Let me introduce you to the Invisible Library. Thousands of worlds exist in a delicate balance between chaos and order, their links to the library kept alive by books unique to each world. To secure those links, librarians such as Irene must steal the books and bring them back to the library. Once a world falls to chaos, the fae and their narratives take over, and the library’s door is closed forever. The job is dangerous but at least Irene has The Language on her side. Precise use of language is very important to librarians.

If you’re new to this series you should start with The Invisible Library, but you should know they are loads of fun, with spy librarians, dragons and fae galore. The rest of this review is about the 7th book in the series, The Dark Archive, and therefore may contain spoilers for the previous instalments. You’ve been warned.

I want to get in among those books. If Irene can do that for me, for all I care, my uncle can fornicate until syphilis makes his private parts drop off.

So at the end of The Secret Chapter, Irene took on an apprentice librarian, and not just any apprentice, Lord Silver’s niece who is of course a fae. A fae has never entered the library before, too contaminated with chaos to cross the threshold. But it’s good for the treaty to appear to try.

Catherine actually loves books, and her desire to be librarian is part of her fae narrative. She not that bothered about what Irene does. I loved that we had a fae whose narrative wasn’t evil, as generally they’ve been the baddies in the past books. She’s a great addition to the team.

Of course, it’s not all about the books, as never a day goes by when Irene, Kai and Vale aren’t in mortal peril. On a routine book-stealing mission to Guernsey, Kai is poisoned and Vale is nearly killed and someone who should be dead, isn’t quite as dead as Irene thought. Their investigations take them back to London and onto Barcelona, and some dark secrets are revealed.

This was just what I needed, a fantastic escape from reality.

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