The Merchant of Dreams

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
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As I've posted elsewhere, I enjoyed the first book in the Night's Masque series, namely Alchemist of Dreams, recommended it and said I'd get the sequel, Merchant of Dreams. Unfortunately, when I came to buy it, the book wasn't to be found in the local Waterstones and WH Smith's, so I bought the Kindle version. (I say unfortunately, because the 'to be read pile' on my Kindle calls less attention to itself than a physical pile of books.) However, I finally got round to reading it and wish I'd done so earlier.

While there was nothing wrong with the writing of the first book, it is even better in this second volume of the series. Indeed, this second volume is a gear above Alchemist, in that after a (relatively) leisurely beginning, I found myself devouring most of the book at great speed. Just when I thought there were no more twists in the story, another would arrive. (And yet these weren't thrown in randomly: the groundwork had been done earlier in the tale). And the author has used one of the advantages that books have over film - the sets only require work and little (or no) budget - and brought us the splendours of Venice, plus a few other colourful destinations. Best of all, the book comes to a proper resolution, while leaving plenty of scope for a sequel.

Excellent, and definitely Recommended.



And now I am to be rewarded for my tardiness in reading this volume: the next one is about to be released (as a physical book) and is, I believe, already available as an ebook. :)
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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I thought the opening was superb - the concise detailed approach to the island and the atmosphere of subterfuge.

I also really enjoyed the way everything seemed to continue to unravel - every time a problem was solved, it seemed like three more would pop up.

What I especially liked was the way the supporting characters came more into their fore - Sandy and Ned especially.

I posted a review here:
http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/544636-review-merchant-of-dreams-by-anne-lyle.html

I probably sound a bit picky - I think most reviews should - but ultimately I think Anne Lyle is one of the best voices in fantasy today, and almost any criticism I can think of are simply due to personal preference. The one technical criticism I did make is a very minor one and one I've seen others make. And too many do on purpose!
 
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