The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

It was just over two years ago that I picked up the first book in the Invisible Library series (reviewed here), intrigued by the cover, title and synopsis, and since then it’s become one of my favourite series as they are such fun stories with compelling characters (from the determined and resourceful librarian, Irene, to her love interest the Dragon Prince, Kai; Vale, the human detective, and even the seductive libertine Fae, Silver), fabulous settings, plenty of action and suspense, humour and lots of original ideas. The Mortal Word is the fifth book in the series, and it’s full of the usual blend of kidnap and assassination attempts as Irene investigates a murder during the negotiation of a peace treaty between the Fae and Dragons.

It’s always fun reading about Irene solving mysteries, uncovering conspiracies and escaping danger, and yet I consider these to be such such cosy, comfort reads. The Mortal Word was full of suspense, atmosphere, humour and a little bit of romance, and I adored the villainous Bloody Countess who was delightfully macabre.

As Irene continues to question her loyalty to the Library and its purpose, this series just keeps gettting better and better, and this was my favourite book so far. As the series progresses, I’m so enjoying seeing the characters (and their relationships with one another) develop, and learning more about the different factions they represent from the Librarians, Fae, Dragons, and, of course, the humans caught in between them all.

In other library related news, this week I learned that our local library, which has been shut since the first lockdown in March, is scheduled to reopen in 2021. I’ve always believed that libraries are such a valuable community resource, and I’m delighted that we’ll have one within walking distance again soon. Take care, and have a lovely week. X

The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman

The Lost Plot is the fourth book in the Invisible Library series following the librarian Irene Winters in the battle between the forces of chaos and order.

Shortly after The Lost Plot begins, Irene is approached by a dragon with a request to acquire a specific version of a text, a request that threatens the Library’s neutrality between the dragons and the fae, and Irene finds herself caught between two rival factions of feuding dragons.

One of the aspects I love most about this series are the locations and this one was set in an alternate 1920’s New York complete with speakeasy’s, prohibition and gangs.

The pace of The Lost Plot trots along and there were enough shady deals, betrayals, shoot-outs and librarian duels to keep me hooked until the end. As an added bonus the slow burn romance between Irene and her assistant Kai finally starts to heat up.

I’m generally reluctant to commit to long-running series, but the Invisible Library books are so original, fun and easy to read with such endearing characters that I’m always happy to find out what Irene and her allies are up to. Have a lovely week. X

The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

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The Burning Page is the third book in The Invisible Library series and picks up shortly after the events of The Masked City (reviewed here); Irene is still on probation for leaving her post as Librarian-in-Residence to rescue her apprentice Kai (preventing a war between the Fae and Dragons in the process), and they’re still recovering from their traumatic experiences in Venice.

The arch-villain of the series, Alberich, is back and openly threatening the Library; Librarians are being hunted and killed, and portals to the Library are being destroyed trapping Librarians in alternative versions of reality.

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Though these stories are delightfully fun, there is a moral dilemma at the heart of The Burning Page as Irene is forced to contemplate just how far she’s willing to go to save the Library – all the while being haunted by the seeds of doubt Alberich sowed that the Invisible Library might not be the force for good she believes but a self-serving organisation that does little to help the alternate worlds it meddles in.

Irene is as self-deprecating, harassed and resourceful as ever, and it’s genuinely entertaining to see how she uses the Language (a refreshing alternative to magic) and her other skills to get herself out of traps, ambushes and face Alberich in a thrilling duel. Have a lovely week! X

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

I haven’t had much time to read or blog over the last few months as real life events (including caring for a family member and adjusting to a new role at work) have taken up most of my time and attention, but I’ve missed reading and I’ve always found something incredibly comforting about slipping into a story whenever real life feels overwhelming.

One of the best books I read last year was The Invisible Library (reviewed here), and the sequel picks up just a few months after the events in the first book as the resourceful and self-deprecating librarian, Irene, is caught up once again in the eternal battle between chaos and order when her assistant Kai is kidnapped. In The Masked City Irene races to rescue Kai and prevent a war between the fae and dragons that could destroy countless innocent worlds caught between them.

I really love the locations in these stories, and while the first book was set in a Victorian London with werewolves and other supernatural elements, the sequel mostly takes place in renaissance Venice. I also really appreciated the reversal of the damsel saving the prince for a change, but I missed the interplay between the characters who were separated for most of the story, and the villains just weren’t quite as dynamic or threatening as Alberich.

Although I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first book, these stories are so easy to read with a perfect blend of humour, action and suspense that I’m eager to see how the series develops. Have a lovely week! X