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Point of Hopes: A Novel of Astreiant

Point / Astreiant: Book 1

Melissa Scott
Lisa A. Barnett

Nicolas Rathe is a pointsman, a dedicated watchman in the great city of Astreiant. During the annual trade fair, with a city filled with travelers and merchants, someone is stealing children. The populace is getting angry and frightened and convinced that a foreigner must be to blame. Rathe calls on the aid of both an out-of-work soldier, the handsome Philip Eslingen, and the necromancer Istre b'Estorr.

The art of astrology is a very real power in the kingdom and plays as much a role in politics as greed and intrigue. Rathe finds himself struggling to find the children before a major astrological event brings about catastrophe. The first in a series of fantasy novels filled with adventure, intrigue and gay romance.

Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant

Point / Astreiant: Book 2

Melissa Scott
Lisa A. Barnett

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 lover, former soldier 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.

A winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Speculative Fiction!

Point of Knives: A Novella of Astreiant

Point / Astreiant: Book 3

Melissa Scott

A welcome return to the vividly realized city of Asteiant with its intricate magics and deadly politics. Point of Knives takes place in the interval between the widely praised earlier novels Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams. A fantastical mystery and a rousing adventure, Point of Knives also reveals for the first time the beginning of the romance between Adjunct Point Nicolas Rathe and ex-soldier Philip Eslingen.

The events of Midsummer have hardly been forgotten by the Fall Balance, and Nicolas Rathe can hardly complain that they've done any harm to his reputation, or to the reputation of the Points in general. However, it has meant that he's more in demand as an investigator, and the increased recognition and workload has made it hard to pursue friendship, or anything more, with Philip Eslingen, his comrade in the rescue of the stolen children. Eslingen is still Hanselin Caiazzo's bodyguard and Caiazzo is involved in any number of questionably legal ventures, and it does neither of them any good to be seen too often in each other's company. When a father and son who are both rumored to have been pirates are murdered on the same night, and Rathe finds Eslingen standing over the son's body, Eslingen proves his innocence easily enough, though he refuses to say exactly what errand he's running for Caiazzo at that hour of the morning. But when the old man's grandson and the son's self-proclaimed wife quarrel over the son's meager belongings, and Caiazzo dispatches Eslingen to represent his interests in the investigation, Rathe begins to wonder if their friendship is going to survive. Or whether they'll survive at all.

Fairs' Point: A Novel of Astreiant

Point / Astreiant: Book 4

Melissa Scott

During Dog Moon, the chief entertainment in the great city of Astreiant, for nobles and commons alike, is the basket-terrier races at New Fair. This year, with spectacularly bad timing, the massive and suspicious bankruptcy of a young nobleman has convulsed the city, leading to suicides, widespread loss of employment, and inconvenient new laws around the universal practice of betting on the races. As well, a rash of mysterious burglaries seems to suggest a magistical conspiracy.

Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is naturally in the midst of all these disturbances--as is his lover, foreign former mercenary Philip Eslingen. When Eslingen receives a basket-terrier puppy in the redistribution of the bankrupt's household goods, he makes the best of it by having the pup trained for the races, an action that draws him and Rathe deeper into the coils of a mystery somehow involving New Fair's dog races, bookies and bettors, the bankruptcy and its causes and fallout, burglaries, and a new uncanny form of murder.

Fourth in the Astreiant series, Fairs' Point once again demonstrates Melissa Scott's mastery of fantasy world building, detective-story plotting, and the provision of sheer delight.

Point of Sighs

Point / Astreiant: Book 5

Melissa Scott

Autumn downpours soak the city of Astreiant and cast a gloomy pall over its streets, while storms at sea have delayed merchant ships bearing important cargoes from distant lands. For Philip Eslingen, whose stars are bad for water, the season adds damp misery to the complications of organizing the new and controversial City Guard.

The murder of a tea captain brings to a head the rivalry between Point of Sighs, where the crime took place, and Point of Dreams, where Eslingen's lover, Adjunt Point Nicolas Rathe, doubts the evidence against the son of a prominent Dreams merchant house. As extortion against traders by the dockers of Point of Sighs and corruption among the district pointsmen come to light, the mystery deepens, but nothing can prepare Rathe and Eslingen for the return of a legend and the revival of a savage cult.

Centuries ago the hungry spirit that haunted the River Sier was propitiated by the ritual sacrifice of handsome young man, but the Riverdeme has long been bound by the city's bridges. Now the river seethes with vicious dogfish, mauled corpses are pulled from the water, and Eslingen--peculiarly at risk from any watery threat--and Rathe must uncover the person who seeks to unleash an ancient evil.