This week I finished The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman–The second book in the Invisible Library series. The Masked City picks up with Irene and Kai doing their thing in the mildly chaotic world of steam engines and fae we left them in. The two have found themselves a nice routine and Irene has taken comfort in her partnership with Kai and in the stability of the role of Librarian-in-Residence.
But that stability is soon shaken by chaotic forces and Irene must deal with the consequences on three fronts: the Library’s retribution and her potentially being strips of her title as Librarian; the Dragon’s wraith for losing a son and prince; and the Fae, who will take any excuse to begin a war.
Can Irene dive into a world of high chaos to save her protege and friend? Can she do it alone? And if she does succeed will she be willing to take on the blame and save hundreds of worlds from a war between chaos and order?
I just gotta say, I love this series. It’s not one of those ones where I’ve just got to get my hands on it, BUT it is one I could see myself picking up off my bookshelf again and again. Irene is a female Sherlock Holmes and that is alright by me. It is just a really fun read.
This is a series where you HAVE to read the first one in order to “get it.” Cogman sticks you right where we left off in the Invisible Library and you are left to fend for yourself. If you don’t remember what Dragons are, how librarians travel to different world, etc. then you will want to re-read the first book, which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all because it was so good! But there is very little recap in the book, some but not enough to plop yourself into the world. If you haven’t read Invisible Library go buy both at the same time, you won’t regret it.
Reflecting back a few days later, I have to say the way Cogman had written these books is really interesting. They are all about the action, the story, getting to the end of a conflict and seeing it through, repercussions and all. The story comes first to the characters and their relationships or even their fears. They all have a “this is what I have to do,” attitude, “and I am going to get through it so help me!” BUT the characters are still relateable, they still have feelings and emotions, even though you know that duty and honor, truth and plain old doing the right thing, is more important. It’ll be interesting to see, in subsequent books, if duty ever gets pushed to the side for passion or even selfishness. hmmm.
Overall, this was a fun, refreshing read and PG if your looking for a rating. Teens and adults with a love for fantasy will enjoy it. The Burning Page is expected sometime this Christmas.
That’s all for now!