I have seldom found myself so lost in a fantasy series, in a good way mind you, that it haunts me during the day when I am doing other things. This is despite the fact I am always reading some new fantasy series or novel for this or one of the sister sites we do here.
But Anne Lyle has really created a world that is so touchable and scrumptious in her Night’s Masque series that I find myself pondering whatever current situation I was reading the night before as I work the next day.
It is a fantasy series that haunts you as it mesmerizes you, and you love it for that affect. The story takes place in Europe just as the New World is being explored, around the 1700s. It is an England that may have Elizabeth I as its queen, but there are some pieces you begin to notice differs the world we know.
This is where it gets interesting because for the first little while as you are reading the world she creates, the Elizabethan world of theatre and explorers is very familiar to anyone who loves historical fiction. Where is the fantasy element, you ask?
And then you meet the Skraylings. In our world, they were mysterious humans that the Vikings mention in their writings of the travels to Vinland in the New World. Here Anne Lyle makes them to be very different creatures indeed. Tattooed and aloof, ephemeral and mysterious they are ancient beings, not quite human, and terrifying to many of the common folk. They see them as demons or worse. And this is where the conflict in this new fantasy series begins to take root. For the Skraylings are anything but human.