The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle
Anne Lyle’s first novel, The Alchemist of Souls, is a big tankard of Elizabethan ale, foaming with intrigue, hidden identities, secret societies, treachery, plots, swordplay and magic. I can’t think of a much better way to spend a few hours than to curl up with this book.
Maliverny Catlyn is half English and half French, but a loyal English citizen. He has been a soldier, but now is reduced to taking jobs guarding warehouses and teaching merchants’ sons swordplay. Mal’s situation is more desperate than most, because he has to pay for the care of his twin brother Sandy, who languishes in Bedlam. Still, when Mal is pressed into the Queen’s service to be a bodyguard to the skrayling ambassador, he has serious second thoughts.
The skraylings are from the New World, and they bring marvelous inventions that look like magic. Skraylings have tattooed fa... Read More
Anne Lyle(1962- )
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 take Sherwood Forest out of the girl. She now spends practically every waking hour writing — or at least planning — fantasy fiction about dashing swordsmen and scheming spies, set in imaginary pasts or parallel worlds. Her particular obsession is Elizabethan England, so it helps that she now lives in a city full of medieval and Tudor buildings where the cattle browse on the common land much as they did in Shakespeare’s London. She prides herself on being able to ride a horse, sew a sampler and cut a quill pen but hasn’t the least idea how to drive one of those new-fangled automobile thingies. Paradoxically she is a big fan of 21st century technology, being a Mac geek and full-time web developer. Well, it’s the nearest thing you can get to magic in our own universe… Learn more at Anne Lyle’s website.
Night’s Masque — (2012) Publisher: When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods — and a skrayling ambassador — to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital? Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally — and Mal his soul.
The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle
The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle
Anne Lyle continues her Elizabethan sword-and-cipher fantasy series NIGHT’S MASQUE with Book Two, The Merchant of Dreams. This book picks up almost a year after the end of The Alchemist of Souls, and follows Mal Catlyn and his friends on their adventures, which take place mostly on the ocean or in the city of Venice.
In Lyle’s universe, the New World is populated by skraylings, a non-human race who reincarnate and who use magic. The skraylings have a trade agreement with England, but they are distrusted, hated and even hunted down by some humans who think they are demons. Most people do not realize that a skrayling whose body is killed can reincarnate into, or “possess,” a human. Mal and his twin brother Sandy, who already share a soul, are both possessed by the skrayling Erishen, although Sandy is more of a host than Mal. In England and elsewhere in Europe, long-l... Read More