The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
Might contain spoilers.
A very enjoyable continuation of the story. It’s just as clever, humorous, savvy, and well-written as before. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Minimizing Vale and Kai’s roles allows Irene to demonstrate just how capable she really is, for all that she’s a mere human. I must point out, though, that the last few chapters are a string of feats we’ve been told again and again she doesn’t have the energy for. That said, well done on her for averting a war by slightly manipulating Ao Shun.
It’s also interesting to see the way Lord Silver’s mind works. Irene seemingly capitulating when he makes her sit down is awful, but I was relieved that she quickly reasserted herself. I like seeing her form a different sort of relationship with the lesser Fae while incognito, and I would love to see more of Zayanna the inexplicably always-bikini-clad and Athrox.
Ao Shun is properly intimidating and the Fae version of Venice is fascinating. It’s a pity the Ten are confined to engaging in spooky puppetry with crowds and we never see them directly. In fact, Irene interacts with very few Fae considering this is one of their worlds: really only Aunt Isra’s group on the Train, Lord Silver, and the Guantes. I did not expect her to kill Lord Guantes; I suppose it furnishes her with an arch-nemesis in the form of Lady Guantes, but she already had Alberich.
The prison is horrific. Its description is vivid and terrifying. The pools of water with nothing living in them are somehow especially frightening, and so is the pursuit with the unexplained earthshaking sounds.
Next in series: The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman(#3 in Thoughts & Spoilers: Books: The Invisible Library (2014))