Monday, December 12, 2016

The Masked City, by Genevieve Cogman. ROC, 2016

In the second outing of Librarian Irene and her friends in an alternate Victorian London, her apprentice, Kai, (who is a dragon -in human form most of the time), gets kidnapped by a member of the Fae. Irene takes it upon herself to rescue him alone, leaving behind her allies. This involves a visit to Kai’s uncle, a very strong dragon who radiates power so strongly Irene can barely stand up in his presence; a train that is a sentient being who has been enslaved; a Venice that is always in Carnival; and racing against a strict time limit- the Fae who has captured Kai intends to auction him off at midnight. The world is so deep in the chaos realms that dragons, beings of order, cannot function there.

There is nonstop action, many disguises, lots of running, and constant danger. It is a can’t-put-it-down book. I love Irene; she’s smart and talented but not a Mary Sue at all. She needs help sometimes, and is lucky to have some equally smart allies. She uses the Language a lot in this story, which makes me worry a bit. The Language seems to be such a powerful tool that I swear it should make her able to do pretty much anything, which would make it hard to believe that she could be really damaged. I think of it as Superman syndrome – as a little kid I had trouble getting involved in those comics because I knew not much could hurt him, so he was in no real peril. I’m glad there are some limits on the use of the Language, to maintain the tension!

I can’t wait for the next installment in this series! 

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