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The Masked City: 2 Paperback – 6 September 2016
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|Paperback, 6 September 2016||
The written word is mightier than the sword--most of the time...
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.... INCLUDES AUTHOR INTERVIEW
About the Author
- Publisher : Ace Books; Reprint edition (6 September 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1101988665
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101988664
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 2.54 x 20.83 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 904,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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While not magical, Librarians do have a “special power”: use of The Language, with which they can command objects to behave in a certain way, or people to believe a certain thing. The more closely the command aligns with the natural nature of the object or person, the longer the power of words spoken in The Language will persist; in the meantime, the Librarian needs to get their goal achieved and get the hell out of there, before the alteration wears off.
One of the biggest delights of this series for me has been anticipating what novel usage of The Language will be concocted by Irene to get her out of each new dangerous circumstance she encounters. Her strength – and her wonderful pragmatism – make her a character with which I can identify, and one whose triumphs I can cheer. The inventive worldbuilding, backed by a solid understanding of myths and legends, makes these books a pure pleasure to read.
Top reviews from other countries
The action kicks off straight away with Kai being kidnapped in the prologue. Distraught, Irene abandons her post in order to chase across several worlds in a dangerous rescue attempt. There's plenty of excitement throughout, and the chance to find out a bit more about the conflicting forces of Irene's universe - the dragons and the Fae. I can see Cogman's logic in wanting a storyline in which Irene rescues Kai, given that much of the first book involved the reverse. Kai is also an extremely likeable - even loveable - character and the reader's concern about his fate will keep them reading into the night (at least I did).
The downside of this set up is that Irene and Kai are separated for most of the book, depriving us of the interaction between the two that was such a strong feature of the first novel. The two bounce off each other well, with dialogue that is funny and entertaining, all spiced up with a strong undercurrent of unresolved sexual tension. A couple of other characters return - Vale the detective, Irene's supervisor Cordellia, and the Fae ambassador Silver. The main antagonist from the first book is missing, as is the character of Bradamant which I thought was a bit of a shame. But with a long series planned Cogman has plenty of opportunities to bring people back in later instalments.
Overall, this is another great piece of fantasy adventure fiction. On one level it's daft and full of clichés, but it's well written, exciting and I'm totally hooked. It's pure escapism and great fun. It's also refreshingly funny and doesn't take itself too seriously - although it has some surprisingly emotional moments as well. If you enjoy this genre of book, you will be sure to love this series.
The pair manage to overcome the aggressors but Irene dismisses a feeling of being watched from the rooftops as mild paranoia.. she ought not have!
The pair later separate so that she can deliver the book and Kai meet up with Vale but the Fae are at work, and a new powerful couple have arrived at the Embassy creating problems for Lord Silver who is keen to get rid of them. When Kai disappears and fails to meet Vale Irene has no choice but to delve into Kai's family background to prevent the destruction of Vale's world in retaliation. She binds herself to find and rescue Kai from the Fae which is no light undertaking.
She's going to have to try and hide in full view in an alternate world where chaos reigns supreme. She's also only got 24 hours before Kai is auctioned to the highest bidder. Can she save him and prevent a war that will destroy multiple world's as the Fae try to wrest control from the dragons.
Fast paced, gripping and thoroughly enjoyable read. You can easily immerse yourself in Cogman's tale as she captures alternate worlds their cities and people with precision. Feel the emotions of her characters as they are thinking on their feet under the pressures of the library, chaos and the glamouring powers of the Fae. Let go and experience Irene's adventure with her, Cogman makes it a joy!
I finished it with a flourish and immediately ordered the third, only to realise (with a sigh) that it won't be published until December. Regardless of this, if you want something a little steampunky, light and easy, with wellimagined settings and increasingly complex characters then Genevieve Cogman has something for you and the trajectory suggests they are getting better each time.
This time round, the plot is less about finding and stealing rare books, and more about finding and stealing away a captive Dragon. Kai’s role is passive: to wait to be rescued; Irene has to traverse the dangerous world of Fae Venice, disguised as a minor Fae, without knowing even the location of his prison. We get further world-building as we learn more about the Fae and the Dragons, and how they work. Irene’s adventures will win approval of the Dragons if she succeeds, but that of her beloved the Library is another matter…
Unaided, she must rescue Kai, before the Dragons, lords of “order,” declare war with the Fae. Setting out to find him before it is too late, Irene makes unlikely alliances with a group of followers of important Fae patrons, as they travel on an incredible train which can move between worlds. Adopting a carnival mask and an all covering cloak she attempts to move around the dark alleys and gloomy canals of Venice, incognito, but she constantly finds herself in increasing danger from the evil Lord and Lady Guantes.
The city is described in rich detail, maintaining its reputation for murder and fear. Irene is a bold, creative agent who uses her story telling powers to create narratives which bend reality to her purpose. Her powers of using the Library Language to open locks and change the state of matter, help her in her task, but cause her pain and exhaustion. This colourful story is full of vivid images of the iconic buildings in Venice and the sumptuous mythical train, which are a delight to read. Although all the essential background story is given, you will gain most by reading Book One The Invisible Library first.