Thank you, Jamie for sending me a copy of The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman for free in exchange for an honest review.
The Mortal Word is the Sith title in Genevieve Cogman's wonderful Invisible Library series
Books in the series
The Invisible Library
The Masked City
The Burning Page
The Lost Plot
The Secret Chapter
A quick round-up on The Invisible Library series is a multiple-parallel-world fantasy in which our universe contains untold worlds, many of them inhabited with humans in some alternate version of history, with only a few beings aware of the multiplicity or able to travel between worlds.
The balance between worlds is maintained by the Library and its Librarians. Librarians have unique technology, their own form of magic and the ability to traverse worlds using gateways from their huge and timeless Library into local libraries on the individual worlds.
As a Librarian, Irene is frequently called upon to steal specific rare editions of books to take back to the Library. Usually, Irene can sneakily make off with the said book and the owner is none the wiser. Slight hiccup this time So now, Irene and Kai are now working with dragons and Fae in an alternative Vienna to steal a picture so Irene can obtain a book which would save a world (you following?). Things go awry for the unlikely allies when the mission becomes more dangerous than it first appeared.
not only am I excited that I got to see Irene and Kai in action but I got to meet several new characters. As always, when there are lots of faes involved there are plenty of opportunities for funny, over the top characters. I enjoyed learning more about how the dragons and how they think and their political machinations. I adore the magic system in this series where the Dragons live in high-order worlds & the Fae live in high-chaos worlds. We also get to meet Irene's parents and learn quite a bit more about her complex past and meet some more of Kai's relatives.
Some series favourites are missing and I think it's a brave choice Genevieve has made, I think it worked well and has allowed her to develop Irene and Kai's relationship. There are also deeper themes at work, around family and the weight of the past on how we see things now and there are so many interesting twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. While other story plotlines in this series have examined the Library and Fae this one had some bigger developments surrounding the dragons and their origin story.
Genevieve is stupidly clever at not revealing too much at once but not holding back so much it annoys the reader. This was another well-written story with new information that will probably build into the next books and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Genevieve’s writing style is incredibly witty and interesting, it immediately pulls you in and connects you with the story right from the start.
This book pushes the world building and lore past the last book to newer places, setting the stage for some consequences (slightly worried not going to lie). The writing style also allows you to know a lot of information without feeling too info-heavy, and without information dumps, it is cleverly written. I enjoyed my time with Irene and I can’t wait to see how the revelations about the dragons in this will play into future books.