open/close all folders
- The Anti-Nihilist: Is angry enough at the state of the world that he attempts to change it.
- Anything That Moves: Alcuin, Raffaela, the Black Rose, an unnamed red-haired artist and Richard St. Vier during the novel alone. Plus the orgies.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Correctly deduces where Katherine and Marcus went when they followed Lord Lucius Perry, by recognizing the mud and whitewash on their clothes and the kind of candy they bought.
- Badass Bookworm: In Swordspoint he saves Richard from execution with an ancient law he found in a book in the Tremontaine library.
- Batman Gambit: How he prefers to deal with the City and his fellow nobles.
- Big Good: Surprisingly, he fits this trope more than any other character in the novel. What Katherine becomes after him.
- Blue Blood: Descends from an ancient noble house as well as the last king's sister.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is unstable, drunk or high most of the time, yet he essentially rules Riverside and runs rings around the Council of Lords. He also maintains an excellent spy network, as Katherine discovers, despite his various eccentricities.
- Broken Bird: Is incredibly messed up due to his Abusive Parents and Manipulative Bitch Grandmother and a series of events in his early adulthood. Shares this trait with his sister, Janine, Katherine's mother.
- Byronic Hero: Mad, bad and dangerous to know. The author even calls him this.
- Combat Pragmatist: Kills Ferris with a bronze figurine in Ferris' own house.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He looks and acts like a libertine and a fool, but part of Katherine's journey in growing up is learning how appearances can be deceiving.
- The Cynic
- Deadpan Snarker
- Despair Event Horizon: As in Swordspoint, Alec seems to hover over this throughout the novel due to Richard leaving him sometime prior to this. However, he really hits it when Ferris drives Flavia and the Black Rose away, attempts a Morton's Fork where Alec has to betroth Katherine to him, needles Alec about Richard leaving, and then outright states Katherine will one-day find him unbearable as well. This is implied to be the last straw. Alec kills Ferris as a result, flees into exile and leaves Katherine the duchy.
- Eccentric Mentor: To Katherine and Marcus.
- The Gadfly
- Gentleman and a Scholar: A fashionable nobleman as well as a mathematics and astronomy scholar.
- Good with Numbers: A mathematician and astronomer.
- Hidden Depths: Discovering them is part of Katherine's journey throughout the book.
- Jade-Colored Glasses
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Knight in Sour Armor: Is surprisingly chivalrous for a libertine, and Riverside is a much better place in The Privilege of the Sword than it was in Swordspoint thanks to him.
- Mad Mathematician: Known as the Mad Duke for his unconventional ways. He was a mathematics student at the University, and while still a student, he and three friends uncovered the heliocentric nature of the cosmos using trigonometry. They are expelled from the University as a result, except for Alec, because certain powerful factions want to cover this up. See Tremontaine. Alec subsequently fled to Riverside. Alec tells Richard in Swordspoint that he and his classmates used drugs to understand the stars.
- Magnificent Bastard: His methods are unscrupulous but his goals are that of a Guile Hero. See how he called into question who has the privilege of the sword throughout the book, and how he deals with Ferris and Lord Davenant's tax plan.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A male, platonic version to his niece, Katherine.
- Morality Pet: Katherine is his. He becomes extremely protective of her very quickly and actually cares about her opinion. Plus he kills Ferris to protect her and leaves the duchy to her when he goes into exile.
- Parental Substitute: To Marcus and, unwillingly at first on both their parts, Katherine.
- Princely Young Man: Katherine calls him an enchanted prince at one point.
- Stealth Mentor: To Katherine.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- Good with Numbers: a brilliant mathematician who is treated with disdain at the University because she's female. She and Alec bond over mathematics and spend most of their time solving difficult problems together.
- Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: Has a platonic version of this with Alec.
- Plain Jane: Known as the Ugly Girl.
Richard St. Vier
Rose aka "The Black Rose"