- By Melissa Scott Lisa A. Barnett

Point of Hopes

  • Title: Point of Hopes
  • Author: Melissa Scott Lisa A. Barnett
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 371
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Point of Hopes 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 popula

    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, andNicolas 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.

    1 thought on “Point of Hopes

    1. some lovely odds-n-ends, but it was basically a feature length episode of Law & Order: Medieval Victims Unit, with next to no exciting progress in any direction until the last third. most of it was interviews all over town, and a series of introductions to any one of a hundred characters who have nothing to do with anything—though each of them struck me as nicely done in themselves.if you like your gumshoe detective stories romance-free, long as hell, and with a minumum of explosions, murd [...]

    2. This was just glorious fun. Beautifully and apparently effortlessly developed fantasy world, without the leaden heaps of description and exposition that make so much worldbuilding unreadable. You get a political plot, a cultural background, a whole social structure and a magic system, all conveyed as integral parts of a fast paced investigation plot, with plenty of room for character development. *And* there's three novels and a novella, so I won't be reading anything else for some time. I can't [...]

    3. I am a sucker for intricately wrought world building that is intrinsic to the plot of a fantasy murder mystery, let me TELL YOU.

    4. On the one hand I love fantasies, especially if they have gay characters, but I usually find even the best detective-stories dull.This is a classical detective-story set in an alternative XVI century French-like kingdom.The two authors outline a believable society and they enrich their descriptions with many interesting and witty details: the result, admirable though it is, is overwhelming and yet it would have born more development.Writing is professional and subtle but the story develops slowl [...]

    5. This novel is incredibly satisfying, despite being fairly uneven technically. The characters are charismatic; the mystery, though fairly simple, maintains an excellent sense of tension due to the stakes; and the world is fascinating, lovingly detailed, and fairly unique among fantasy worlds. I stayed up all night to finish this, and immediately wanted to read the next in the series. (Sadly, neither of the two other Astreiant books are available in any of the library systems I have access to.)It' [...]

    6. One of my favorite SF worlds, and basically just a really good book. It's an everyone-is-queer, nonobvious-matriarchy secondary-world police procedural mystery fantasy in a world that looks kind of sort of like Renaissance Holland if you squint. (Melissa Scott has a PhD in comparative history. Her worldbuilding is awesome. I first heard of her via Trouble and Her Friends, which I picked up because it was cyberpunk and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very, very queer.) And if that's [...]

    7. Wonderful. This is the first book in a cool fantasy mystery series and I really liked it. The main characters are neat, the mystery is engaging, and the story's really interesting. The world-building in this series is amazing. It's thorough and detailed and lush and I love it. Astreiant seems vaguely based on Renaissance-era Holland and it's quite a refreshing and neat place to visit. It's an astrologically-based matriarchal society where women run the government, run business and trade, and own [...]

    8. I've read this ages ago but never actually got around to writing a review.Anyway, Point of Hopes is the first book in the Astreiant series (Shelfari lists Armor of Light as part of the same series, but it's actually not), and I have to admit that Astreiant is not an easy place to understand. It probably has to do with the fact that I read book 2 before this one, but anyway:The place feels medieval Europe, with a childless Queen (I'm guessing patterned after Queen Elizabeth I), and astrology actu [...]

    9. I am ashamed to say I bought this paperback used, and owned it for almost two years before I read it. The cover art looked rather bland and dull, and only the back cover blurbs made me pick it up.When I finished it, I wanted to email Melissa personally and apologize.Where to begin? I'll start with the world building that Scott and her late partner Lisa Barnett created: an alternate-reality late Renaissance on a world under two suns, where astrological predictions govern nearly every facet of lif [...]

    10. The world-building was a bit impenetrable at first, and while I eventually figured out things from context clues, this was possibly the first time I ever wanted a glossary in a fantasy novel.That said, this was delightful. Rough entry aside, the world-building is FASCINATING and wonderful, and I loved how pivotal the world-building was in the mystery.Great cop procedural in a Renaissance-flavored fantasy novel. Also, I almost passed this book over because the blurb sounded like it was a Dude Nov [...]

    11. This really could’ve used some action. I would’ve even settled for a sense of urgency. But holy cow was there a lot of description of stuff and talking. Then some more description of stuff and more talking. And more often than I liked it involved repeating something they’d already told one person to a second person so the reader goes through it twice. The whole book is basically Nico crisscrossing the city multiple times to question people. Argh. Major pacing problems, she added silently*. [...]

    12. I've had this on my Kindle for ages. When I finally got around to reading it, I was all "Why didn't I read this earlier??" The premise is right up my alley: a detective novel set in a typical mediaeval fantasy setting with magic practitioners, where a returned ex-soldier teams up with an upright policeman to solve crime and deny their feelings for each other. The resolution of the mystery happens a little too fast considering the steady pacing of the rest of the book, but it was definitely enjoy [...]

    13. Fantasy murder mystery with an extremely subtle matriarchal society? SIGN ME UP This one is the slowest and most detailed, but I still love it.

    14. So. It definitely helped that I reached a point where I felt like I had nothing to read. It wasally hard to get into. So many fantasy terms, so early on, and so many referentials to in-world politics that weren't explained, because what idiot wouldn't know why a magist out to defer to a landame, amirite?I mean, Idk, I guess some people go for that. But I soldiered on since I had nothing else to read, and it's not bad. It was interesting enough, if really dense. I do rather agree with Julio's rev [...]

    15. A free audiobook review copy of this book was provided to Rainbow Gold Reviews in exchange for an honest review by the publisher. I'm a huge fantasy fan, so I jumped on the chance. I'm ashamed to say, I never even heard about this series and I am very glad about this re-release as audiobook and stumbling over it.The worldbuilding in this book was amazing and I found it easy to imagine this world in my head. It is great to get a clear picture of how the world works, without the author having to r [...]

    16. Nicolas Rathe is a pointsman in the city of Astreiant, responsible for keeping the peace and investigating crimes; Philip Eslingen is an out-of-work soldier searching for a job in the city. Together, they fight crime! Okay, sorry, couldn't resist. In any case, this book and its sequel (Point of Dreams) are an enjoyable mix of fantasy and mystery, with excellent worldbuilding; the city is so intimately described that it feels very real, down even to its smells and sounds. I liked the characters a [...]

    17. Set in a fictional fantasy world similar to seventeenth century England. The main difference is that astrology is real--and not only can it be used to accurately predict the future, it can be used to change it as well. The premise and plot are pretty good, but it gets bogged down in minutia. I know what the two main characters had for literally every meal of the week the story covers. I know how they hang their jackets, I know where they buy their ale--every single conversation, meal, and clothi [...]

    18. I loved it, absolutely loved it. I would say 4.5 stars over all, the writing was occasionally clunky and the world could be hard to comprehend, but i'm going to round up because having finished it am am thrilled with the experience. Fantasy, mystery, interesting gender roll reversals and two awesome main characters who are adorably clueless about the crushes they have on each other. I can't wait to read the next three and a half books!

    19. Enjoyable characters and story, with a few issues.It could have been shortened some, as there was a lot of repetition, and places where it felt like there was an unnecessary amount of detail. This is an odd thing for me to complain about, as generally I enjoy extra world-details, but this was enough that even I thought it should have been cut down.There was something at the end that bugged me as well. (view spoiler)[Timenard reveals his orrery, knowing full well that any contamination will ruin [...]

    20. Would I recommend this book to myself? Yes.I love "daily-life in foreign times" mysteries (Davis's Falco for example). And I bought this as part of an "LGBT*" bundle. So, the odds were good I'd enjoy this book. And, while I did, there were a couple of disappointing things that give this one only 3 stars (the same as a perfectly serviceable bog-standard $.99 romance novel) instead of 4 (the same as "totally my genre, will read repeatedly").Plus: I learned or re-googled several antique words, so t [...]

    21. This book had many things I'm always searching for: fantasy meets crime, interesting characters, a fascinating worldbuilding that wasn't just 'vaguely medieval with magic' but no infodumps and nothing was too predictable but the pacing was simplyt great. It started off rather slow, mostly thanks to itstiveness. As said, there are no infodumps but everything - from the interior decoration to the character's clothes get's described in detail. Also occasionally you get scenes where something happen [...]

    22. The blurb is really bad because it makes it sound like some weird fantasy m/m smutt. It's much more subtle than that, Rathe/Esslingen is only vaguely hinted at (and only if you squint) but the world itself is built on the premise that women can partner with women if they want to and men can partner with men. In fact, even though the main two characters are men, Astreiant is filled with strong women - Rathe's boss is a woman, the political system is a monarchy with female monarchs, women are the [...]

    23. An interestingly complex story, with lots of colorful world building. However there didn't seem to be much of a character arc, and sometimes the point-of-view was disorientingly shared between characters. Much of the plot rested on unexplained relationships or motives. The complexity of the world left a lot of details unexplained, it seemed to lack cohesion. My small understanding of astronomy buckled trying to understand how the binary star system as described would work, which is a big deal in [...]

    24. The authors have created an interesting world, where both the people's private lives, as well as the society as a whole are being led by astrologers' forecasts. Children usually go into the profession determined by their time of birth (although there are exceptions), contracts are signed when stars are favourable, etc. There are also different kinds of magic in the world - for example, there are necromancers who can communicate with spirits of the dead. The society is medieval, professions are l [...]

    25. Slightly frustrating and fussy world building with awkward, clumsy character names (the stereotypical and often off-putting hallmark of fantasy novels) and a somewhat anti-climactic climax. A few more polishing drafts with a good editor would have cleaned up the rough edges, but for all my criticisms I enjoyed it as a whole and plan to read the follow-ups. This was less a typical swords & sorcery fantasy novel than a medieval crime procedural in a matriarchal society where astrology has a re [...]

    26. Just mediocre. Mediocre world building, mediocre plot, mediocre characters, mediocre feels. Terrible copy editing, terrible name choices (are they French? Why don't the MCs think of themselves by first name? I can accept why they think of others as Lastname, but call them Firstname, but themselves?!), terrible foreshadowing (I, for one, knew whodunnit from the very first mention), terrible comma abuse, terrible emotional connection between the characters (as in there wasn't anything of the sort) [...]

    27. Melissa Scott's mystery/investigation books are becoming definite comfort reads for me. Death by Silver and its sequel were already on that list, and now I'm adding the Astreiant books as well. This one doesn't actually have any romance in it, but the development of Philip and Nico's working relationship is just lovely, and it was established to my satisfaction that both of them are queer. It's slow-paced, but that worked for me here, as that time goes into creating a host of interesting charact [...]

    28. I think what I liked best about this novel was the intricate details of the world-building. They reminded me in said detail of the Hugh Corbett mysteries in terms of the intimate look into the daily lives of ordinary people in a much earlier time, though this is, of course, a sort of parallel or alternate world to Earth. Regardless, this book gave me that same immersive feel, and I've already ordered the other three in the series.

    29. It was ok. Sath recommended it as a good fantasy with background gay romance. I wish there had been more romance, and I felt the plot was a bit slow, but then again, i read mostly mm romance which is generally glorified fanfiction, so don't trust my opinion. Rathe and Eslingen were both great characters, as were all of the supporting characters! I actually loved everyone in the story, and did like the plot and the universe!- it was just the pacing was a bit slow for my tastes.

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