Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Challenges: Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | iTunes | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.
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....
First of all, I really like this cover and the covers for the series. They don't hint at the steampunk story inside but they do play to the library element in the story. It's a nice classic, elegant look and makes me smile every time I look at it.
I read and enjoyed the first book, "The Invisible Library" but this one, I really liked this one. It grabbed me and I didn't want to put it down. And we got more dragon time! I was happy about that since the first book didn't have enough dragon time to suit me. These dragons are scary!
The bulk of the book is Librarian Irene's quest to find and rescue her protege and assistant Kai. Doing so means treading some dangerous paths, both physically and emotionally as she juggles her duties and responsibilities to the Library, to the greater good, and to Kai. Although occasionally impulsive, she's mostly a planner. She's methodical and careful and oh so determined. She will not leave Kai alone, in danger, no matter what it costs her.
"The Masked City" continues the mix of steampunk, alternate history, magic,mayhem, suspense, and mystery that Cogman introduced in "The Invisible Library". With lots of twists and a threat of impending war plus the threat to Kai's life, the story manages to be both intimate and non-stop action. Add in humor, a hint of romance, friendship, betrayal, and writing that sweeps you away, "The Masked City" is a wonderful story to read.