“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…”
My Thoughts: Fae, dragons, magic, and kick-ass librarians. It might not get any better than this. Irene is a new class of librarian, saving the world one book at a time. In The Masked City, unlike the first book in the series, we learn more about the purpose of the Library and how they protect the humans book by book. However, rather than exploring her version of London and her role as Librarian-in-Residence, this time around Irene has her work cut out for her as she has to rescue her apprentice from a high-chaos, Fae-infested city world.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, but Irene is so much fun. She is never a damsel-in-distress. If anything, she is a formidable opponent for any foe. Intelligent, courageous, loyal, and quick-thinking, she knows what she wants and never wavers from achieving her goals. Moreover, she is thoroughly likeable. Her love of books makes her approachable and makes you want to meet her for a cuppa or some brandy. Plus, she has an enormous personality that is just fun to experience.
The world Irene visits to save Kai is as unlike her London or the Library as you can get. Of course, Venice is like that anyway without an influx of Fae and a high propensity for chaos. The adventures she experiences while there are everything you would expect and more, as Ms. Cogman manages to throw in several surprises to keep you guessing. Overall, it is another exciting and thoroughly entertainable story that leaves you satisfied but still wanting more of Irene and Kai and the Library.
God bless the publishers at Penguin Random House who decided to keep the release dates between books in this series relatively short. It means only having to wait three months to read all about Irene’s next adventure, and that is a very good thing.