“The Masked City” by Genevieve Cogman is another foray into a fantastical set of worlds that represent the ongoing struggle between order and chaos. I am fascinated by the visual representations of the extremes, as reflected in the Fae vs. dragon conflict, although it doesn’t bode well for the humans on the multiple worlds caught in the struggle. This author creates beautiful word-pictures and artfully weaves multiple traditions together in a new and imaginative way.
I loved the permutation of the “Horse and Rider” that provided a backdrop for the inventive Librarian Irene to display both her knowledge and her ability to parse information and adapt on the fly. The glimpses of the alternate city of Venice and the fascinating architecture and traditions there add a nice depth to the story. There is a fair amount of violence contained in these pages as well as treachery and deception plus ethical challenges.
This book is part of a series but I daresay one could read this as a stand-alone story, but why miss out on the evolution of the relationship between the Librarian, a resourceful detective, and a protégé with considerable depths?
I feel there are still mysteries which aren’t solved to my satisfaction and the story ends at a logical point but without resolving the major conflict that could be catastrophic. One doesn’t even know how much trouble Irene is in with her beloved Library. I expected more exposition on things that were established in the first story but disappointingly, very little was added to the storylines from that book. There are so many things I want to know more about, and the “insider information” and interview with the author only whetted my appetite for more. This is a fun addition to an imaginative series that is both thought-provoking and exciting to read, and I hope we get a deeper knowledge of the three main characters, particularly Kai!
This young adult fantasy story is part of the ‘Invisible Library’ series. Irene is thrust into a major conflict between the agents of chaos and those of order. She will have to undertake a rescue mission without the sanction of her beloved Library or the overt assistance of any allies. Always resourceful, she will have to call on her knowledge and her cunning to rescue her assistant, Kai, but her previous training and missions may not have prepared her enough to avert a war that could destroy countless worlds and destroy the fragile balance between the two main factions.
Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.
The written word is mightier than the sword—most of the time...
Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai—a dragon of royal descent—is kidnapped by the Fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble.
Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that would devastate all worlds and all dimensions. To keep humanity from getting caught in the crossfire, Irene will have to team up with a local Fae leader to travel deep into a version of Venice filled with dark magic, strange coincidences, and a perpetual celebration of Carnival—and save her friend before he becomes the first casualty of a catastrophic war.
But navigating the tumultuous landscape of Fae politics will take more than Irene’s book-smarts and fast-talking—to ward off Armageddon, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear....
INCLUDES AUTHOR INTERVIEW