Title: The Masked City
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Series: Invisible Library #2
Irene is enjoying her post as Librarian-in-Residence. She’s been able to collect books for the Library, heal, and–if not take it easy, exactly, then at least settle down to one place. But then Kai, her dragon apprentice, is kidnapped by the Fae. In the interests of preventing a war between the dragons and the Fae, she has to get him back. Even if it means traveling deep within chaos-controlled realms . . .
Like the first book, this is full of crazy twists and a lot of fun action sequences. Irene, who struggles to be competent and professional and above all, grounded, finds herself in a place where story is more important than reality. Stories are reality to the Fae. The question, as Irene continually asks herself, is which kind of story has she stumbled into? One where the prince is rescued and everybody goes home more or less okay? Or one where the clever Fae stumble across the antagonist out to ruin their grand plan and do away with her?
I liked the chance to dig deeper into both the dragons and the Fae. Irene’s starting to pick up on the fact that the Library is probably playing some game of its own, but that takes more of a backseat to fleshing out the various sides outside the Library. Irene herself is for humanity, but it’s Vale who is the actual human involved in this mess. Vale takes Kai’s kidnapping personally, not in the least because of what the Fae do to try to distance him from solving the case. I did wonder towards the end why Vale did better than Irene in a certain area. It would be interesting to know if the reason was merely personality and experience on his side, or if something else was going on.
Once again I wasn’t all that fond of the sexual tones of certain parts. Pretty much every powerful male except the adult dragons tries to seduce Irene, or at least would like to sleep with her (though Vale would probably prefer marriage, and I like him best just because he’s the only one who isn’t PUSHY). This is personal preference, but is one reason I like reading books for kids more; I find the constant repetition of that theme really boring. Although once again Irene actually says no to all of them (and her point about Silver in particular was illustrating… he literally can’t stop himself, even if his life is at stake).
All in all, this was an interesting follow up to a strong first book. Given the hints about some of the deeper games in play, there’s plenty more material to fuel an ongoing series. You could technically start here, but it would spoil some good twists from the first book, so I’d encourage reading them in order. I rate this book Recommended.