‘Point of Knives’ by Melissa Scott #LGBT #Audiobook #Review

Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Point of Knives’ (Astreiant 1.5) by Melissa Scott. This book was published by Lethe Press on July 1st, 2012 and is about 122 pages long. The audiobook was released by Lethe Press on July 1st, 2015, is narrated by Matt Leisy and is 4 hrs and 31 mins long.

Why I read this book:

I received a reviewcopy of the first book in this series and couldn’t stop the series after finishing it. I was hooked. Especially knowing that the two guys who learned to trust each other and form a close friendship in book 1 would get together in book 1.5. I just had to use an audible credit to continue this wonderful journey.

Check out my review for ‘Point of Hopes’ (Astreiant 1).

*****

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 andPoint 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.

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*****

Review

The Cover:

Given that the two characters I have fallen for in book 1 are now getting together behind closed doors, the cover fit and made me want to read the story and uncover all of the secrets.

The Title:

I think a certain feeling of danger is inherent in this title and the feeling is well-deserved. Between the secret romance that can be glimpsed on the cover and the dangerous sounding title, this story is very successful in raising expectations.

The Narration:

The narrator of this book was the same as in book one and he is doing a fantastic job. I was pulled into the story and enjoyed being able to close my eyes to dive into a diifferent world.

The Story: 

I am so glad that Melissa Scott decided to return to Astreiant, the world she and her late wife created, to add this vital chapter in the characters’ journey. The story of how the MCs actually got together beween book one and two is important and was well-crafted.

Astreiant has a very big and rich world, but I thought it fitting to concentrate more on our two main protagonists on a personal level and have a more focused main story arc, given the time constraints of a novella.

The mystery is good – not as epic as with the full-length novels, but the tension, danger and mystery are maintained throughout the story. It was great to see the main protagonists work together, again, this time with different loyalties and romantic feelings making things more complicated.

I love Caiazzo, so it was great to see him play a role in this story and to see how Eslingen has to balance his feelings for Rathe and his loyalty to his new employer. We get to see more of the city’s politics and all the questions readers have after book one are answered.

Honestly, I have read book 2 as well and had I not read book 1.5 before it, I think I would have been disappointed by so many questions up in the air. I think it was important for the author to fill in the blanks.

For me this novella works in every way. It takes all the loose threads from book 1 and brings them together in a satisfying way. Loyalty, Love, Betrayal, Secrets, Danger, Death, Mystery, Money, Friendship, Trust. The story was over faster than I would have liked, given how much I have grown to love this world, but it makes every second count and captured my attention from the very first word until I put down the book.

Highly recommended to fans of the series, but imho, this story should not be read before reading ‘Point of Hopes’ (Astreiant 1).

The Rating:

9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended). Compares to 4.75/5 Stars.

*****

AuthorBio

Melissa Scott was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she discovered science fiction as the direct result of breaking her arm during junior high gym class. She was banished to the library, and there the assistant librarian suggested she might enjoy “what’s his name, Heinlein – or that Andre Norton guy.” He was right. She devoured everything available at school, and then discovered the collection created by the Little Rock Public Library’s À Son Goût Trust, which had been established to purchase “books people like to read” — SF, fantasy, and Westerns

Scott studied history at Harvard College, where she was involved with the now-defunct college-sanctioned SF ‘zine that spawned the Harvard/Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and was introduced to a new round of SF, particularly media SF — like Dr. Who — that had been unavailable in her home town. After graduation, she was admitted to Brandeis University’s comparative history program, and also sold her first novel, The Game Beyond, quickly becaming a part-time graduate student and an — almost — full-time writer. She earned her PhD from Brandeis with a dissertation titled “The Victory of the Ancients: Tactics, Technology, and the Use of Classical Precedent.”

Over the next twenty years, she published eighteen original novels and a handful of short stories, as well as tie-in novels for both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Proud Helios) and Star Trek: Voyager (The Garden). She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1986, and won Lambda Literary Awards in 1994 for Trouble And Her Friends, 1995 for Shadow Man, and again in 2001 for Point of Dreams, the last written with long-time partner and collaborator, the late Lisa A. Barnett. Scott has also been short-listed for the Tiptree Award, and won a Spectrum Award for Shadow Man.

During Barnett’s struggle with breast cancer, and for several years after her death in 2006, Scott focused on short fiction. She returned to longer work in the summer of 2009, when good friend and fellow writer Jo Graham invited her to participate in a new project: Legacy, a six-book series of tie-in novels for Stargate: Atlantis, to begin where the fifth season had ended. Scott was immediately hooked by the idea, and she, Graham, and Amy Griswold completed the project in 2013 with the release of Stargate Atlantis: The Inheritors. Scott and Graham also began a new series of adventure novels set in the 1930s, featuring aviation, magic, and secrets hidden in plain sight. The first two novels, Lost Things and Steel Blues, are available as of this writing, and the series will continue as The Order of the Air. Scott and Griswold also teamed up for the original novel Death By Silver, a gay Victorian murder mystery with magic (or fantasy with murder), and will continue the series with A Non-Conforming Death. Scott has also returned to the world of Astreiant for two more books in the Points series (Point of Knives and the forthcoming Fairs’ Point) and has more original work on the way.

Scott currently lives in North Carolina, where her living room overlooks a pond filled with alarmingly active and carnivorous turtles.

 

 

 

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