He really grows and redeems himself after his cowardice and betrayal in. Coby is forced to lie and think quickly and eventually they find themselves following after Mal and heading to Venice. If I give something 5 stars, I mean it :. 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. They seek to write new and interesting stories, that have a greater feeling of realism without sacrificing a sense of mystery, and keep away from those terrible Role Playing Game tropes that infect much of the genre. Mal and Ned have been lovers in the past, which makes their present relationship even more confusing.
He feels bad about betraying Coby and all - but he keeps doing it, rationalizing it, at least in part, that needs must as part of the job and all. In fact while I love the world building I adore the characters she created. For a book to be named after a character, that character usually has a big role to play. The plot continues a couple of years after the first one, with Mal and Coby living in France. However, after defining these early on, they seem to be of little concern towards the end.
Along the way he is drawn into the back door politics of the city, through a courtesan who is also a guiser. Not only do Mal and Coby return, but Ned, Gabriel, Mal's twin Sandy, and the Skrayling ambassador Kiiren all play parts in the novel. The setup that Lyle has created has me itching to know what on earth can happen next. We learned in the first book spoilers! Having in mind I couldn't put the book down, I could say it was a worthy read despite the slightly anticlimactic ending. Coby herself is a particularly interesting character and is easily the strongest female character of the novel. More danger abounds before they even reach the Serene Republic, and with Sir Walter Raleigh in tow and appearances on the up-and-up, Mal is struggling to get done what needs doing, without arousing suspicion regarding his own secret past.
When Mal meets and befriends an accidental guiser in Venice, we are given a character that rather reminded me of Melisande Shahrizai, from the Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey. . Many thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The side characters are actually more interesting than the main ones. A fantastic example of historical fantasy going all the way and holding nothing back, The Merchant of Dreams is complex and exciting. In a city ruled by men wearing masks, it's hard to uncover secrets.
Seeing all these characters setting out together on an adventure of sorts to Venice is one of the highlights of the novel. Later when the characters arrive in Venice, yet another character is added to this odd mix, a skrayling named Olivia who represents a serious threat and must be dealt with, despite Mal being extremely attracted to her. Will definitely check out Prince of Lies as well. Gabriel's love for Ned was heartwarming. Impressed with the first installment of the series, I picked up with high hopes and was a bit disappointed. The setting of Venice where much of the action takes place was gorgeously descriptive and I felt myself completely immersed in the Venetian culture that the author brings to life.
It was a ton of fun to get back into her alternate Shakespearen England setting with the protagonists Mal Catlyn and Coby. Forced to flee to protect Sandy, Coby and Gabriel set off after Mal and Ned on a skrayling ship. I wanted to know more about the skraylings and felt rather short-changed in that respect. Admittedly, the characters have more immediate issues to deal with by then, but it would have been nice to see more internal conflict on these issues regardless. Still, overall it was an enjoyable read, and a book which kept me effortlessly entertained from start to finish, and which made me go straight into the third book of this trilogy.
Whilst in The Alchemist of Souls, we saw the action limited to pretty much just London; The Merchant of Dreams takes the setting to a whole new level. Still, a great book overall and I'm looking forward to the next installment. Now that we have learned more about the true nature of their magic and got to know the Skrayling characters a bit better I find I'm not liking them at all. If he had any ounce of heroism, he'd find a way out that satisfied all the matters, or he'd run the skrayling through for being such a cur and kidnapping his friends. 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 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 just seemed connect with her no matter what. Though captured Venice with stellar description and feeling, the plot and main relationship and character development fell to the wayside—for me, at least. The fact that she is a guiser who is selling her ability to dreamwalk seems to be the only justification for her abduction, which seems a little hypocritical given that both Mal and his brother are technically guisers too. The characters are interesting and their motivations realistically complex yet understandable. Not quite human, they are continuously reincarnated on death. 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.
The story took us through England and France to Venice, where the intrigue and mystery were deliciously wound and unwound. Nothing about their interactions and everything that happens between them at the end had a shred of emotional resonance. Would love to get an autographed copy of this one but ah well. I liked my read but it left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. At least, that was the case for me. With Venice as the set for most of the book, Lyle has the perfect backdrop to her book, with a set that lands itself so perfectly to intrigue, mystery, and adventures. 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.
Even better Lyle managed to capture the feel of the Elizabethan era while still managing to revamp the historical events with her fantastical version. I much preferred the wonderfully detailed history lesson that Lyle provided, and the intrigue among the characters, especially when they arrived in Venice. I also enjoyed Coby's transition into a woman, Gabriel's inner strength and warmth, Sandy's willfulness. I really enjoyed The Alchemist of Souls and was excited to read the sequel. It also sets up the concluding volume of the series, which I, for one, am looking forward to. I'm just trying to figure out how horses can open heavy church doors. The floating city is full of enigmatic alleyways ripe for hidden assassins and secret business transactions.