Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Patty Bryant, Racheline Maltese, Malinda Lo, Alaya Dawn Johnson “Tremontaine: The Complete Season One” (Serial Box, 2016)
Apparently this is a prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside series. Not only have I not read those books, but I’ve never even heard of the series. So this is all from the perspective of someone who comes into this world without any context.
The story takes place in what feels like a European city in the 16 or 1700s. Based on what I remember of my history of science, the world seems to be post Newton’s discovery of gravity but before it is widely accepted that the Earth orbits the sun.
Central to the story is a family of traders who have come from “The Americas” (Incans I think, but perhaps Mayans?). Their primary trade good is chocolate, which is at this point a luxury item for the wealthy and the noble.
Without dropping too many spoilers, this is a long story worthy of Dumas or another romantic adventure writer. There are duels, forgery, theft, hidden identities, and of course romance.
On the whole this was a really fun read. It’s fantasy only in the sense that it’s alternative history. As far as I could tell no magic, dragons, fantastical races, etc. But the characters are great and unique. Big Fun!