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The Merchant of Dreams (Night's Masque #2)

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  451 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet Coby Hendricks for the past year.

But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.

When Mal’s dream about
...more
ebook, 371 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2012)
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Gavin
I was disappointed with this sequel to the enjoyable The Alchemist of Souls. The world building and the Venice setting was good. Unfortunately the plot failed to live up to the setting. The characters, who were so likable in the first book, seemed to be competing to see who could win the prize of most unlikable character in the book! I was very disappointed by the actions of Mal, Sandy, and Kiiren over the course of the story.

I think it likely that my changing perception of the Skraylings is an
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Desinka
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second installment in the Night Masque series was as good as the first but sadly in suffered from the same lack of an exciting ending.

The story took us through England and France to Venice, where the intrigue and mystery were deliciously wound and unwound. Though there were no great shocks or surprises, the book was a very entertaining and fast read. Maybe I'm not in awe as some of the happenings seemed contrived and most of the problems that arose were resolved far too quickly, long before
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Raina {The LUV'NV}
Impressed with the first installment of the series, I picked up The Merchant of Dreams with high hopes and was a bit disappointed. Though Anne Lyle captured Venice with stellar description and feeling, the plot and main relationship and character development fell to the wayside—for me, at least.

The Merchant of Dreams picks up a year after The Alchemist of Souls, with Mal and Coby following his dream of a skrayling shipwreck, only for them to discover a massacre of skraylings. They sail to Kiiren
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Mieneke
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Merchant of Dreams is the second book of The Night's Masque. Lyle's debut The Alchemist of Souls is one of my top ten debuts of 2012, so I was very excited to be able to crack open or rather tap open my eARC of The Merchant of Dreams to return to her alternate Tudor England and see how the story would continue. In The Merchant of Dreams Lyle deepens her world, allows us to travel to foreign parts, and develops her characters further in unexpected but wonderful ways.

We rejoin Mal and Coby a
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Abhinav
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can find the full review over at my blog:

https://shadowhawksshade.wordpress.co...

Shadowhawk reviews the second entry in the Night’s Masque historical fantasy series by new author Anne Lyle.

“Full of vitality and some spectacular sequences, Merchant of Dreams is simply fantastic.“ ~The Founding Fields

When I reviewed Anne’s first novel in this series, Alchemist of Souls, I said at the end that it was a fantastic novel and that I hoped she would deliver on the sequel just as well as she did with
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Kat
First published on Radiant Attack - read as an ARC copy

The Merchant of Dreams is the second book in the Night's Masque series by Anne Lyle. While I didn't read the first novel, I though the premise sounded interesting. Set in Elizabethan times, a group of spies investigate a skrayling delegation to Venice. The skraylings are the native people of Vinland, who have a mysterious spiritual connection between the dream world and reality. Not quite human, they are continuously reincarnated on death. T
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Marti Dolata
Started to read but was obviously a sequel requiring knowledge of the first book, so have put on hold until I read the first book.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I enjoyed the first book of this series, despite it's flaws, mostly because I liked the characters - even if they were sketched a bit thin. I was hoping that this second book would develop them a bit more but, instead, it's the character stuff - especially the relationship between Mal and Coby - which mostly knocked this down to a 2-star.

That's not the only issue. There's also the fact that it's kinda slow to get started, and there seems to be a lot going on, especially in the middle, that I'm n
...more
Fran Jacobs
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Milo (BOK)
“This may be one of the best historical fiction/fantasy novels of 2012. Venice, Pirates, Skraylings, politics and some epic action scenes in sixteenth century Europe make sure that The Merchant of Dreams is a worthy successor to The Alchemist of Souls.” ~The Founding Fields


When I read The Alchemist of Souls earlier this year, by Anne Lyle –I was thoroughly impressed, and was left wondering how she would top that jaw-dropping first instalment. Well, as it turns out, The Merchant of Dreams is not
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Deniz
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adore, fantasy
amazing!
bouncing between 4 and 5 stars in fact...


Lye has to my delight managed to not only deliver on my hopes for this book but has exceeded them!
The world building is absolutely flawless just like in the first book, and the characters are even better.
There are many subtle nuances and depths that have been added to the characters we got to meet in the alchemist of souls. In fact while I love the world building I adore the characters she created. I really care for them and wanna know what will
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Shane Cormier
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AWESOME. IM GLAD TO SEE ITS OUT BECAUSE IM GOING BUY IT NEXT WEEKEND. CANT WAIT TO FINISH THIS STORY. ANd I see you are no longer writing anymore for now of this series. Well i sure hope it doesnt leave you hanging too much. Will definitely check out Prince of Lies as well. If its anywhere close to as good as this series , Im sure I will enjoy it as well. Would love to get an autographed copy of this one but ah well.
Laura Lam
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, fantasy, favorites
I beta-read an early draft of this. Fans of the first will definitely not be disappointed! It's a rollicking good ride, and 16th century Venice comes alive in Anne's alternate historic world.
V.C. Linde
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-reads
As with the first book, this is absolutely excellent. Well paced and with brilliant levels of detail. Different setting but mostly the same core characters as book one. Cannot wait to read more!
Leontii Cristea
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Merchant of Dreams, by Anne Lyle—Night’s Masque #2—is an example of pure storytelling. Rich and well-paced, the second instalment of the series builds on the foundation of The Alchemist of Souls and completely avoids “middle-book syndrome” by becoming a solid middle point for the series, setting a high bar and allowing only for things to get better.

Often, what makes a book is a mixture of two elements, perfectly and chemically arranged on a page as suits the author’s style and tastes. Charac
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Ben Babcock
I had little but praise for The Alchemist of Souls , the first adventure of Mal Catlyn and Coby Hendricks in an alternative Elizabethan England. Anne Lyle had a keen eye for characterization and an ability to weave a tight, dramatic story that held my attention and left me wanting more. So more’s the pity that The Merchant of Dreams was quite a different experience!

This sequel picks up a little while after the first book, with Mal and Coby living in France while the fallout from their actions i
...more
Gillian
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This instalment picks up Mal and Coby sailing abroad on the Queen's business and again includes Sandy/Erishen, Kiiren, Ned and Gabriel. Finding themselves in Venice they uncover more Skrayling intrigue and must fight both the local hierarchy and the monsters from Mal's dark dreams. I enjoyed this book (despite some typos, inexcusable) although it as much as the first and I felt that Mal was taken in by Olivia far too easily - and am looking forward to the next.
Jez
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Got halfway through and realised i didn't know what was going on and didn't care. Didn't like Mal suddenyl falling for Coby.
Kelly
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things get more complicated as the story goes on.
Tammy
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 Stars. This beautifully written story, the second in the series, was ultimately very frustrating for me to read, mostly due to the fact that I did not read The Alchemist of Souls first. I did not realize this was a second book when I requested it from NetGalley, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have asked for it (and that is entirely my fault, I did not read the description carefully enough – lesson learned!). While it has vivid historical details and an abundance of atmosphere, it was hard f ...more
Alek Cristea
The Merchant of Dreams is the second book in Anne Lyle’s Night’s Masque series, continuing on the adventures of Mal, Coby, Ned, and Gabriel. The book picks up soon after where the other one ended: Mal is still working for Walshingham and Coby is by his side, posing as his manservant. Ned and Gabriel have joined them in the spymaster’s service, getting steadily more and more tangled up in the intrigues of court and the skraylings. They now also have to look after Sandy, Mal’s twin, as his skrayli ...more
Joanne Hall
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroic-fantasy
“The Alchemist of Souls” was one of my favourite reads last year, and “The Merchant of Dreams” is the not-very-long awaited follow-up, the middle volume of a trilogy due to end with “The Prince of Lies” in November this year.

Mal and Coby have fled to Mal’s estates in France, but Mal is haunted by dreams and visions from the fragment of skrayling soul trapped within him. The skraylings, creatures from the New World, can re-incarnate into different bodies. But the soul that has re-incarnated into
...more
Erica
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been mulling over this review for a while now, and I’m still a bit stumped and unsure how to keep it from being really short.
Let’s get the basics out of the way: I liked it, though not quite as much as I liked the first book in this trilogy. It was well-written, it read smoothly and there was not a moment where I felt bored and thought ‘yeah yeah, just get on with it already’.
The plot is a bit convoluted. We learned in the first book (spoilers!) that the mysterious beings called skraylings
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Jacey
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm in the middle of writing at the moment, which generally means my own reading suffers as I can't comfortably read fiction when I'm writing different fiction, however a trip to London and back gave me eight hours as a pasenger in the car and I'm afraid I was antisocial enough to seize on the opportunity to read The Merchant of Dreams.

The second installment of Mal Catlyn's adventures, beginning about a year after the events in Alchemist of Souls. Mal finds a party of skraylings in the Mediterra
...more
Chris Branch
This follow-up to The Alchemist of Souls has many of the same high points that led me to regard the first book so highly. The characters are interesting and their motivations realistically complex yet understandable. The setting is uniquely creative in its use of the New World skraylings as a kind of fairy-folk and the supernatural dream world they have access to, but also surprisingly down to earth in its realistic depiction of Europe in Elizabethan times. This aspect is, if anything, more appa ...more
Anne
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Merchant of Dreams starts out with a scene that could have come from one of the best thriller movies - all haunting atmosphere and trepidation - and digs its hooks in deep. Set a year or two after the events of The Alchemist of Souls, this second book in the Night’s Masque series is a worthy successor to it. At over 500 pages, I still managed to finish the book roughly three days after I started it.

Court intrigue and battles abound as Mal Catlyn and his page - the cross-dressing (by necessit
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Lori
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pre-release/ARC review.

Quote:
“You’re afraid of me, aren’t you?”

“No,” Ned replied, glancing around the kitchen in the hope of spotting a handy weapon. The carving knife was still on the table, and the fire irons out of reach on the hearth.

“Yes you are.”

“All right, yes, dammit.” Ned straightened up, putting as much distance between them as he could without actually retreating. “Now say what you have to say and be done with it.”

“Good. We understand one another. So understand this.” Sandy leant clos
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Al
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

There has been a rift with the skraylings over the presence of renegade skraylings who have deliberately reincarnated in humans in England. Rumour has it that skrayling vessels have been spotted in the eastern Mediterranean in increasing numbers, fuelling suspicions of dealings with Venice. Mal is instructed to travel to Venice forthwith to find out if these suspicions are true and, if they are, to break up this new alliance by any means necessary...

Review

"Whether you like action, magic, roma

...more
Erica Wagner
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read the Alchemist of Souls around Christmastime, so I was glad I didn't have to wait long for the sequel. There were a few surprises with regards to the timing, as it didn't take up immediately after the first one left off, but it worked well for me. I'll try to do this without spoilers, so the review will be a bit more general.

The only real complaint I had about it was that the start was, perhaps, a bit slow. I was all right with this, because it added some details re characterization and wo
...more
Alison
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to repeat the Goodreads summary of this book.

Talk about betrayal.

I was looking forward to this second book of the trilogy, but now I'm not sure I like how some of the characters are developing. Mal makes some very dodgy decisions in this book and agrees to others that don't quite fit with what we know about his character. In particular, one betrayal and one decision are quite spectacular and his reasoning for both of these things didn't really work for me at all.

At least the betray
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Anne Lyle was born in what is popularly known as “Robin Hood Country”, and grew up fascinated by English history, folklore, and swashbuckling heroes. Unfortunately there was little demand in 1970s Nottinghamshire for diminutive swordswomen, so she studied sensible subjects like science and languages instead.

It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t
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More about Anne Lyle

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Night's Masque (3 books)
  • The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1)
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