The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The second in the Invisible Library series begins by finding Irene and Kai on a fairly stable assignment in an alternate London, the one that is home to the Sherlock Holmes facsimile Peregrine Vale, their friend and colleague. Kai is kidnapped and taken to a different alternate, of which there are an indefinite number, it is up to Irene to unravel the mystery of who or what has taken her partner. Kai, hails from a Royal family of Dragons, though they are not always in their scaly form. Dragons are one of two extreme form of being in this universe, they focus on order, whereas at the other end of the spectrum the Fae promote chaos. Irene, as a representative of The Library which bridges all of the various alternates is supposed to primarily keep the balance between these two sides.
Irene must work out how to get Kai back, who she can and cannot trust in an alternate filled with magic and rigid class structures. Will the Library even allow her to go and rescue him? What will become of her life and work if she disobeys the rules?
Quite an easy and enjoyable read, the story flows well, and the mystery is generally focused on how Irene is to get Kai back, rather than who took him and why, which is described early on. Irene’s use of the language which allows her to manipulate the physical world around her, is a useful skill to have, particularly as most of the scraps that she finds herself in are solved, or removed with a few simple words. This takes an effort on Irene’s part, although it never felt as though she was ever going to run out of steam during this particular plot.
If you’re looking for something of a fantastical pulpy mystery, then this series has you covered.
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