Book review

The Masked City

by Genevieve Cogman

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

A second excellent book The Invisible Library series, this picks up the story from the first book as Irene becomes Librarian in Residence in the slightly magical, slightly steam-punk, Victorian England, together with Vale, the great detective (think Sherlock Holmes, thinly veiled, as it were), and Kai, her apprentice. Kai – who we discovered in Book 1 is in fact a dragon, a creature of Lawfulness, working in human form – goes missing, taken by the Fae, who represent the side of Chaos.

As a Librarian, Irene is in theory neutral in this Lawful/Chaos struggle that spans many thousands of worlds in many times, but as Kai’s mentor, she feels a responsibility to find out what’s happening. From this, the plot is spun. And it’s a cracker, moving things into a Venice that’s much closer to the Chaotic side of things, where it’s always Carnival, and masks are de riguer. For me it slowed a little in the middle perhaps, as we started in Venice, but that was a momentary pause lasting only a few dozen pages, before things cranked up to full volume for the sparkling finale.

You perhaps don’t have to have read book 1, The Invisible Library first, but honestly I don’t see why you wouldn’t, as that’s a great book, too. Four and a third stars, for me.

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