The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman fantasy book reviewsThe Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman fantasy book reviewsThe Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman

The Lost Plot (2017) is the fourth book in Genevieve Cogman’s INVISIBLE LIBRARY series. Committed to the Library’s mission to maintain the balance between chaos and order, Irene Winters and her student, Kai, end up in a world in a Prohibition timeline, as they track down a Librarian who has violated the Library’s neutrality by assisting an agent of Order (a dragon).

To put it simply, if you enjoyed the other INVISIBLE LIBRARY books, you will enjoy this one. It has book humor, lavish use of the magical Library language, dragons, Fae, double-crosses, predicaments, chase scenes and action scenes galore, culminating in a suspenseful interrogation sequence in the royal court of a Dragon Queen.

Most of the many, many realities that exist function on a continuum ranging from High Order to High Chaos. The dragons are the agents of Order. The Fae champion Chaos. The Library fights constantly to remain neutral, moving books or versions of books from one world to another, or out of a world and into the library, in order to maintain a balance. The Library does not take sides or fraternize, and the exception to that rule is the rare student who is known to be a dragon — like Kai.

Irene is approached by a Dragon who has been sent on a quest by her queen. She has one rival who is on the same quest. Jin Shi says that her competitor, Qing Song, has hired a Librarian to help him find the book the queen demands. Before you can say, “Twenty-three skidoo,” Irene and Kai are in a Roaring-Twenties world, seeking the book and the criminal Librarian, dodging bullets from tommy-guns, running from the police and buying themselves even more trouble.

At risk is not only the Library’s neutrality and Irene’s life, but her relationship with Kai.

The book is filled with delightful set-pieces like a speakeasy and a temperance meeting, and fun characters like the gangster “Lucky” George and his Fae gun-moll, Lily. Once again Irene leans heavily on The Language to get her out of difficulties, but there’s a refreshing bit in this story where she is rendered mute by a drug and has to figure out something else to do.

All in all, The Lost Plot breaks new ground in only one area; Irene and Kai’s relationship will have to change after this book. The “consulting detective” Vale is also conspicuously absent from this one. Otherwise, this is familiar territory that manages to be good fun. Definitely the book to put in your weekend getaway bag or your back-pack, it’s an ideal summer read.

Published in 2017. After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae. In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war. Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library’s own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene’s job. And, incidentally, on her life…


  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.

    View all posts