A Mystery and an Adventure
Astreiant is a place of magic and politics and it is there that Nicolas Rathe (Nico) and Philip Eslingen fall in love. It is also the place where pointsmen, necromancers and wizards play deadly games. Melissa Scott who gave us “Point of Hopes” and Point of Drams” takes us back to Astreiant and fills the holes in between the two earlier books. Nicolas and Philip come together after the double murders of Grandfather Steen and Old Steen, two men– father and son, who were thought to be pirates. Old Steen’s son claims his father’s property and at the same time woman claiming to be Old Steen’s wife appears and makes the same claim on the property. Calazzo also feels he is entitled to something and sends Philip to represent him and to help Rathe investigate the murders.
I have not read the two previous novels so it was a bit difficult for me to get into the story and as I sat down to review the book; I knew that I would have a difficult time dealing with the plot. I do not read a lot of speculative fiction but I must admit that the writer has built quite a world wherein her action takes place. She has built wonderful characters and the prose is sharp and clear even when dealing with something as complicated as the police and how the investigation is handled.
Scott builds a world of fantasy that is filled with detail and she handles the man/man romance beautifully. Using the idea of an alternate history, we see the characters as regular people who Scott has beautifully drawn. The plot moves along through twists and turns and it is paced just right.
This is the story of two men living and loving in a matriarchal society that is complex and intricate and the fact that the two men here were raised by their fathers after their mothers’ abandonment is handled with style. While the plot is character driven, it also is propelled by the mystery and with this the speculative and the real world seem to meet.
- Posted in: GLBT fiction