Anyone read Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner? I’ve never encountered a book quite like it. Swordpoint is quietly unique in its world, prose and mood (which, if Goodreads is any indicator, leads readers to have varying opinions of it).
There’s a cold sort of irony to the book’s outlook I greatly enjoyed and that marks it out from most ‘fantasy of manners’ I’ve read. You won’t find a whiff of magic or monsters, nor elaborately named places; there’s just an unnamed city with Riverside for the poor and The Hill for the nobles. That’s a minimalism that might not work for some but I rather relished.
The omnipresent viewpoint threw me a bit at first. It was a little more common back then in the eighties than it is now. But I adjusted and eventually appreciated the conceit. If Swordpoint isn’t already considered a bona fide classic of the fantasy genre than it’s on its way to becoming one. Deservedly so.