Swordspoint is was an amazing story with an amazing cast of characters. The author's reading was absolutely perfect and the rest of the cast did a great job as well. The music and staging of key scenes was done really nicely and didn't feel tacky. If you're debating whether or not to pick up this title, take this as a sign and get it now! You won't regret it!
Neil Gaiman seemed inordinately proud of the supposedly full-voiced production. Why, then is this 99% Ellen Kushner reading it? MAYBE 1% is performed by the actors (who aren't terribly good) they advertised, and sometimes even those scenes shift abruptly into Ellen Kushner reading it again, Kushner voicing the same characters they had previously had voiced by actors & actresses; after the mid-way point, even that 1% ceases and it becomes all-Kushner-all-the-time. This was a sham, a case of false advertising, a waste of my time and money. Either have a single person read the whole thing, like most other audiobooks, or have a full cast performing the whole thing. You can't get away with this sort of piss-poor production if you plan to advertise it as something else.
I would have cast either a full cast or just Kushner. Make up your minds, folks.
No. It read like a female version of what women accuse men of writing when we write lesbians -- an adolescent fantasy. It's all fashion and parties and squabbling over status, with action sequences that usually occur off-stage or crawl along at a snail's pace, set in a world in which every man is only one meaningful glance away from hopping into bed with another man. It read like the sort of terrible Harry Potter slash-fics my female friends wrote in high school and college - a girl's fantasy of what men get up to when women aren't around.
I regret buying the sequel at the same time I bought this book. I anticipated loving this, since everyone seems to, and instead I find myself despising it.
I like Fantasy novels :)
Yes, the cast is great and it adds another dimension to the story
Richard's voice, the relationships of the characters
the sense of the scenes and time period
If you enjoy this genre, this is a must listen. I even bought the paperback to keep in my physical library
The well-described locations and complex relationships among the many characters gave this story a solidity that I appreciated.
Murder, swordsmen, intrigue and a complex maelstrom of human emotions move through this novel like a river. Masterfully executed and riveting from beginning to end.
Sexy swashbuckling politicoes
Richard and Alec are kind of terrible but I love them in spite of themselves. Although hmm, the Duchess might beat them.
Well, I've heard Ellen read in person before, so sort of? She's a fantastic reader, and loves her characters and her settings so much. This was a great performance, and the sound effects and other actors for the dramatized scenes really added such richness to the recording.
Oh, those mad, bad boys.
I read this book a few years ago, and just loved it then. Having such a fantastic audio version made me wriggly with joy. The last line of dialog is so simple and, out of context, utterly mundane, and the fact that it made me weep into my steering wheel is a testament to Kushner's ability to make a reader care so much about the characters that all of the context can fit into such a short line.
Swordspoint is one of my all-time favorite books--one I re-read every few years. I find it exceptionally compelling as a story, and I love the complexity of the plot and the intricate maneuvering of the characters. Ellen Kushner is a superb writer, and I have read all her work, including the other tales of Riverside. Swordsman Richard St. Vier and his lover Alec are two amazing fictional characters and I love being a part of their world. The audio version of the book is terrific: Kushner and her supporting cast make the ten plus hours fly by. Congratulations to everyone involved in the production, and thanks to Neil Gaiman for selecting it.
I have read this book in Japanese more than 20years ago and this was the first time "reading" it in English and let me tell you...Wow
The audiobook version of this book was given as a gift to me and it was such a jewel. It is actually read by the author with the casts including music and sound effects. I was not only able to experience the original English version, but also could enjoy the nuances and the richness of the dialogues as well, through the wonderful narration by the author.
The experience of listening to this production was like watching (listening) to a classical Shakespeare-like periodic play. If you are a fan of this book, don't miss the experience!
Society requires sublimation
Alec and St. Vere - on their own they might be flat character types but together they are magic.
Narrator/Author does a wonderful job of conveying the different voices of her characters and their shifting emotions and vulnerabilities. The audio cast is excellent but you hardly even miss the actors when the narrator is speaking their lines.
A fantasy with its feet firmly planted on the ground. And it is good, rich, ground. If you love the English Renaissance, and English renaissance drama in particular, this is the book for you.
I have read the original book several times and never dreamed I would get lucky enough to have the author herself read her work, with selected dramatization in parts. It's wonderful, it's fantastic, it's...well...it's Richard and Alec, the quintessential couple. And once again they are coming alive in my life, but this time via my ears instead of my eyes. I couldn't be much happier.