Book number 15 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge is Genevieve Cogman’s The Masked City. Amazon provides the following synopsis;
‘Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he’s been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.
Kai’s dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people – and the forces of order and chaos themselves.
Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.‘
The Masked City is the second book in Cogman’s The Invisible Library series. I read The Invisible Library (follow the link for my review), Cogman’s debut novel last year and loved it so had to read her next novel in the series. The second novel did not disappoint. This series is set across a number of realms, all slightly different from the next and all linked by The Library. Irene is the Librarian in Residence in the alternate London, working alongside her assistant Kai when he disappears. Kai is a royal dragon who chose to work, in human form, for The Library. However the Fae are aware of him and kidnap him, hoping to start a war between the Fae and Dragons which would have catastrophic consequences across all the alternative universes. Irene finds herself in an alternate Venice where she must fight her way through the chaos to save her assistant and stop a war that would change everything. Due to The Library’s neutrality, Irene must work alone to save her friend from certain death, whilst also saving the universes from war between these two very powerful factions.
Anything that combines fantasy with books is already a winning combination for me. I really enjoy the premise of this series, as with each novel I learn a little more about the mysterious Library, about those who work for The Library and the inhabitants of the alternate realms.
Irene is a strong female lead character, but not so strong that she refuses assistance from her male colleagues. Sometimes female lead characters are portrayed as hard and a little too tough, however Irene shows herself to be someone who can certainly hold her own and fight for what is right whilst also accepting help graciously when it is needed.
Whilst Kai does not feature in this book as much as he did in The Invisible Library, he shows himself once again to be a character of great strength. Despite this, his deep respect for Irene is clear to see throughout the novel even though his royal roots would justify him playing on is superiority.
If you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, I would highly recommend that you try The Invisible Library series. I look forward to reading The Burning Page, the next book in this series due to be released in December 2016.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5