Cover image for Point of dreams
Point of dreams
Scott, Melissa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York: Tor, 2001.
Physical Description:
352 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The city of Astreiant has gone crazy with enthusiasm for a new play, The Drowned Island, a lurid farrago of melodrama and innuendo. Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is not amused, however, at a real dead body on stage and must investigate. A string of murders follow, perhaps related to the politically important masque that is to play on that same stage. Rathe must once again recruit the help of his soldier lover, Philip Eslingen, whose knowledge of actors and the stage, and of the depths of human perversity and violence, blends well with Rathe's own hard-won experience with human greed and magical mayhem.

Their task is complicated by the season, for it is the time of year when the spirits of the dead haunt the city and influence everyone, and also by the change in their relationship when the loss of Philip's job forces him to move in with Nicolas. Mystery, political intrigue, floral magic, astrology, and romance--both theatrical and personal-- combine to make this a compelling read.

Author Notes

Melissa Scott is a science fiction writer. She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1961. Scott studied history at Harvard University before earning her Ph. D. in comparative history from Brandeis University.

Scott's first science fiction book, The Game Beyond, was published in 1984. In 1986, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Scott received the Lambda Literary Award for Gay/Lesbian Science Fiction in both 1995 and 1996 for the books Trouble and Her Friends and Shadow Man. She is a co-founder of WaveLengths, a journal of gay/lesbian/bisexual-interest science fiction and fantasy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In Scott and Barnett's third novel of Astreiant, a city resembling those of Earth's European Renaissance but in which magic enhances medicine and many more women hold positions of authority and profit, the stars have declared a time of madness and folly to coincide with the time of year when ghosts walk and an annual masque is performed. The last thing pointsman (policeman) Nicholas Rath needs under such circumstances, which occur at the same time that his personal life is already giving him enough headaches, is for a dead body to turn up in the theater. But it is his duty to investigate, and he carries it out skillfully. At heart, this fantasy novel is a mystery. If it is unlikely to convert newcomers into Astreiant advocates, neither will it alienate series followers. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

What do gardening, astrology, the theater, magic and fantasy have in common? In this fine sequel to the authors' well-received Point of Hopes (1995) and The Armor of Light (1988), the common thread is murder. Scott and Barnett have created an unusual and successful blend of fantasy and mystery, set in the Renaissance-like city of Astreiant during the production of a midwinter masque. Based on The Alphabet of Desire, a manual of magic using flowers and plants, the masque is the talk of the city. When dead bodies start to turn up on stage, however, it's up to Nico Rathe, who's a sort of chief constable called an "adjunct point," and his leman, Philip Eslingen, to follow the clues and find out who's behind the murders. Each death appears to be unrelated, but the sleuths (you can't really call them anything but) know there has to be a link somewhere. That this is the season when ghosts are out in force serves to complicate the investigation. Familiarity with the previous books in the series isn't necessary, as the authors provide just the right amount of background on Astreiant for readers to get their bearings. Having deftly, and gratifyingly, entwined two different genres, Scott and Barnett have produced a page-turner that is sure to win them new fans. (Feb.) FYI: Scott has twice won the Lambda Award for SF as well as a John W. Campbell Award. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Inauspicious stars herald the coming of the ghost-tide, when the silent spirits of the dead visit the world of the living and chaos reigns in the streets of the city of Astreiant. Coauthors Scott and Barnett return to the quasi-Renaissance world depicted in Point of Hopes, relating another installment in the life of Pointsman Nicholas Rathe as he struggles to uncover the forces behind a series of mysterious theater-related murders. Alchemy, herbal magic, and mystery work together to create a fascinating and exotic tale of fantasy intrigue. Recommended for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.