizons
“Plot and style here are in the swashbuckling tradition of Dumas, but the characters are very real beneath their facades, people who bleed when they are cut, even when manners require that they make nothing of it.”
—Frieda Murray, Booklist
“[A]n increasingly edgy, absorbing, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant whole that presents a spectacular tapestry of a finish. There just isn’t a dropped stitch anywhere.”
—Sherwood Smith, SFSite
“Winning high fantasy… a welcome return to the romantic Riverside world Kushner introduced in Swordspoint.”
“Kushner’s prose is fabulous and her characters vivid.”
— Cheryl Morgan,Emerald City
“Readers will find much to enjoy in this gorgeously written swashbuckler, from the sparkling dialogue to the fascinating setting and finely wrought secondary characters. This novel is epic fantasy at its best—literate, witty and utterly fascinating.”
—Natalie Luhr, Romantic Times Book Review
“The book starts out with a light tone suitable for one of Shakespeare’s comedies… but it develops into something considerably darker…. [I]ts effect will linger long afterward.”
—Faren Miller, Locus
“Splendid—a swashbuckler for women! Katherine is everything I love in a female hero: impudent, lively, idealistic, fierce, and in over her head.
“I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As Artemisia’s friend Lydia says of the fictional book within a book, ‘It is full of great and noble truths of the heart. And swordfights.’ What could be better?”
— Stella Matutina
“[I]t is everything you think it is: a romance (in the traditional sense of the word, not the genre sense—well, maybe that, too), a fantasy, a satire. And it is many things that you don’t expect: a pointed commentary on gender, sex, family and love, and a ripping good adventure as well. It is Kushner’s willingness and ability to screw with your expectations that make the novel enjoyable.”
“The Privilege of the Sword [is] the sort of story I longed to read in my own teenage years, and still feel energised by as an adult. It is the story of a heroine who not only does not need to be rescued by a man, but who sallies forth to stand up for other girls. One who, in the course of her coming-of-age, fights with swords, uses her head, helps her friends, stands up to unjust authority, makes mistakes and learns from them—and, in so doing, finds new ways to be a woman.
“Kushner’s novel sets out to explore and subvert [a] man’s world as it is frequently represented in the fantasy genre…. If Swordspointwas a ‘melodrama of manners’… Privilege is Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen with swords.
“It is the story of a heroine who not only does not need to be rescued by a man, but who sallies forth to stand up for other girls. One who, in the course of her coming-of-age, fights with swords, uses her head, helps her friends, stands up to unjust authority, makes mistakes and learns from them—and, in so doing, finds new ways to be a woman. Ways that are not, in the end, so different from the ways to be an adult, male or female.”
—Nic Clarke, Strange Horizons
“A lushly written tale of love and vengeance and coming into one’s own. Katherine’s journey to agency is bound to become a feminist classic.”
—Helen Pilinovsky, The Journal of Mythic Arts
“If you’re not into fantasy, this book might still be a good read. It’s definitely a genre-crosser, set in a pseudo-historical fantasy setting where there is no magic at all. It’s part Jane Austen comedy of manners and part swashbuckler. It’s very smart, and the prose is lovely. And it’s got one of the best female protagonists to grace the pages of a fantasy novel this decade.”
— The Hathor Legacy
“Fantasy of manners, coming of age… it’s as though Georgette Heyer met The World of Henry Orientfor a slow dance through once-familiar dramatic tropes, leaving them all slightly askew in their wake. And talk about characters who seem contradictory on the surface, but hold together at center! It’s a book with charm to burn… quite an addictive experience to read.”
—Doris Egan, Torchwood& House, M.D.