Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #8
Published by Ace on December 28, 2021
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
In this thrilling historical fantasy, time-traveling Librarian spy Irene will need to delve deep into a tangled web of loyalty and power to keep her friends safe.
Irene is trying to learn the truth about Alberich-and the possibility that he's her father. But when the Library orders her to kill him, and then Alberich himself offers to sign a truce, she has to discover why he originally betrayed the Library.
With her allies endangered and her strongest loyalties under threat, she'll have to trace his past across multiple worlds and into the depths of mythology and folklore, to find the truth at the heart of the Library, and why the Library was first created.
The Invisible Library series is a favorite series with the continuing development of its world with fae and dragons and humans. We really have grand adventures but the information is very dribbly with only bits and pieces as the series progresses.
Our long-time trusted team, led by Irene with Kai and Vale are strong in their commitment to each other and finding the truth, and solving mysteries. The new apprentice, Catherine is young and idealistic, more of an added burden than a help. But her fresh perspective is sometimes jarring. The other fae like Lord Silver and Lady Sterrington play their parts as sort of allies to Irene. Kai’s family is a problem and a political problem.
Kai and Irene, in more scattered moments, decide what they mean to each other and what they want and don’t want from each other and their lives. Because of their family and Library commitments, it is not easy to see a way for them to be together. The possibilities are difficult politically and physically a human and dragon have different life spans. But a dragon and librarian have closer lifetimes.
But finally, we get to the story we’ve all been waiting to hear, Irene’s history and the history of the library. Bradamant is sticking her nose into things and I found it annoying. She meant well but I didn’t always trust her. The others at the library didn’t feel quite trustworthy either. Things are finally coming to a head with Alderich.
Irene researches her history, Alderich and what changed him. For the first time, she ponders the Library and who is making the decisions and setting their missions. When she is sent to meet with him about a truce with the Library, she finally gets her chance to question him and learn what motivates him to fight with the Library. The meeting erupts into a final battle and race to save the Library and librarians, along with fae, humans and dragons.
I highly recommend this witty, adventure series (read them in order). The development is slow throughout but well built in the world and characters. Irene is a star and works so hard to do the right things, often putting her commitments, all races and her friends, ahead of herself. This series conclusion is a satisfying tale which gives us the missing pieces and a future for our favored characters and this world.
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