Read The Prince of Lies by Anne Lyle Online


Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted—his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it—but his work isn’t over yet. The guisers’ leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor, giving Mal a chance to eliminate his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.With Sandy’s help Mal learns to haElizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted—his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it—but his work isn’t over yet. The guisers’ leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor, giving Mal a chance to eliminate his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.With Sandy’s help Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the renegade skraylings, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…...

Title : The Prince of Lies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780857662811
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 536 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Prince of Lies Reviews

  • Gavin
    2018-11-15 20:29

    This was an improvement on The Merchant of Dreams but still did not reach the quality of The Alchemist of Souls. The action again takes place in an alternate Elizabethan England as Mal and his companions fight against the guisers plot to seize the throne. The story kept a fast pace as Mal and his friends had to use their swords and their wits to stay ahead of the guiser plotting. I was happy that the intrigue kept things interesting. The characters fared better in this installment of the series, but are still a lot less likable than they were in the first book. Quite simply, it was hard to love the body snatching "reborn" characters. Coby, Ned, and Gabriel were the most likable of the characters, but the Scraylings were involved in plenty of interesting happenings. I found the ending quite sad and unsatisfying. It left the possibility of a further sequel in the future but if one does materialize I'm not sure I'll read it as I'm not a fan of the direction this series is heading. Rating: 3 stars.Audio Note: For this installment of the Night's Masque Series the excellent Micheal Page was replaced by James Langton. I had fears this would be an issue but Langton did an admirable job with the narration and remained true to Page's interpretation of the characters.

  • Desinka
    2018-11-26 20:33

    I liked this final installment of the Night's Masque series even less than the previous one. I had a feeling of doom throughout the entire books. Things got interesting right in the middle of the book and I felt like after this climax things needed to get to a quick resolution and end there, but the story was prolonged to no end. The story did nothing to endear me to any of the characters I'd already lost interest in the previous book. So their interminable adventures and convoluted plans actually made me feel annoyed and bored. I didn't like the magic in the series and it only got worse in this book. I'm quite sorry what started as a very entertaining series deteriorated into an annoying and confusing mess. And the ending did nothing to improve my liking of the series. It was hardly surprising yet it was not satisfying at all!

  • Sarah
    2018-11-13 22:53

    The Prince of Lies was a satisfying ending to a trilogy that blew me away. This series had me hooked from the very first page, and it breaks my heart to say goodbye to these characters that have become so amazingly real to me. Lyle has established herself as a strong and powerful historical fantasy writer. The Night’s Masque was one of the most enjoyable series I’ve read so far this year, and it ended on the perfect note. I sincerely hope that Lyle returns to this world.Read my full review here:

  • Carole-Ann
    2018-11-19 21:44

    At least I finished the series. All three books were difficult reading b/c there is no defined path, and the mish-mash of genres doesn't help. There are too many unanswered questions, and the ending is a total let-down.

  • Maya
    2018-12-07 17:31

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars Cover and Title thoughts: "The Prince of Lies"So I loved the covers and titles for the first two books of the "Night's Masque" series,The Alchemist of Soulsand The Merchant of Dreams . ("Night's Masque"..."Merchant of Dreams..." I just get poetical swoons every time I read the titles). But " The Prince of Lies"as a title just seemed sort of... cheesy? (Granted, the book is about a prince who lies. A lot) The same sort of went for the cover art - the art on the first two books was moody, atmospheric, dim, and magical, but the cover forPOLwas all like GREEN LIGHTNING SITH LORD KAPOW!Okay, so it's 9:00 and this book is due back in the library drop at midnight, so I'm gonna try to do this fast.I enjoyed the first two books in the adventures of Mal Catlyn, but even so, it's been a while since I read them. If you come fresh out of Book 2, you'd probably have a decent knowledge of what's going on. But since it's been so long since I readMerchant , I had absolutely NO idea what was going on. There weren't any summaries of the last two books, and not even recaps in dialogue or exposition. It was all like, "Who did the what in the where with the what now?"But hey, Elizabethan England! Even at the end, I had trouble keeping stuff straight. I mean, it was well-written, the characters were fine, I just had no idea what was going on. It was all intrigue, all the way. There were like 5 groups of enemies and they all had tons of schemes. It was plans within plans within plans within plans within plans.THAT'S A LOT OF PLANS.FOR 536 PAGES. The Heroes:Mal Catlyn (Mal is short of Maliverny....he's of French heritage and a petty gentleman). Anyway, all you need to know is that he's basically a rogue bisexual courtier spy Elizabethan John McClane, which comes in handy at the end of this book, which was basically likeDie Hardin the Tower of London. Mal's wife, Coby/Jacomina/Mina/Hendricks/Jacob/Lady Catlyn. She and Mal met when she was impersonating a boy in a theatre troupe. She's married now and gets to wear skirts, but her character seemed sort of stagnant in this book.Ned and Gabriel, who is an angel and needed more scenes. They're my favorite pair, but I felt like they could have been cut completely from this book; they didn't really do anything important except for this thing the Mediterranean that I didn't understand because plot-within-plot-within-plot reasons.The Skraylings, whom I always think of as aliens even though there's a magical humanoid race that comes from the New World. They have tails. They reincarnate their souls. Mal, and his twin brother Sandy, are human, but have a Skrayling soul called Erishen trapped inside them. Skraylings basically look like Na'vi except they wear clothes and smoke this drug called qoheetsakhanwhich lets them enter this place called the dreamlands and like other trippy stuff that I don't understand. Mal and Coby's son, Kit. *Adorable* *Love Kit* *So cute* Except he's not actually their son, he's an Italian baby who inherited the soul of Erishen'samayilike soul-mate named Kiiren who was a Skrayling killed in Venice. See how this book can get confusing?Blaise Grey the Earl of Something and his wife Frances Walsingham, even though in real life she married the Earl of Essex. Oh yeah, in this version of history, Queen Elizabeth married Robin Duddie and had babies. Anyway, Blaise and Wife run the country's spy network.Well, I'm going to run to the library and return this. Sorry for any typos or name-butchering from here on out. The Villains: *Takes deep breath*Jethekkil, a Skrayling "guiser" spirit who was killed by Mal in the first book but reincarnated in Elizabeth's baby grandson, Prince Henry! Oh noes! Even though he's like 10, he's quick at work taking out the other heirs before him in line.(spoiler) Olivia, another guiser from Venice who wants revenge on Mal and escapes a slave ship and (view spoiler)[ comes to English court disguised as a male Italian castrato and starts killin everyone. I'm totally a man. (hide spoiler)]Alchemists doing something up north with school of night stuff, and the Huntsmen, who are basically like the anti-Skrayling KKK, and my personal favorite character, Jos Percy. I'm your favorite little stinker. I was a little mad about what happened with Jos. When Mal & Co are trying to find out which young nobleman is Jethekkil'samayi(Skrayling stuff, don't ask), they spy through tons of candidates when it's obviously Jos, because JOS IS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS APPEARED IN BOOKS ONE AND TWO SO HE'S OBVIOUSLY IT. The whole series has been setting him up as a key player, and after he invites Mal to go wenching in Southwark (*Winchester geese, wink wink*) and he Mal get jumped by swordsman, I thought Jos was going to be a fabulously-pantalooned sassiness-dispenser and was really psyched until (view spoiler)[ he gets strangled in the prince's bed after like two scenes. How can you kill someone as amazingly rotten as little Jossy?(hide spoiler)]This leads me to the plot holes. Maybe it was the aforementioned issues understanding the plot that led me to thinking there was holes. For example, one guiser at the beginning is tortured in the Tower for information, but it goes wrong because they took the iron chains off, which let him use magic. After this, Mal decides to randomly kill him. Instead of, like, interrogating him properly.Also, they just spend hundreds of pages waiting for Jathekkil to make a move, they never try to take him out, when they obviously could, because (spoilers) if:1.) The Skrayling-samsara reincarnation can be stopped by strangling someone with a spirit-guard, a la Jos, and2.) And the Hustmen could break into the Tower and kidnap the boys sleeping near the prince,then killing the demon masquerading as a little kid shouldn't be that hard. If I'm missing something, it's probably because I'm still very confused, and, well, missing something.Also the ongoing trope of all guards being stupid and bribable, and all the bad underlings having gutter accents. Would like to see one smart and upright person with a cockney in a fantasy book. "Eh! If we didn't 'ave cockneys, ye wouldn't know we was prostertutes!" For the most part, the descriptions and world-building were great, especially some marsh that was described as a "watery wilderness," and the noble garden with the unicorn icons on colored poles, (book gone, no page numbers). But sometimes there would come a slew of random descriptions of architecture or a record list. I don't know if the trading record in Cambridge about wine and eggs and stuff was a real primary source, but it added nothing to the story and just seemed shoehorned in for research's sake. I'm the closest pic she could could find to a Tudor unicorn garden pole. You can find me in the Hampton Court Palace Tudor gardens! I'm a yale! Yay! But the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have was its length and plotting. It was just too laborious, and the plot was too byzantine. The dream-walking(and again, I didn't come fresh out of the earlier books) were too hard to understand. It took me a good six weeks to muster up the will to finish it, but it picked up towards the end.(I was happy when the part of the Tower Mal and Coby got locked up in seemed to be the Salt Tower, because of the strange carving on the wall. It was described as looking like the one Hew Draper, an Elizabethan occultist, carved in the stone.) If it was indeed the Salt Tower, that's awesome, but I will never look at it the same now because (view spoiler)[ they bang inside.(hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Milo (BOK)
    2018-11-17 17:38“An excellent final act, The Prince of Lies finishes off the trilogy very well indeed, and ending the trilogy in a very satisfying way – Fans of the previous two novels will not be disappointed by what they see here, and once again, Lyle proves herself to be one of the go-to people for good historical fantasy novels with this superb finale.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields"Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted – his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it – but his work is far from over. The renegade skraylings, the guisers, are still plotting – their leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor. But while he is still young, Mal has a slim chance of eliminating his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.With Sandy’s help, Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the guisers, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…"After three years since it's start, we get to witness the highly anticipated conclusion to the Night’s Masque Trilogy. I’ve loved how the first two novels have played out, but one thing that they all share in common, before they begin – is their awesome covers. I loved the one for The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams, and The Prince of Lies is no different. I don’t normally talk about covers in reviews but I’ve had to make an exception for this one – and I think if this was not part of a trilogy (or the first volume) and standing alone in a bookstore, I would have picked it up on the strength of its cover alone – like I did with Douglas Hulick’s Among Thieves - which I’m now regretting, because whilst it was an excellent book, it feels like the wait for a sequel has been forever. However, with a novel released each year – we don’t have to worry about waiting for long with The Prince of Lies, or any of the other Night’s Masque novels – as Anne Lyle wraps them up fairly quickly and doesn’t fall into the trap of having to extent her series beyond an initial trilogy that has happened multiple times before.The Prince of LiesEverything comes to a conclusion in The Prince of Lies - Mal opens the novel with a reclaimed family estate, a wife (Coby) and son to boot – along with the added bonus of his brother Sandy back in full health. That should mean the end of the series, right? He’s got what he wanted, after all. However, that’s not the case – Anne Lyle drags Mal back into action for one last time, and pit him against the renegade skraylings, known as the guisers. They’re still gaining power, and getting closer to the throne in the form of young Prince Henry Tudor – who is now effectively Jathekkil, their leader – or at least what he was reincarnated as. However, the battle can still be won, with Mal learning his own magic in preparation to save England. But will all of the characters efforts be for nothing?It’s a very cleverly plotted third installment that although it may not knock you off your seat, The Prince of Lies is a very fitting conclusion to the Night’s Masque trilogy that isn’t entirely perfect – but the only issue that I had with it was merely a minor one, and that is Coby’s character didn’t really get as much to do as she did in the past two books. Now married to Mal and with a child, her reasons for not getting as involved as him are understandable but I would have liked Coby to take a more active role in the plot than what she has done here as I have enjoyed her portrayal in the past two books. However, she still manages to continue to hold readers interests in this book, or at least my interest and still manages to be as likable as she was before. This is mainly because of the introduction of Kit, adding a new POV to the book – meaning that we don’t get as much pagetime with already established characters as I would have liked. But it’s still probably the only real problem that I found with this book, because the rest of The Prince of Lies is very strong indeed.In the past two novels, despite being set in Shakespearean London, we never really got the chance to see the Bard himself. Well, Lyle includes Shakespeare in person here, and she pulls off the playwright pretty well indeed, giving a nice touch to the series and making sure that his inclusion doesn’t overshadow the roles of other protagonists, and neither does she feel the need to put him in at every possible opportunity, like Peaky Blinders (The TV show) seemed to love doing with a young Winston Churchill. It gets that balance between historical characters (Shakespeare is not the only historical figure in this book) and created characters spot on, and does it pretty well indeed.The prose, as one would expect from Anne Lyle, is as strong as ever. It’s similar to the high-quality standards of The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams so there is no dip there. The book also moves along at a fairly steady pace – whilst it may not be a page-turning thriller, I never felt the need to skip a few pages ahead because I was bored, and neither did I want to abandon the book altogether. However, The Prince of Lies manages to be just as captivating as previous entries have been, and we instantly find ourselves rooting for the protagonists (which should be no surprise as readers will have already encountered them twice before) over the antagonists and the book never gets to the point where we actually dislike the characters that we’re meant to be rooting for, which is always good (Unlike the character Max from the titular series from James Patterson, who became more or less unlikable the further the books progressed in the series), so on a whole, The Prince of Lies is still mostly solid when it comes to the characters.In conclusion then, The Prince of Lies is a strong end to the trilogy. It wraps things up very well giving the characters a great send off and will have me really interested in whatever Lyle writes next. Fans of the first two books should enjoy this novel but as you can probably tell from my review, and the fact that it’s a final act in a trilogy, it’s obviously not a good jumping on point if you haven’t read the first two. There’s plenty of awesomeness found within this series as a whole so if you’re reading this review without knowledge of the first two books for whatever reason, then I strongly suggest that you go back and read them – you won’t regret it. The Prince of Lies - despite the lack of a certain character being involved as much as I would have liked her to (only a minor problem really when you consider that the rest of the book was fantastic) is a very strong book, and it’s great to see the trilogy end on a high note. Recommended.VERDICT: 4.5/5

  • Erica
    2018-12-06 01:55

    This is the conclusion of this historical fantasy trilogy, and I must say that it didn’t end up where I was expecting it to go (although if you’d asked me where I was expecting it to go, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you). I’m finding it quite hard to think of what to say about this book. Not because it was particularly good or bad – that tends to make a review rather easy – nor even because it was mediocre, because it’s actually pretty good. This whole series has been a solid four stars for me, but I just can’t find a lot to say about it.Plot-wise this book concentrates on the danger posed by the so-called guisers: humans with skrayling souls whose political machinations threaten the stability of the British empire. The morality of dealing with these guisers is muddled, since our hero Mal Catlyn is himself a guiser of sorts – he and his brother Sandy share the soul of the skrayling Erishen. Their main enemy is Jathekkil, the skrayling who inhabits young prince Henry, second son of prince Robert, who is the heir to the throne. Secondary but no less dangerous is Ilianwe, an ancient skrayling they met in Venice and who has now transferred her operations to the English court.The writing is solid, the characters well-fleshed out. The book is engaging, never leaving you bored. The ending I found rather bittersweet and melancholy. Most ‘classic’ fantasy leaves you on a high – nasty things might have happened, but all’s well that ends well and the bad guy has been defeated. This book didn’t have much of that, and certainly left me wondering how the main characters will fare in future, because I can’t imagine their future being easy. It was also a bit open-ended, in that the author left herself room enough to come back to this a few decades into the future and take up where she left off.This has been an unusual series from a promising new author, and I look forward to seeing what Anne Lyle will come up with in future.More reviews on Silk Screen Views.

  • Claire
    2018-11-29 01:38

    It's never a good sign when you are rooting for the bad guys. This series had so much going for it on paper, Elizabethan alt history with a different species replacing native North Americans, but just didn't do it for me. First off if everything is alt, ie Elizabeth married Essex and had children, why not mix up gender roles and have a few more women kicking around doing things? Lyle sadly underused the one "main" female character IMO. Secondly the guiser threat never seemed too dastardly, in fact I felt quite sorry for them. Thirdly if they have been kicking around since the Vikings why did things take so long to come to a crisis? The skraeling idea was fascinating but never really developed and to add insult to injury the last few chapters seemed to come out of nowhere for a happy ending.

  • Leontii Cristea
    2018-11-13 17:54

    Review originally posted at Jet Black InkIn this final installment of Night’s Masque I’m not sure what I was hoping for, but I’m not entirely sure I got it. There’s nothing strictly wrong with Anne Lyle’s final book with Mal and Ned: it offers a satisfying end and therefore a good and solid end to the series. I’m just not sure it worked as well as it could have for me.Things are coming to a head in London and the guisers are gaining power, getting closer to the throne. Mal has been given a Knighthood, Coby and he are married and are raising the young boy into which Kiiren has been reborn. But for now, Kit is just a child and Mal and his new wife are raising him as their own.Despite thinking Olivia in the hands of Hennaq and being transported back to the New World, the contrary is true and the guiser is, secretly, heading back to London to plot her revenge on Mal. He had better be careful. Especially since Kit, too, is technically a guiser—albeit a young one—and he may prove to be a target if ever his memories show through.Still, Mal is trying to be happy, adjusting to a life where Sandy has been returned to health, his new wife loves him with all her heart, and the death of Sir Francis Walsingham has left him with very little to do as a spy for the moment. Presently, Mal is attending court and doing all the things that a recently knighted man should be doing.But nothing is really as perfect as it seems and memories from their time in Venice still haunt them, in particular Ned, whose metal hand is now a constant reminder and the reason his old profession was put paid to. Now he runs a print shop and tries to get by, whilst his lover, Gabriel (yay, #TeamGabriel) continues acting and trying his hand at playwriting—though he still prefers the former.And Sandy isn’t really Sandy—and Mal knows it. Despite wanting his brother back and whole, Mal knows that as long as Sandy is Erishen, he will never be his brother. Then there’s the matter, of course, of the soul of Erishen that resides still within him. Sooner or later, the soul of the skrayling will need to be re-joined, whatever that might mean for the Catlyn twins.Of course, there are more pressing matters at hand.The guisers’ leader, Jathekkil, reincarnated into the body of young Prince Henry Tudor, is part of a plan set in motion far before Mal and his friends were ever involved. Though Mal might think that their enemies are young and weak and that now is the time to strike, he couldn’t be more wrong. The last renegade skraylings will not give up without a fight and with the barrier between the dream world and the waking world wearing thinner over time, victory is not assured.In this last adventure, lives are in peril and for the first time, contacts and espionage will not save the day. With court life proving a challenge for Coby and tensions rising between her and Mal, several boats are being rocked, and one of them is the throne of England. The guisers want it—and it is now within reach.The story takes place over a number of years and this somehow turned me off. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to how the time passed and this felt awkward and very unbalanced. In places the narrative seemed heavy and sometimes even irrelevant to the larger story, whilst relevant parts of the story were skimmed over so quickly as to be rendered unexciting.I didn’t think I would end up saying this, but the finale of Lyle’s trilogy was bland and boring. I wanted to get excited, but just couldn’t. The new POV narrative of Kit bored me greatly and I desperately wanted to see more of Mal or Coby, or Ned or Gabriel. Anyone, really.I felt the passage of time was handled inexpertly and I found it difficult to follow and this began to disinterest me. I appreciate what Lyle was trying to do, in making the final book far more reliant on intrigue and mystery and indeed, discovering who the remaining guisers are, but I feel the bar was set and never reached. I love intrigue and mystery and felt there was none. The Prince of Lies should have been a book where the reader sits glued to the page, following the team through the pages as they work to discover and eliminate the enemy, restricted by the false niceties of court and of moving below the guisers’ radar. It should have been thrilling and tense. Instead it was… not.I got halfway through when I realised that I was, in fact, bored. I tried to pretend otherwise because I adore Lyle and I adore her work. But there’s only so much of the awkward march of time and lacking narrative that I could take.However.The prose is still true to the excellent standard I’ve come to expect and love from Lyle and her characters remain true to themselves. I did feel that some of the rapport was missing, however, and that made me sad. Part of why Mal and co. work so well is their rapport.This isn’t a bad book, just somewhat disappointing. The writing is tight, the plot is tight and Lyle’s touch is still evident. It doesn’t lack heart.Mostly I was frustrated by this book, because I was expecting the five-star excellence that I’ve come to love from the Night’s Masque trilogy. This is a good book, with the same characters I love and the same Elizabethan/Tudor (is it Tudor by the end?) setting that has Lyle’s personal touch. It is well-written and suggested a complex plot that wound through a web of secrets, lies and intrigue towards its goal. It did reach its goal and the ending is enormously satisfying, but the execution fell short of my expectations.Generally disappointed, but still a solid fan of Anne Lyle. Desperately want news of more from her.

  • Alisha Tarran
    2018-12-04 21:45

    Mal Catlyn is an Elizabethan spy, and currently has everything he wants. His brother Sandy has his health restored, his family estate has been reclaimed and he has a son to inherit it, Kit. Unfortunately Jathekkil, the leader of their enemy, the Guisers, has reincarnated. As young Prince Henry Tudor. While this gives Mal a chance to get rid of his enemies while they're weak, he may be underestimating the young Prince's calculating mind. With his brother's help, Mal learns how to control and use his own magic to fight the Guisers, but is it too late to save England? The other heirs to the throne are methodically being eliminated, but how in control is the young Prince? Age old schemes are finally coming to fruition, the barrier between worlds is wearing thin....and Mal and Sandy may have no choice but to merge their broken soul. The Prince of Lies is the highly anticipated conclusion to the Nights Masque trilogy. The entire trilogy has been very carefully plotted and the final installment is no different. Prince of Lies offers a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, wrapping up all loose ends. However, there's nothing to truly blow you away, the final book was in all honesty a bit boring. There was a high bar of expectation for this book...and it fell short. One of the things I didn't like was the way time passed in the book. The book takes place over a number of years, but time passes with no reason or sense to it, and kind of awkwardly. The passage of time made it difficult for me to follow, and difficult for me to continue reading, with the time randomly changing. Lyle has a lot of skill when it comes to world building and writing, but she handled this time issue very badly.There was a heavy narrative to wade through, lots of descriptions, that while well written and detailed, weighed down the pace of the book, not least because some of it was irrelevant. I found myself having to force myself to continue, as I was thoroughly bored. I never felt at any point, like I was glued to the page, unable to put the book down. I frequently found myself putting the book down and wandering to make another cup of tea. There was no sense of suspense, no tension, no thrill, it was just...bland. As I said, Lyle's world building is up to it's usually excellent standard, as is the rest of her prose, although the rapport between our team was lacking. The plot is complex and expertly weaved from many threads, full of secrets, lies and intrigue, with plenty of twists and turns to reach the final goal. The book is well written, don't get me wrong, it was just disappointing. I love the setting, I love the ins and outs of Court Etiquette we get a glimpse of and I love the descriptions of life at the time, but there is a point when it becomes too much, the detail too overdone. There was also a distinct lack of Colby!There's a new POV in the shape of Kit, which I was quite excited for, but let me down, as most of it was fairly boring. We also get to meet the bard himself, William Shakespeare, as he helps Mal with a minor plot at one point. As usual with trilogy's and series, I would recommend that you read the first two books first. While being a satisfying conclusion to the series, it's not anything truly amazing. Hard to read at some points, and just plain boring at others, Lyle's complex web of a plot barely saves it, the bar set for this book was not reached.

  • Jacey
    2018-12-09 22:34

    Note, spoilers for the first two books lie ahead.This is the concluding part of the Night's Masque trilogy, following on from The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams in which Mal Catlyn, impoverished sword for hire, becomes an Elizabethan spy, knighted for his efforts. Now, at last, things are starting to go well for him. His family home has been reinstated, his brother returned to sanity, and he has a wife and a much loved adopted son. But this is not a straightforward historical story, so into the mix add a magical race of skraylings, magical beings discovered in the New World. There's a threat from 'guisers', skrayling souls inhabiting human bodies, who are plotting to take over England. Indeed, one of them, Jathekkil, the main antagonist in the first book, died and has been reborn into the body of Queen Elizabeth's grandchild. He is now in line to inherit the throne – sooner rather than later once his father and older brother can be eliminated. (Yes in this version of history good Queen Bess married and had heirs.)It's further complicated by the fact that Mal and his twin brother, Sandy, share a split skrayling soul between them. Sandy got the greater part and this is what led to him being considered mad for many years. So what's the difference between Mal and Sandy and the evil guisers? Simple, Mal and Sandy acquired the soul of the skrayling, Erishen, by accident and are not plotting against the crown, but trying to save it. There's also one further complication in that Mal's adopted son bears another skrayling soul, that of Kiiren, Erishen's long-time partner.Got that? Good. That's the situation as this book opens. The action starts quickly. Mal is quickly drawn into turmoil again as a bad decision he made in the second book, pops up to bite him on the bum when a powerful guiser from Venice appears at the Elizabethan court and becomes embroiled in young Jathekkil's plot to take the throne. Mal has to get rid of the guisers, but that involves killing what appears to be a small child, and that never looks good on your CV even if you're a spy.At last Mal is learning to use skrayling magic and traverse the dreamlands, courtesy of Sandy's teaching and Erishen's soul. In this book he fights with magic as much as with steel. Mal's son, Kit (Kiiren) becomes a pawn in the game as yet another player takes the field, this time with a mixture of skrayling and human magic that gives him a big advantage. Mal, Coby and Sandy, plus Mal's friends Gabriel and Ned, a gay couple who have been a major part of the team throughout the three books, take to the road in pursuit of Kit.Ms Lyle handles the gay aspects of this book well, not only Gabriel and Ned, but also the echoes of Mal's previous relationship with Ned.There's a satisfactory conclusion and Mal retrieves the mistakes he made in the last book (by the skin of his teeth), though the victory is bittersweet. I feel sorry for Mal's wife, Coby, (though Coby's not the kind of character to feel sorry for herself) as she thought she married Mal and finds she got more in the package than she expected. She's the uncomplaining heroine of this piece.The whole trilogy is highly recommended.

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon
    2018-11-27 19:55

    I did like this book a bit better than the second, but still not as much as the first... and I didn't exactly love the first, either. :-/For the first part of the book, I mixed the ensemble cast that had been developed through the other two books. It focused a lot on Mal as the protagonist, and Coby was sort of relegated to dutiful wife and mother, her 'spy' role being limited to becomming a lady in waiting and hoping to hear things at court, and Ned and Gabe were shipped off the France for their own safety.Luckily, at the end, everyone did come back together and become a bit more relevant than they were for much of the story.The weirdest thing, though, was the jumpiness. There was a lot that was fit into this last book, so a lot of things got compressed and we'd skip weeks, months - and then years - at a time. I felt like too much was sort of zooming past, and I didn't feel much in the way of the intrigue, which was better developed in the first book which was more able to take some time.The, I believe, 6 year jump was the most jarring - but it actually ended up working out, because it was nice to see the older Kit, especially as he became very relevant to the story. The ending and the big final showdown took on a more personal feel - which was much needed, because the "intrigue" of the first end was rather dull. Making the stakes more personal really worked for the finale of the series.So, to sum up, the first half of the story was something of a hot mess, but the second half was much better, and the finale was pretty satisfying. Not a bad series, overall, but not a great one, either. While it's not one I would actively warn people against, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, either.

  • JJ DeBenedictis
    2018-11-25 20:42

    I loved the first book in this trilogy. I thought the second one had a rocky start but eventually got good. I found this third one consistently pleasant but not quite as much fun as the first. However, as with the first two books, this novel gives you solid value for your money--over five hundred pages of twisty-turny plot and good story momentum. I've found I don't connect emotionally with the characters in these books quite as much as I do in some novels, but that really hasn't mattered to me, because I'm reading it for the action and derring-do anyway. That quibble aside, in this book I found the romance between Mina and Mal to be very sweet and easier to buy into than in the last book. However, the novel's main strength is still in its spying and swashbuckling. :)I would recommend Prince of Lies as a dependably enjoyable book, although you do want to read the first two novels in the series before getting into this one. I don't think it would make a lot of sense to someone who didn't know all the backstory of the skraylings and guisers.

  • Jaye
    2018-12-01 18:34

    It took me a while to get into this one, mostly because I've been reading so many other things simultaneously. Once I got into the meat of the story, it was a race to the finish.Continuing the story from The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams, this book follows the hedge knight Mal Catlyn as he roots out an ancient conspiracy in Elizabethan England.The author's afterword indicates this is the last of this series, though she might pick up in the same universe later. I'm interested to see what Ms. Lyle has written since then.

  • Fantasy Literature
    2018-11-13 22:41

    The Prince of Lies, by Anne Lyle, finishes up the NIGHT'S MASQUE trilogy with plenty of magic, adventure and suspense. I wish it had more skraylings in it. I should be more specific. I wish it had more skraylings in their native form. Instead Mal Catlyn, his wife Coby and twin brother Sandy must uncover and defeat the skraylings known as “guisers;” humans who are possessed by skrayling souls that entered their bodies instead of a skrayling infant’s, the normal process for their race. This particular group of guisers, who have been in Europe longer than most people realized, have plans to rule England.Lyle tweaked the historical line of succession in the first book, The Alchemist of Souls, by creating a seventeenth century England where Queen... Read More:

  • Cherie
    2018-11-20 01:53

    I can't quite find the words for this book, but I'll have a go! Whilst I liked the book, I'm a bit conflicted by my thoughts on the ending.I got to the end and just felt a bit disappointed. It had taken what felt like a long time to get pretty much nowhere. It didn't feel like an ending, and it feel like there was an adequate resolution. Characters who appeared to be important were just left with their story thread in limbo. I don't demand a happy ending from books I read, but some kind of resolution, and wrapping up everything is preferable. Maybe the author will revisit the world with a 4th story at some point in the future, as there needs to be something to explain the antagonists and their motivations.

  • Tammy Hastings
    2018-12-01 01:36

    I received this book through First Reads Giveaways.I've tried three times to get into this book, and I just can't. However, I know, without a doubt, that I can't get into it because I haven't read the first two books. For that reason, I refuse to give this book anything LESS than three stars because I would hate to give it a one star rating just because I couldn't find my way into the third book. Because honestly, the writing quality and the characterization are both great, so I'm almost positive that if I had read the first two books, this one would probably rate even higher than a three star rating. Hopefully I can run across the first two books one day, and then I'll be able to come back and give this one a proper review.

  • James
    2018-11-16 18:39

    Back in England after their trip to Venice, Mal Catlyn and his family and friends are determined to stop a guiser plot to take control of the country - little do they realize what they are up against. Before they know it they seem to be caught between two overlapping / competing plots - and there may not even be just two.I often struggle with the last volume in a trilogy - there's a fine line between telling somewhat-self-contained story and going off in a completely different direction. This book managed to walk that line very well - all my favorite characters are back and the plot manages to be both new/interesting and call back/build from what occurred in the previous two books.And of course the ending leaves open the possibility for future stories...

  • Ruth
    2018-12-12 17:56

    c2013: FWFTB: twin, skraylings, dreamlands, Guisers, England. I am wondering if Ms Lyle had grown a bit tired of this world. I was a little disappointed with the last in the series. I kept getting bored in patches and I can't quite put my finger onto why this was. Perhaps a what-has-gone-before would have helped. Fortunately, the first book left quite an impression so I remembered most of the key points but sadly the second book didn't stay in the ol' memory banks. Could only recommend to those of the normal crew that have read the first 2 books. "A shiver of horror and hope ran over Mal's skin."

  • Denise
    2018-12-13 01:39

    The perfect conclusion to a brilliant trilogy, The Prince of Lies is Historical Fantasy at its absolutely thrilling best. Filled with action and adventure, mystery and magic, intrigue and excitement in an intricate, gripping plot that had me enthralled from start to finish, this final book in the Night's Masque trilogy has once and for all cemented Anne Lyle's place among my favourite authors.

  • Courtney Schafer
    2018-11-13 20:46

    A rousing conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy. Lyle ties up all the main threads nicely, but leaves enough about the characters' futures open that I can't help but hope she returns to write more one day. I'm especially curious about (view spoiler)[how Mal will deal with having Erishen's full soul instead of only a piece of it. (hide spoiler)] In any case, if you're looking for an alternate history with plenty of action combined with a vividly described setting and interesting characters, I definitely recommend giving the series a go.

  • Glen
    2018-11-28 17:35

    A lot happened in this book, given that it's the apparent end of the series. It was a good read, I certainly enjoyed it, though mostly for the characters. I guess my only complaint would be that it seemed as though the turn of events which ended the series were almost entirely happenstance. I kinda prefer when the characters themselves are responsible for how things turn out, and in this case, so much of the ending was essentially blind luck. I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could, not quite a three but not as low as a 2 either.

  • Joanne Hall
    2018-12-08 18:31

    A solid but not earth-shattering conclusion to a fine debut trilogy. A little disappointed to find Coby (yay, Team Coby!) pushed to the fringes of the action for much of the book, but there's still a great deal to enjoy here. Recommended, but read the first two volumes first, as this one doesn't stand alone.

  • Deidre
    2018-11-16 18:29

    I always have good deal of trouble getting into these books, but then I enjoy them once I'm in the middle. Perhaps it's that I know the time period too well. I'll be interested to see what her new setting is.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-08 18:44

    Full Review: again, I find Anne Lyle’s prose to be an enjoyable read. Her stories are not the action packed, read as fast as you can style, but rather, sit back take in the setting and time period and enjoy.

  • Mike OBrien
    2018-12-13 22:30

    This was alright. I felt that neither sequel lived up to the pace or the excitement of the first. The characters are great, very likable, even if the female lead sat a bit too much on the sidelines for this one. Worth the read to finish the story and for some closure on the characters.

  • Lesley
    2018-11-27 20:37

    I'd go for three and half, really. Pretty good, still maintains the good period detail; only thing was perhaps that it had been just that bit too long since I read the previous volume in the trilogy and some of the immediate backstory had faded a bit.

  • Juliana Mills
    2018-11-25 23:54

    The last book of the fantastic Night's Masque trilogy finishes the story with a flourish. A thoroughly enjoyable journey through an alternate history Elizabethan England, Anne paints a vivid picture of magic, mayhem and swashbuckling fun.

  • Laura Lam
    2018-12-13 19:30

    Beta-read this earlier in the year!

  • Ryan
    2018-12-14 00:58

    I liked the trilogy. I thought the series got stronger with each book. I like a little more fantasy in my historical fantasy like Hodder's Burton and Swineburne series but I did enjoy these books.