In the sequel to the incredible The Invisible Library, we have our favorite Librarian spy on the hunt for the abduction of her apprentice, Kai, which could unfold a war between the reality loving Dragons and chaotic Fae. Armed with her wits and skills, Irene will have to travel between dimensions, face off formidable foes, and perform a rescue mission. Reading a book in a cozy chair would be preferable.
The Masked City has all the elements I loved in The Invisible Library but adding more intrigue and mystery to the recurring characters and bigger plot in the series. We have characters such as the Detective Vale, the Fae Lord Silver, dragon Kai, as well as newer ones that help build up the tension. Each one flies off the page with their unique personalities, purposes, and interactions that make it simple to hold them close to heart or stab them in theirs.
One of my favorite things about this series is that it follows a lot of the classic Detective Fiction rules while bending others. There is also my absolute favorite, Irene, who is extremely brilliant, independent, loyal, kind, cunning, and fearless. Even if she is in the direst of situations, she overcomes possible nausea and panic to get back to work and get things done. She is admirable and inspiring, as well as easy to relate to.
I have to applaud Genevieve Cogman in her brilliance in descriptions. The vivid imagery would make it effortless to recreate the settings, characters, and other fantastical things from the story. I particularly loved the descriptions of the Chaos-filled world of Venice. The architecture, the smells, the sights, the people, I could feel myself between those streets admiring it all or running for my life behind Irene.
But the very best among these is the Library itself. Intriguing, bewildering, fascinating, and complex. Where can I sign up as a Librarian? It is not on a physical plane like our own world, and it allows, through the acquisition of certain books, to connect other worlds and realities. If you are passionate about books, you will love this unique and creative idea Genevieve Cogman created.
Tensions are running higher from beginning till the end, and I was quite literally at the edge of my seat dreading the worst. One-of-a-kind, adventurous, and gripping, The Masked City is a must-read. Its variety of settings, periods, intrigue, and themes will keep you entertained for long hours and desire long after for it to be real. Who knows, maybe it is.
Rating: 5 stars