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The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

BOTTOM LINE: A great addition to a seriously fun series

Genre: Fiction; Fantasy
Publication Date: 10 January 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis from the Publisher:

“Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another ‘tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,’ (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover…

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency to find both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…

Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…”

My Thoughts: Irene is back! After the adventures in Venice (The Masked City), Kai and she are stuck with routine book retrieval missions as their punishment. However, knowing Irene, routine never lasts. So when an acquaintance shows up in London and informs her that several people are trying to kill her, it is just one more day in Irene’s life. This time though, the one nemesis who fills Irene’s nightmares is among the list, and things get serious quickly. This time, Irene must use all of her knowledge to defeat the Library’s biggest threat.

With this third novel in the Invisible Library series, Ms. Cogman provides a few more answers while hinting at future areas of conflict for Irene and her beloved Library. Lines become blurred, and political machinations make themselves known for the first time in Irene’s career. It makes for an interesting drama, more than the formulaic adventure the story could so easily become. In this way, the entire series reminds me of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. Each book is relatively stand-alone with a clear conflict and resolution, but there is overlap among the books in the cast of characters, the answers Irene uncovers, and the mysteries she finds. Plus, there exists an overarching drama of which we are only now catching glimpses. It is going to be fun watching all of this potential unfold.

The Burning Page is a fun addition to Irene’s adventures and one that adds some depth to the series as a whole. Irene and Kai make for great partners. Plus, it is satisfying to watch Irene begin to lean on others and come out of her shell a bit more. Watching her work through her fears and ideas is always interesting as her mind does not necessarily follow the most rational paths. Irene’s love of books is equally satisfying, making her the type of character you wish you knew in real life just so you could discuss books over brandy. I am already eagerly anticipating book four!

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