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Literature: Swordspoint

Swordspoint is a cult classic fantasy of manners (with elements of urban fantasy and heroic fantasy) written by Ellen Kushner in 1987. Later on, it saw two sequels: The Fall of the Kings (which was co-written with Delia Sherman) and The Privilege of the Sword. All three were critically acclaimed and are often held up as examples of a peculiar type of novel, with the basic setting of high fantasy but none of the magic.

Swordspoint tells the story of Richard, a swordsman in Riverside, and Alec, a university student (possibly from the Hill) who lives with him. When Richard kills two men in a duel in an aristocrat's garden, he finds himself embroiled in a rather unpleasant business. There are few he can turn to for help (which he likely wouldn't do anyway) because, every day, swordsmen become less and less respectable.

The Privilege of the Sword is set a generation after Swordspoint, and The Fall of the Kings is set a generation (give or take) after that.

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