When you have a fantasy series built around a multiverse of dragons, fae, and interdimensional Librarians who acquire books and texts to stabilize worlds, you can play in a lot of subgenres. From political intrigue to interdimensional rescue to murder mystery, the possibilities are diverse, also given the varieties of worlds and settings. So a straight up heist story is, in the end, delightfully and axiomatically inevitable as one of the forms a writer with such a canvas might want to try out. So it is with the latest Genevieve Cogman’s novel, The Secret Chapter, sixth in the Invisible Library series.
Briefly, the series centers around Irene Winters, an up-and-coming Librarian and her apprentice Kai, who just so happens to be a dragon. Their time- and world-hopping adventures see them face off against traitorous Librarians, duplicitous fae, overbearing and very dangerous dragons—and more—with Cogman dialing up the fun, wordplay, and humor. They tend toward similar basic structures that work—a first chapter where Irene gets herself caught into an adventure going wrong, extracts herself from it, and then moves on to the real story. It works for James Bond movies, it works for Genevieve Cogman.