Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband’s affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius on the brink of revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, betrayal and treachery know no bounds with stakes this high. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E10 “A Blur of Bright Water”

Tess seeks revenge against Florian but is thwarted.

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E9 “Sword and Spirit”

Davenant takes drastic action when he realizes how Diane got her hands on his ledger.

Team-Writing in the World of Tremontaine

Delia: As soon as the Mighty Brain Trust that is the Tremontaine Summit, Plotting, and Deli Nosh Weekend came to the decision that most of Episode 7 of Season 3 should be set in the ducal hunting lodge at the dark midnight of the year, my eyes met Liz’s across the living room. We both knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Episode 7 Must Be Ours. It was the obvious practical choice—structurally, it makes sense for guest authors to pop in mid-season, when the plot arc has been firmly established by the staff writers, and preferably in an episode that differed in tone, focus, or setting from the rest. Which is pretty much Episode 7 in a structural nutshell. But that’s not why we wanted it and no other. No, not at all. Liz: On the one hand, we were instantly attracted to the delicious compactness of getting a lot of characters into a country house for a...Read More >

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E8 “Behind the Mask”

On Esha’s advice, Diane speaks to Lionel about the future of their relationship.

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E7 “Into the Woods”

Diane hosts a hunting party outside of the city that provides an opportunity to manipulate her relationships as well as those of her associates.

From The Writers' Room

Building Layers of Tension and a Bonus Cut Scene

I’ll begin with a confession: This is the only episode of both seasons I’ve worked on Tremontaine that I’ve not enjoyed writing. Even in season two when I murdered Arthur, though I avoided the moment, mourning the poor kid, writing that episode was exciting, fun, and I reveled when that moment finally came. Though S3:E6 has several character moments I wanted to write (Esha and Reza meeting, Rafe taking Reza on a swordsman hunt), when I was working on it, from outline to first draft, I couldn’t quite enjoy it. I also believe that if a writer is bored or uninterested in a scene, that comes through on the page and readers will sense it I told myself over and over to cut myself some slack because the same month this episode was due, I was going through some intensive final revisions for one of my novels, and that was eating all the joy from my life. That’s definitely true,...Read More >

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E6 “My Life For Your Life”

As Kaab and Diane continue their alliance, the swordswoman tracks down a recalcitrant spy who may have information she needs.

From The Writers' Room

The Creative Forces of “The Boys in the Basement”

When I look back over the posts I’ve written on my previous visits to the Writer’s Room, I see that I’ve written about the intersections, some intentional, some unexpected, of my Tremontaine episodes with the real world—especially in terms of politics. So though I’m writing this two days after off-term elections that saw a repudiation of the Trump agenda, I’m going to resist the temptation of drawing any parallels to my episode, “Every Face a Forgery.” By the way, isn’t that a killer title? I owe it to my brilliant colleague Tessa Gratton, who came to my aid when, despairing, I whined to the writing team on our Slack channel that I was at a total loss for an episode title. Tessa, like the awesome writer and editor she is, rummaged around in my manuscript draft, and guess what? The title I was desperately searching for was already there, written into a scene with Riverside’s favorite forger, Tess. All I...Read More >

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E5 “Every Face a Forgery”

As Kaab takes over her aunt’s role, Diane deals with the aftermath of the burglary at Tremontaine House.

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New Episode: Tremontaine S3E4 “Night of the Flames”

As the city celebrates, Micah witnesses as a crime.

From The Writers' Room

When Having Trouble with a Scene

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my collaborators for the terror I regularly put them through. Tessa, Karen, Paul, and Racheline are deeply, deeply responsible writers and would no sooner think of turning in an unfinished draft than they would, I don’t know, eat a baby. I, on the other hand, think babies are delicious, especially medium-well. Which means that I turn in unfinished drafts far more often than I know I wish I did, and far more often than I’m quite certain they wish I did. Part of the problem is that, when I’m having trouble with a scene, I end up just leaving a lot of place markers in the text—essentially, my drafts are filled with “WRITE THIS PART LATER.” Mostly, I do this when I know that a sentence or paragraph calls for something that will be difficult for me to think of, and rather than stop in my tracks for ten minutes to...Read More >

From The Writers' Room

In Praise of Minor Characters

I write dialogue by eavesdropping on my characters. When you know a character, you can hear their voice in your head...

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