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The Fall of the Kings
By

Rating
This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner's cult-classic novel," Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society's smug view of itself-and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it....
The Fall of the Kings
Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge-and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil ins not convinced-nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king...

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

About the Author

Ellen Kushner's Riverside series begins with the cult classic Swordspoint, followed by the Locus Award winner and Nebula Award nominee The Privilege of the Sword; The Fall of the Kings, written with Delia Sherman; and, most recently, the collaborative prequel Tremontaine. Her mythic fantasy novel Thomas the Rhymer won the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award. She also co-edited Welcome to Bordertown with Holly Black. A popular performer and public speaker, Kushner created and hosted the long-running public radio show Sound & Spirit, which Bill Moyers called "the best thing on public radio." She has taught creative writing at the Clarion and Odyssey writing workshops and is an instructor at Hollins University's children's literature MFA program. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman and no cats whatsoever, in an apartment full of theater and airplane ticket stubs. Delia Sherman is the author of Changeling and The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. She lives in New York City.

Reviews

Generations have passed since the nobles rose to power, killing the last king and burning the wizards who served as the king's advisers. When Basil St. Cloud, a professor of ancient history, meets Theron Campion, a young and eccentric nobleman, their passionate relationship brings to light forbidden knowledge about the true history of the last king and the nature of the bond between the king and the land. Set in the same world as Kushner's Swordspoint, this dynamic tale of the twin powers of love and scholarship offers a glimpse into the connection between learning and politics while portraying the lives of individuals poised on the border of myth and reality. Kushner and coauthor Sherman (Through a Brazen Mirror) craft a sensual and evocative tale that should appeal to fans of Tanith Lee and Storm Constantine. Highly recommended for readers of mature fantasy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Adult/High School-A return to the marvelously complicated world of witty court intrigue and deadly University scandal last seen in Swordspoint (Tor, 1994). Theron Campion, an aristocratic student, is drawn into a controversy about the nature of the ancient kings and the northern wizards. Basil St. Cloud is at the center of this dispute and as his relationship with Campion deepens, he finds that his historical findings have modern, highly political implications. As all scholars know, the kings were corrupt and their wizards were simply charlatans, but St. Cloud has discovered an ancient source that promises something altogether different. However, the Council of Lords becomes aware that the northern-most parts of the country are murmuring for a return to monarchy and, suspecting the University as a source for the discontent, they send a spy to ferret out information. St. Cloud and his students become the focal point for an explosive denouement that is as tragic as it is inevitable. Kings stands on its own in all its intricate, fascinating glory. The characters are fully realized, and some of the secondary ones, like Campion's mother, are so well done that they threaten to steal scenes. Kushner and Sherman inject plenty of humor and bawdiness into their tale, providing grounding for some of the abstruse historical debates. This is high fantasy at its best-literate, passionate, and compelling.-Jody Sharp, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

PRAISE FOR THE FALL OF THE KINGS "Immensely appealing, intelligent, and great fun." --Kirkus Reviews "The authors tap into fantasy's genuine source of drama, its ability to haunt, appall, transform." -- Locus "Embraces the age-old struggle between scholars and mystics...to bridge the gulf that separates history from mystery." --Fantasy & Science Fiction "One of the bawdiest and most intellectually stimulating novels of the year!" --BookPage "Richly textured...authentic...A fantasy novel that won't insult your intelligence." --Science Fiction Chronicle "Gorgeous prose and a galloping story, with...a deep understanding of a true scholar's passion for his subject." --Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow "Stunning...If Oscar Wilde were writing high fantasy, he'd want to write The Fall of the Kings." --Sarah Smith, author of A Citizen of the Country "Attractive characters, realistically enmeshed in social, political, and personal concerns... realized with a robust depth and realism." --Suzy McKee Charnas, author of My Father's Ghost "Kushner and Sherman don't spin fables or knit fancies: they are world-forgers, working in a language of iron and air." --Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Lost "The Fall of the Kings is, if possible, even better [than Swordspoint]--twistier and deeper." --Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods "Splendid....one of my favorite books this year!" --Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl "This is how fantasy should be written!...sweeps you in and lets you live the story with the characters." --Lynn Flewelling, author of The Bone Doll's Twin "A delicious read . . . dark, sexy, and wickedly funny by turns. I loved it. You'll love it too." --Terri Windling, editor of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror "Ellen Kushner writes like an angel...pellucid, poetically structured prose [and] a gathering sense of tragic reality." --Algis Budrys From the Trade Paperback edition. PRAISE FOR THE FALL OF THE KINGS "Immensely appealing, intelligent, and great fun." --Kirkus Reviews "The authors tap into fantasy s genuine source of drama, its ability to haunt, appall, transform." -- Locus "Embraces the age-old struggle between scholars and mystics...to bridge the gulf that separates history from mystery." --Fantasy & Science Fiction "One of the bawdiest and most intellectually stimulating novels of the year!" --BookPage "Richly textured...authentic...A fantasy novel that won't insult your intelligence." --Science Fiction Chronicle "Gorgeous prose and a galloping story, with...a deep understanding of a true scholar's passion for his subject." --Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow "Stunning...If Oscar Wilde were writing high fantasy, he'd want to write The Fall of the Kings." --Sarah Smith, author of A Citizen of the Country "Attractive characters, realistically enmeshed in social, political, and personal concerns... realized with a robust depth and realism." --Suzy McKee Charnas, author of My Father's Ghost "Kushner and Sherman don't spin fables or knit fancies: they are world-forgers, working in a language of iron and air." --Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Lost "The Fall of the Kings is, if possible, even better [than Swordspoint]--twistier and deeper." --Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods "Splendid....one of my favorite books this year!" --Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl "This is how fantasy should be written!...sweeps you in and lets you live the story with the characters." --Lynn Flewelling, author of The Bone Doll's Twin "A delicious read . . . dark, sexy, and wickedly funny by turns. I loved it. You'll love it too." --Terri Windling, editor of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror "Ellen Kushner writes like an angel...pellucid, poetically structured prose [and] a gathering sense of tragic reality." --Algis Budrys From the Trade Paperback edition." PRAISE FOR THE FALL OF THE KINGS "Immensely appealing, intelligent, and great fun." "--Kirkus Reviews ""The authors tap into fantasy s genuine source of drama, its ability to haunt, appall, transform." "-- Locus ""Embraces the age-old struggle between scholars and mystics...to bridge the gulf that separates history from mystery." "--Fantasy & Science Fiction ""One of the bawdiest and most intellectually stimulating novels of the year!" "--BookPage ""Richly textured...authentic...A fantasy novel that won't insult your intelligence." "--Science Fiction Chronicle ""Gorgeous prose and a galloping story, with...a deep understanding of a true scholar's passion for his subject." --Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow "Stunning...If Oscar Wilde were writing high fantasy, he'd want to write The Fall of the Kings." --Sarah Smith, author of A Citizen of the Country "Attractive characters, realistically enmeshed in social, political, and personal concerns... realized with a robust depth and realism." --Suzy McKee Charnas, author of My Father's Ghost "Kushner and Sherman don't spin fables or knit fancies: they are world-forgers, working in a language of iron and air." --Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Lost "The Fall of the Kings is, if possible, even better [than Swordspoint]--twistier and deeper." --Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods "Splendid....one of my favorite books this year!" --Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl "This is how fantasy should be written!...sweeps you in and lets you live the story with the characters." --Lynn Flewelling, author of The Bone Doll's Twin "A delicious read . . . dark, sexy, and wickedly funny by turns. I loved it. You'll love it too." --Terri Windling, editor of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror "Ellen Kushner writes like an angel...pellucid, poetically structured prose [and] a gathering sense of tragic reality." --Algis Budrys "From the Trade Paperback edition."" PRAISE FOR THE FALL OF THE KINGS: "Immensely appealing, intelligent, and great fun." "--Kirkus Reviews ""The authors tap into fantasy's genuine source of drama, its ability to haunt, appall, transform." "-- Locus ""Embraces the age-old struggle between scholars and mystics...to bridge the gulf that separates history from mystery." "--Fantasy & Science Fiction ""One of the bawdiest and most intellectually stimulating novels of the year!" "--BookPage ""Richly textured...authentic...A fantasy novel that won't insult your intelligence." "--Science Fiction Chronicle ""Gorgeous prose and a galloping story, with...a deep understanding of a true scholar's passion for his subject." --Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow "Stunning...If Oscar Wilde were writing high fantasy, he'd want to write The Fall of the Kings." --Sarah Smith, author of A Citizen of the Country "Attractive characters, realistically enmeshed in social, political, and personal concerns... realized with a robust depth and realism." --Suzy McKee Charnas, author of My Father's Ghost "Kushner and Sherman don't spin fables or knit fancies: they are world-forgers, working in a language of iron and air." --Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Lost "The Fall of the Kings is, if possible, even better [than Swordspoint]--twistier and deeper." --Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods "Splendid....one of my favorite books this year!" --Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl "This is how fantasy should be written!...sweeps you in and lets you live the story with the characters." --Lynn Flewelling, author of The Bone Doll's Twin "Adelicious read . . . dark, sexy, and wickedly funny by turns. I loved it. You'll love it too." --Terri Windling, editor of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror "Ellen Kushner writes like an angel...pellucid, poetically structured prose [and] a gathering sense of tragic reality." --Algis Budrys "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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