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….
I received an ARC from Netgalley and Roc in exchange for an honest review. This is the second book in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman, and there will be some small spoilers for The Invisible Library in this review. You can read my review of The Invisible Library here, which I highly recommend before continuing to read this one!
The Masked City picks up shortly after we left Irene and Kai in The Invisible Library. I described The Invisible Library as “Harry Potter meets Doctor Who meets Kate Daniels, with the best of each world combined into a Victorian setting,” and that definitely still holds true for this novel.
This was a good continuation of the series for me. Irene stayed our main character, but we got to learn a little bit more about Kai’s background, the social structure of the Fae and travel to an alternate Venice where Carnival is happening. We also got to see Silver and Vale again, who really make great enemies.
Readers get to see a lot more of the politics between worlds and types of people in The Masked City than in the previous book, which was really interesting to me. This was much more political force than brute force, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the expansion of the universe, learning more about the Library and its inhabitants in a way that never felt forced or like it was an info dump.
I cannot wait for The Burning Page, the third book in the series, which will be out in the US on December 6! I’m thoroughly enjoying this series, and think it’s a perfect fit for people who enjoyed V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic or TNT’s The Librarians series.
This book didn’t quite hit five stars for me, but it was really close. The Masked City came out last week, so pick it up at your favorite book retailer, or through Indiebound!