cover image The Masked City

The Masked City

Genevieve Cogman. Roc, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-101-98866-4

The second installment of Cogman's whimsical fantasy series (after The Invisible Library) follows the career of Irene, a spy for the international organization called the Library, and her dragon prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9, Kai. Irene has grown complacent in an alternate Victorian London, but her world is disrupted when Kai is kidnapped. She must retrieve him before a war erupts between the dragons and the Fae. Irene's quest takes her to opulent Italy, rendered in rich, alluring detail. Cogman keeps up with the voice and pacing established in the first installment as she delves deeper into the nuances of Fae politics and power. The inclusion of the Student Librarian's Handbook, however, overlaps with information revealed during the course of the novel, at times feeling redundant. Irene and Kai are faced with new challenges as the plot moves forward, buoyed by Cogman's fabulous imagined Europe. This installment lacks some of the verve of the first book, but it's still intelligent, inventive fantasy that anyone familiar with or new to the genre will enjoy. (Sept.)