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review 2018-07-31 02:29
The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle - My Thoughts
The Merchant of Dreams - Anne Lyle

So the adventures continue for Mal, the swordsman/bodyguard/spy, and his valet Coby.  This time they're joined by Ned and Gabriel from the now defunct theatre company of book one.  Maybe it was that I read the first book back in February of 2015 and didn't remember as much as I should have, but I found this second volume of the series to be a bit disjointed and at times to be going around in circles, plot-wise. 

I wanted to know more about the skraylings and felt rather short-changed in that respect. Then there was the whole thing with the spying that Mal was supposed to be doing for Walsingham that quickly became a more personal thing as he explored the part of him that holds part of the skrayling Erishen and his relationship with the Venetian guiser he hooks up with.

I'm not so invested in the 'love story' between Mal and Coby and the whole deal with her growing into her adult feminine self and losing much of her disguise as a boy.  At least it was because she wanted to and not because Mal wanted her to. 

I don't know... I liked my read but it left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. It won't stop me from reading the next one though.  This time, I'll try not to wait over 3 years to do it!  *LOL*

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review 2015-02-20 00:00
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1)
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) - Anne Lyle A good idea with a nice setting but extremely slow and often the writing was poor. Characters mildly annoying in a 2D-way and far too many of them. The only interesting part were the Skraylings, but they did not turn up quick enough.
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review 2015-02-19 18:16
The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle - My Thoughts
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) - Anne Lyle

The Alchemist of Souls is the first book in the Night's Masque trilogy and was a total guts buy for me.  Both this book and the second in the trilogy, The Merchant of Dreams, were part of the a Kindle daily deal, each for $1.99.  I had never heard of them, nor had I heard any buzz about them and the author, Anne Lyle was a complete unknown.  I bought them for 3 reasons - the blurbs described something a little different from the norm, the price was right and the books were not self-pubbed.  I know that last sounds unfair, but there's just too much self-pubbed crap out there for me to go into totally blind.  So, that being said...

 

I really enjoyed it!

 

The setting is one that I've not seen a lot of in fantasy, so it felt fresh and new.  It also felt familiar due to it being an alternate history of a time of which I've read a lot.  There aren't a ton of differences, but those that are different are interestingly so... Queen Elizabeth marrying Robert Dudley and having two sons, for instance.

 

The characters are interesting.  Mal, Sandy, Coby, Ned, Gabriel, Kiiren and the nobles, spies, actors and merchants and I enjoyed reading about them.  My only iffy feelings came from the scenes with Coby where I felt the book veered an awful lot into YA territory which is not something I seek out.  There was the glimmering of a romance between her and Mal, but it really wasn't important to the story of Mal, Kiiren, the plot against the skraylings and the various court intrigues.  It felt a tad contrived and I thought the relationship worked better when Mal and Coby were just being friends and allies.  I really hope THAT story doesn't take over the next book in the series.  

 

All in all, I'm pretty stoked to have found another new fantasy series that I can enjoy, one that's different from stuff I've read before, and one that's kept me invested and engaged.  

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url 2013-10-22 09:54
Welcome To My World: "Do's & Don'ts in Elizabethan London": a Guest Post by Anne Lyle
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) - Anne Lyle
The Merchant of Dreams - Anne Lyle
The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque, #3) - Anne Lyle

Such fun. :D

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review 2013-09-29 00:00
The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1) - Anne Lyle It is ok. That is all I have to say. 2.5 is the highest I would give, but Mal was boring. The prose dragged. The book tried to be everything. But it was a bit higgledy piggeldy.
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