Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
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Blurb from goodreads:
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another “tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,” (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.
Never judge a book by its cover...
Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle...
Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.
With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her.
I've been enjoying this series. Books, libraries, spies, action, adventure, the fae, dragons, dry humor, all add up to a fun and delightful series. "The Burning Page", despite a slow start, did not disappoint.
It starts off shorty after the events of "The Masked City"; Vale is recuperating from his injury, and Kai and Irene are dealing with the consequences of Irene's actions. Whereas in "The Masked City" we got to learn more about Kai and about dragons, this story gives us more of Irene and her back story, and the internal politics of the Library. The first portion of the story, though it does have action and mystery, moves slowly and with lots of exposition. It took quite a while for me to get engaged. Once I did though, the book was hard to put down. Cogman's love of books, and their cultural importance shines through and is integral to the story.
Irene, Kai, and Vale battle fae, werewolves, spiders, hornets and fire. Irene is resourceful, increasingly adventurous, occasionally impulsive, fiercely loyal but sometimes torn in her loyalties. She has to make choices about whom to trust but her trust is not always repaid. She has friends now, not just peers, and she has to come to terms with that, with the demands that friendship makes on one. The relationships between Kai, Irene, and Vale are further explored. There are hints of possible romance but it's the bonds and friendship between them that are engaging. The power dynamics between the three of them are sometimes bumpy but always feel real.
The worlds that Cogman creates and the beings who populate them are detailed and just enough like our own to seem familiar, and even safe, while being different enough, fresh enough, to pique your interest and give a thrill. The last few chapters are a roller coaster ride filled with action and a resolution that is both happy and ambiguous. I was delighted to learn that there will be two more books in the series. They can't come soon enough.
My review of book 1, The Invisible Library
My review of book 2, The Masked City