“Irene passed the mop across the stone floor in smooth, careful strokes, idly admiring the gleam of wet flagstones in the lantern light. Her back was complaining, but that was only normal after an evening’s work cleaning. The cleaning was certainly necessary. The pupils at Prince Mordred’s Private Academy for Boys managed to get just as much mud and muck on the floor as any other teenagers would. Clean indoor studies in the dark arts, military history, and alchemy didn’t preclude messy outdoor classes in strategic combat, dueling, open field assassination, and rugby.”
– Opening of The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library is the first book in a fantasy series that follows the adventures of a librarian named Irene as she buys, steals, or trades for rare and valuable books across a network of alternate worlds, each one uniquely fantastical and uniquely dangerous. In the first book, she takes on a new apprentice who’s a lot more than what he first appears and faces off against a bitterly hated rival as she tries to solve the mystery of who has stolen the book that she came looking for. Armed with a powerful magical language, she’s able to do amazing things, but the world she’s been sent to is inhabited with beings who have powers of their own. She’s not the only one who wants to get the book, and some of her enemies are willing to kill.
In my opinion, this series doesn’t have the most engaging start, but once it picks up, it really picks up. Every single book is action-packed and has new worlds, new characters, and new dangers to be faced. The characters grow throughout it, and mysteries about them are revealed little by little. It all ties together into a series I couldn’t stop reading until I’d reached the end of the latest book that’s been published and was very disappointed that I would have to wait for the next!
I wish there were a few more character moments or that some of the moments there are would be drawn out a little more, but if you enjoy a plot-based series with lots of action, it doesn’t get much better. I would recommend reading from the beginning, but each book does function as its own little adventure, which I think does a lot to keep things fresh.
This is a series I would definitely recommend to people who love fantasy. It’s deeply enjoyable in that way that makes you turn page after page and always long for more.