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Books

The Tremontaine Saga Goes Back in Time

Cover of Tremontaine
Cover of Tremontaine from its reveal on Tor.com

I’m excited for the release of Tremontaine, a serialized, 13-part prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside novels. Judging by an excerpt released Monday on RT Book Reviews, it should be every bit as excellent as Swordspoint, Privilege of the Sword, and Fall of the Kings (the latter co-authored with Kushner’s partner in writing and in life, Delia Sherman). The art looks gorgeous, too. According to the cover reveal on Tor.com, there will be a different cover for each episode, so the awesomeness just increased by a factor of thirteen.

This excerpt focuses on Diane, Duchess Tremontaine,  a seemingly secondary but ultimately important character from Swordspoint. Here, she deals with imminent financial ruin and a wayward daughter who has just given birth to a son. There’s no doubt she’ll employ all the intelligence and political skill we saw in that earlier novel in order to avoid financial ruin, but if events in Swordspoint are any guide, then the situation with her daughter will prove much more intractable. [Update: Ms. Kushner pointed out that the first version of this paragraph could have been a spoiler for those who haven’t read her earlier work. I’d forgotten such readers exist, but if you’re among them, you still have time to rectify the oversight before Tremontaine comes out. Let’s just say that fans of that earlier work may find in this tale a bit of an origin story, or at least background, for one of their favorite characters.]

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On Writing Reviews

Why I Love – and Hate – Game of Thrones*

Game-of-Thrones-Episode-3.01-Valar-Dohaeris-Promotional-Photos-1_595_slogo

  • Because it’s about the real world, despite the dragons and the magic.
  • Because it’s a meditation on the uses and abuses of power.
  • Because it reminds that there is little hope, and terrible things always about to happen.
  • Because, like the real world, we’re never sure who the good guys are (no, not even the Starks, not even Daenerys) and who the bad guys are (well, maybe the Bastard of Bolton).
  • Because George Martin can somehow get me involved in a character’s life (even Jaime Lannister’s!) in just a couple of paragraphs. And just as in real life, the people I care about may be snatched away at any time.
  • Because I like strong female characters.
  • Because, like the real world, there is a looming threat (summer is coming!) that most people write off as a fairy-tale or hoax.
  • Because it doesn’t attempt to console me with a fantasy of good always prevailing over evil. If there is good in the world, it’s always provisional, individual, and mixed in with the evil.
  • Because, while I really just wanted an escape into fantasy, it won’t let me escape.

Storm of Swords cover*And by “Game of Thrones,” I really mean the Song of Ice and Fire book series.