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Review: The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

The Mortal Word was marvellous.  Genevieve Cogman does it again and if I thought I couldn’t love Irene, Kai and Vale anymore then I was seriously mistaken. 

The Mortal Word is the fifth title in this series and once again the world is shaken up this time with a peace treaty between the Dragons and the Fae with the Library acting as Arbiters in the middle.  The world-building has become richer as the series has progressed, I love the concept of the Language and maintaining the balance between order and chaos. Beyond this point, there may be spoilers for previous books in the series.

I really feel for Irene she is far more capable than I will ever be but the stress that she gets put under would make anyone crumble.  I still love the fact that she is willing to make the hard decisions has open eyes about everything and the title for this instalment feels particularly apt.  Irene is a human, she is mortal and she is far more susceptible to everything than her companions, Kai, Silver and in a different respect to Vale.

The main theme of the novel is about what being mortal means to Irene, what it means to have to make the difficult decisions and I feel like Cogman has had a complete glow up as a writer, this feels so nuanced I really loved the idea and the way she explored it.

This adventure is more overtly political and Irene is constantly evaluating her decisions as a librarian on a mission to uncover a murderer whilst a wrong move would bring the negotiations tumbling down around them all.

All of my favourite characters are back, Kai is obviously and in a new capacity now that he is no longer working as an apprentice librarian. Vale I like as a character but my he can be hurtful at times. I am also a sucker for Lord Silver, a wonderfully seductive fae.

Pace-wise this novel barely pauses for breath and sometimes I wish, Irene had more of a chance to regroup but this doesn’t stop me from loving this novel violently.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in London. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

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