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Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #3)
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Point of Dreams

(Astreiant #3)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  62 reviews
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 recrui ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 11th 2001 by Tor Books (first published February 10th 2001)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  506 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Loved this. Love the whole series. The writing is so smooth and assured, with so much left between the lines. The world is intricately constructed, the mystery elegantly developed, the romance beautifully understated. This is the kind of writing that feels effortless, which of course means it was anything but.

This reminds me of how fantasy used to make me feel, which is to say, why I spent years reading very little else. I would rather be in these books than not, that's all.

Edit: Yes I am rerea
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Flower-arranging has never been so lethal.
Flower-arranging has never been so interesting.
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chronologically, this is the third book in the series I think of as "CSI: Big Gay Fantasy". The mental name is probably an unfair depiction, since the book is much more about the teamwork between Rathe and Eslingen than about their growing intimacy.

This mystery is set against the upcoming power changeover, a situation much like the tulip craze of Holland, and a magically important play. There is also a confluence of the stars that is causing everyone to see ghosts of their past, quite literally.
This second book in the late-Renaissance series centred on pointsman Rathe is similar at first sight to the first but subtly different nonetheless, as if the two plots belonged each to one of the two authors.

The first was more focused on the mistery, on the action that brings to its solving and it was fleshed out with countless details about the lower-class characters' way of life.
In this second one the mistery seems not to be the focus of the narrative: it rather seems an excuse to examine char
When I finished this book, I set it aside with a feeling of satisfaction, as if I'd had a good meal. The mystery was well-done, the fantastic elements of the story and the world well-conceived, the backstory well-integrated and relatively easy to pick up once I got into the rhythm of the plot.

Scott and Barnett write with an attention to detail and a richness of atmosphere not often found in fantasy. The story moves along leisurely, over the course of a few days, and (forgive the clumsy metaphor)
4.5 stars. So well done. This is a marvellous book in a marvellous fantasy mystery series and this is my favourite so far. The city of Astreiant and its residents continue to capture all my attention. There's so much depth and subtlety and complexity in this story and the characters continue to be totally compelling. The mystery is absolutely fascinating, as is the theatrical setting. It's a murder mystery story based around a big theatrical production. Also going on is a mad flower craze like t ...more
Cat M
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, queerness, sf-f
In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.

This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures.

It's mostly about queer relationships. The growing intimacy between Philip and Nico and the ways in which they are both drawn to but also unsure if they're ready for that intima
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a big fan of mysteries where stubborn higher-ups want to stop the detective from investigating a murder because of reason/politics/whatever and they get into more and more trouble because they, of course, investigate anyway. And Point of Dreams started with exactly such a situation which is why I had a hard time getting into it at first. But Rathe got quickly distracted by other murders (lots of them) he was actually supposed to investigate and the first murder was pushed into the backg ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
when i say “fun matriarchal renaissance-fantasy police procedural with astrology magic, flower magic, tea, theatre, and low-key background romance” is your immediate response “yes, i want to read that right now”? GOOD. read this series!!!! the only word i can properly use for it is delightful. it just delights me! and this one was about the theatre and flowers, two of my favorite things, and what can i say when something just knows the way to my heart so precisely?? i’m defenseless, you know?
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a delightful series this is. And it’s such a good blend of my favorite genres - mysteries, fantasy, and queer romance.
Abi Walton
I think I preferred this book to the first one, which was brilliant don't get me wrong. I just love Nico and Philp being lemen together it makes me so happy. And I adore how Scott and Barnett write their relationship, it is there, but also so subtle making the moments of tenderness more heart moving and wonderful.
I really want all my books to be set in this world, where everyone is bisexual and it doesn't matter. Nico and Philip are lemen and its just the perfect setting for a story that is dri
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, gblt
it was diminishing returns with the second book, Point of Dreams, as Nico and Philip investigate strange murders at the playhouse. I felt there was too little time exploring how they felt about each other - even as past loves were thrown in to the mix, it felt like all the relationship stuff happened offstage (lol pun unintended), only so they could bring it to the fore to hammer home a pertinent point to the mystery.

I also felt the crime was ridiculously easy to solve, and was really annoyed t
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Still hitting EVERYTHING I LOVE. Some of the theatre stuff got a bit impenetrable at times, but it didn't take away from the book.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, read-2017, own
The second full length novel in Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett's elaborately crafted Astreiant universe takes Nico and Philip into the world of the theater, where Philip has found new employment after losing his old job and Nico is called to investigate the mysterious murder of a nobleman on the stage who was rehearsing for the prestigious midwinter masque.

Usually it takes me a while to find my way back into a world and reacquaint myself with its characters when so much time (in this case, fo
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shame they changed the narrator for this book. Matt Leisy who did Astreiant, #1 & 1.5 was excellent, very clear and easy to understand, and his regional accents were spot on. Mark Mullaney who narrated this one is so bad I almost stopped listening. His "British" accents are painful to British ears, and he mispronounces so many words in what I can only assume is an attempt to make them sound "British" that it becomes distracting and hard to follow the story. His website claims he can do Briti ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Love the world, the mystery is interesting but disappointed in the romance, which is a constant case of telling without showing. I like the two main characters but I don't get why the author keeps shying away from having them show any romantic or sexual expression toward each other. We keep being told they're in a relationship but they don't even touch each other or act romantically in any way. It's clear they have feelings toward each other but they don't express it AT ALL. It's incredibly frus ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, smashwords
Once again, I found it very hard to follow the story to begin with. There are many new characters with hard to pronounce names. I find it difficult to remember who everyone is when I can’t work out their names. With these stories however, perseverance pays off, and after a while I was reading enthusiastically. I mostly enjoy the relationship between Nico and Philip in this series, (they really are appealing characters), but the plot was interesting as well.
nisie draws
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved Rathe and Eslingen's relationship in this book, they were adorable, and in general i really enjoyed the plot. I was a little disappointed with the execution of the mystery - i felt there were a lot of scenes where the characters ignored obvious clues in order for the plot to work - which is very meeeh - but overall it was a good read!
After enjoying the first two books in this series (the second being labeled 1.5), I hate this give this such a low rating but I was bored to tears. It was a huge relief just to get to the last chapter and by then I really didn't care who, how, or why of the murders I just wanted the experience to be over.
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtq
I was stuck in a reading slump for so long I decided to bring out the heavy artillery - fantasy with reversed gender roles. The plot of this one was a bit... milder than the first book but the whole setting is still interesting. Plus, I did finish it in 2 days after months of not reading anything so yay.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written, engaging, at some stages too much astrology.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 the second time reading this, just a bit of a slow start but still really enjoyable.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe three and a half? Anyway I have fallen down a rabbit-hole with these and have already got the next one in the series.
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I almost gave this book 5 stars, because I thought it was an improvement to the first one that I also really liked. Maybe I'll raise it up later, but for now it's 4.5 stars.

I think these books take place in a really interesting world. It's almost a normal medieval fantasy world, but everything is based on the stars and how they stood when one was born. Everything is influenced by it. Even murder, as this book will show you.
It's also a matriarchal world, which is something you find out while read
Feb 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jane by: acchikocchi
I didn't comment on this in my review of Point of Hopes, the prequel to Point of Dreams, but I like how subtle and understated the authors are about the details and structures of their world, like they are taken for granted being so much a part of Chnedolle's society that one doesn't notice them. Details like Chnedolle is a mostly matriarchy society or as I mentioned, Boston marriages, for females as well as males, are legal and common or Gargoyles are living creatures, guarding houses as well a ...more
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf, fiction, mystery
This is a sequel to Point of Hopes. Basically, this is a mystery series; it just happens to be set in a fantasy world with an interesting cosmology and magic system. Just as the real test of whether you're likely to enjoy Hammerfall is whether you enjoy Cherryh's fantasy, not her sf, I think the real test of whether you're likely to enjoy this book is whether you enjoy mystery series, not whether you enjoy fantasy series.

Astreiant is the capital city of a land with a roughly 17th century level o
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I gave this three stars the first time around, I don't know what's wrong with me tbh.

I guess it has to do with not having read the first book before this one, and had a hard time understanding the world-building. You don't need to have read Point of Hopes before reading Point of Dreams, but it would certainly help in better appreciating Astreiant.

I'm really in love with this series, you have no idea.

Dreams start with Rathe as the Senior Adjunct Point for Point of Dreams, the part of Astreiant wh
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery, historical, fantasy and yaoi lovers
If I had to compare the Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams I'd say that though both are excellent, Point of Dreams is better than Point of Hopes. While in the first book there were a few places were the plot slowed down as a result of the authors' world-building, Point of Dreams is much more fast-paced.

The relationship between Philip and Rathe really makes it an enjoyable read because we get to see so many glimpses of the way they care about each other.Philip especially is quite protective. Rat
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Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbia

Other books in the series

Astreiant (4 books)
  • Point of Hopes (Astreiant, #1)
  • Fairs' Point (Astreiant, #4)
  • Point of Sighs (Astreiant, #5)