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Bite-size books: Nine Duels

I’ve been missing my weekly dose of Tremontaine, so it was with mingled delight and horror that I recalled I hadn’t yet treated myself to Tessa Gratton’s prequel story Nine Duels. Welcome to the heartache of smoking hot swordsman Vincent Applethorpe’s foreign adventures.

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Tremontaine: Dissolution

I seem to recall saying that if it wasn’t alright, it wasn’t the end, and Tremontaine would go on forever (or at least until it met up with Swordspoint). I stand by that: as we leave our well-loved, frustrating cast at the end of the second season, few would claim that they’re okay. Brace yourself.

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Tremontaine: Smoke and Ashes

The calm before the storm, the penultimate episode of Season Two is all about consequences. Esha has an opportunity for Diane, if Micah and Rafe will unlock it for her. Florian confronts Shade over his vicious, unnecessary murder. And Tess must see if she can find it within herself to forgive Kaab her many wrongs.

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Tremontaine: In the Shadow of Riverside

It is a week for fateful meetings as Diane returns to the City with but a day to neutralise Lord Davenant. Beset by her own turmoil, Kaab holds out an unexpected olive branch. But the shadow of Riverside is long and dark, and some problems can only be solved with blood…

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Tremontaine: The Coming Night

If I thought Tessa Gratton had twisted my heart as far it could be turned, I was naive. Joel Derfner gives us surprises, silk-clad threats and a deep, shattering sadness as Diane makes Rafe an offer he can’t refuse.

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Tremontaine: The Heart a Liability

The title of this week’s episode serves as a warning: we’re deep into the second half of the season now, and long-simmering matters of the heart are coming to the boil. This is a week for reflection, for regret, and for recognising that while passion may not be denied, it is no sure promise of happiness (Arthur. I’m looking at you, Arthur).

Ware, spoilers and heartache

Tremontaine: A Rushing of Wings

Armed with his wits, his passion and a newly-procured sword, Rafe prevails on Micah to take him to Highcombe in search of Duke William. The staff at Highcombe are intensely loyal to their Duke and Duchess – but Diane’s policy of splitting tasks and knowledge between different servants to preserve her secrets has created distrust. Can Rafe take advantage of the divisions to steal his Will away?
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Tremontaine: The Duchess Gambit

Trick question: the correct answer is almost certainly to ask what Diane would do. But neither Kaab nor Rafe are thinking clearly this week.

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Tremontaine: Blood and Silk

It’s another episode by Mary-Ann Mohanraj, which means MORE ESHA! See me do the happy sword dance. This week the themes of friendship and family are front and centre as Diane receives an unexpected visitor, and Kaab takes Tess to meet the Balam.

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Tremontaine: Alive, and Home Here

Last week was a tour de force from Alaya Dawn Johnson, giving us a searching look into the conflicted hearts of our protagonists. Kaab is caught between her love and her family; Rafe is torn between his vow and his urges; and Diane is ever so curious to get to the bottom of what lies between Vincent and the Ambassdor from Chartil (aren’t we all!)…

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Tremontaine: All That Glitters

Calm waters hide turmoil this week, as Vincent arranges Kaab’s first professional duel, Rafe is tempted to betray his vow of chastity and Diane becomes increasingly concerned about a certain mathematician at the University. In which I gnash my teeth at my leading ladies. GNASH.

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Tremontaine: Fireworks

All our ships come in in possibly the steamiest episode of Tremontaine to date, as friends explore boundaries – or lack thereof – and the Duchess, having permitted young Lord Lionel to seduce her (well, that’s how he sees it), meets tantalising foreign beauty Esha. Fans at the ready, please…

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