Melissa Scott & Lisa A Barnett
Tor, Dec 2001, 15.95, 352 pp.
In the city-state Astreiant, it is the time of the year when ghosts are visible so city lawyer Kurin Holles expected to see the apparition of his lover, but the specter fails to appear. Kurin knows the most likely reason is his beloved is magically unable to return, which leads to the conclusion that her death was caused by a murderer. Adjunct Point Nico Rathe asks his superiors for permission to investigate the death, especially since the victim possessed a copy of the spellbook The Alphabet of Desire. However, the assignment goes to a subordinate Voillemin, who intends to do nothing in order to further his career. Nico decides to serendipitously make inquiries.
Former soldier Philip Eslingen provides weapons training to those performing in the upcoming The Alphabet of Desire midwinter festival. Soon corpses begin to appear on stage accompanied by the appearance of The Alphabet of Desire spellbook. The book provides a link back to Nico's other case, but if the cop digs too deep he will learn what death by magic means.
POINT OF DREAMS cleverly places a well-crafted murder mystery inside an enchanting fantasy tale. The cast makes this Renaissance world of magic seem real as Nico and Phillip are wonderful heroes while every hard worker has had to deal with a sycophant shirker like Voillemein. The taut story line works in such a way that fans of both genres will enjoy the plot and seek out the previous novel of Melissa Scott & Lisa A Barnett set in this realm, POINT OF HOPE.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner