[Book Review] In which I re-evaluate my bias against magic libraries


Book Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Canaries, this is the book I was looking for when I had my ill-fated encounter with The Eyre Affair in 2017 and swore off all book-themed fantasy novels. Little did I know that The Invisible Library was out there.

Two years later, here I am, eating my words. Fantasy books about books can be excellent.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (and the rest of the series) combines the high stakes of a spy thriller with the shenannigans of fantasy novel, populated with colorful characters, an intriguing and competent main lead, and several series level mysteries that kept me hooked.

I loved that main character Irene excelled at her job. I loved that she was a librarian-conwoman-action hero. I enjoyed the genre mix – a dash of romance, a pinch of steampunk, a nod to spy thrillers, a bow to Sherlock Holmes, and all against the backdrop of a gigantic (and maybe morally ambiguous) semi-sentient library.

Even the magic system—whose rules seemed to flex to allow the main character to get out of the scrape of the day—didn’t bother me enough for me to dock a canary. In fact, even the love triangle subplot (short-lived that it was) failed to fill me with rage. And if you know anything about how I feel about love triangles, that’s huge.

So yes, five stars. Barring a few wobbles here and there, the series is a high recommend for all you folks out there who love action and mystery and fantasy and books.

Series Verdict:

A high recommend.


Canaries, have you read this series?
What did you think?

8 thoughts on “[Book Review] In which I re-evaluate my bias against magic libraries

    • If you do end up trying the Invisibke Linrary, I’d be super curious about what you think. It’s a little left field from what you usually read/like so it could totally go either way!

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