Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Genevieve Cogman. This was just before the release of the third book in her Invisible Library series and when I interviewed Genevieve I had read only the first two. Now I have read The Burning Page, the third in the series. I was so excited about reading this book and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen me raving about it on Instagram stories.
Librarian spy Irene has standards to maintain, especially while on probation. And absconding from a mission via a besieged building doesn’t look good. But when her escape route home goes up in flames, what’s a spy to do? However, it seems Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across dozens of worlds. Worse still, her nemesis Alberich is responsible — and he plans to annihilate the Library itself.
Irene and assistant Kai are posted to St Petersburg to help combat this threat. Here Alberich emerges as Irene tries to save her friend Vale and foil assassination attempts. Then one incredibly dangerous opportunity to save the Library emerges. Saving herself would be a bonus…
The Burning Page picks off exactly where The Masked City left off. Kai’s true nature and the effects of his powerful family have just been revealed and need to be dealt with. Vale spent too much time in a Chaotic world and the consequences of that are still unknown. Irene herself isn’t finding life all beautiful and rosy; her actions in book two have meant that she’s on probation from the Library and having to be very careful with what she does next.
Alberich has been the villain in all the books and in The Burning Page and while I don’t want to be too spoiler-ey I have to say that the showdown between Irene and Alberich was all kinds of brilliant. The interesting thing about the two of them is how similar they are and their similarities stem from their joint love of books. I can see them being friends in other realities however their differences mean they are most definitely on opposite sides. He wants the Library, the organisation Irene works for and the one he used to work for, completely destroyed. Irene most definitely doesn’t.
The Burning Page is such an adventure story with great characters, a cracking plot, and clever magic all weaved together. Irene, Kai, and Vale don’t know who they can trust – is either Bradamant or Zayanna on their side? We met both these characters before but in The Burning Page they are fleshed out more. I love how Genevieve handles her secondary characters, how they help to move the plot along but are also there for a reason.
Nothing Irene does in The Burning Page is easy for her. She has to work and fight and make some truly difficult choices in trying to save the day. She is such a strong, determined character who doesn’t shy away from making really horrific decisions to save the ones she loves. The dynamic between her, Kai, and Vale change in both subtle and not to subtle ways too but I always want more romance! (I am definitely on team Kai.) We also learn a lot more about her parentage and background – not enough, but a little more. There are tantalizing titbits throughout the book and I really hope we get to meet them soon!
The Burning Page is a brilliant addition to The Invisible Library series. And while I may have been making this up I was sure that book three was the last one but it’s not – hooray! – books four and five have been announced. While some books in a series also work as standalone reads, I really recommend that you start from the very beginning with this one and once you start the first you will definitely want to read the rest.
The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman is out now and available from all good and evil book retailers and I can’t recommend it enough. I bought this book myself.