The Burning Page – Review

Oh Irene, this is the book where I really fell for you.  I want to be you and I adore you.  Also can I have a Dragon assistant…


29605907In more serious less random squeeing can I talk to you about Genevieve Cogman’s wonderful Invisible Library series.  I was recommended the first one (The Invisible Library) as I really needed to read something escapist and joyous and boy does Cogman deliver in spades.

So to sum up the premise (possible mild spoilers for The Invisible Library and The Masked City) Irene is a Librarian who moves through alternate worlds collecting and acquiring (definitely not stealing) unique editions of books for the Library. There are many alternate worlds on a order/chaos axis. With Fae who are Chaotic at one end and Dragons who represent order at the other.  Librarians also have access to the Language which allows Librarians to shape reality to their will in small and not so small ways.

Irene is a heady mix of The Doctor and Indiana Jones. She is resourceful and quick thinking and its wonderful seeing a woman just kicking arse and changing names.  There is a range of characters whom help and hinder her in her adventures. 

Kai is her Librarian apprentice, unusually for a Librarian he is a dragon.  Vale is private investigator based in the world where Irene is posted and has more than a passing resemblance to Holmes.  There are Fae as untrustworthy Lord Silver who has a fondness for Irene but you know he’s there to cause mischief.

Enough background.  The Burning Page is the third instalment and for me this is the one where it kicks up a gear and really hits its stride.  The major threat has been Alberich the Librarian that went Rogue and embraced chaos.  

The threat feels more pressing, the Library itself is in danger and it is the high stakes which give this novel its pace and sense of desperation.  The universe has become more political and more interesting.  Decisions are important and choices must be made.  Will Irene make the right choice and is the Library everything we thought it was.

Obviously I’m not going to give anything more away but I will say that The Burning Page has meant that the sequels have zoomed up the to be read pile.

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