Book Review: THE DARK ARCHIVE by Genevieve Cogman

Title in gold on purple leather with a gold border
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - book 7



Book cover for THE DARK ARCHIVE: title in gold on pirple with a gold border

A mysterious archive. A powerful enemy. And a cunning plan.

Danger is part of the day job for a Librarian spy. So Irene’s hoping for a relaxing weekend. However, her jaunt to Guernsey proves no such thing. Instead of retrieving a rare book, she’s almost assassinated, Kai is poisoned and Vale barely escapes with his life. Then the attacks continue in London – targeting those connected with the Fae-dragon peace treaty.

Irene knows she must stop the plot before the treaty fails. Or someone dies. But when Irene and friends are trapped underground, in a secret archive, things don’t look so good. Then an old enemy demands vengeance, and a shocking secret is revealed. Can Irene really seize victory from chaos?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


The seventh, and currently last published, entry in the Invisible Library series brings a whirlwind of danger as old enemies return to hunt Irene and her friends. Unfortunate for Irene that her position now means her enemies can get revenge and disrupt a treaty at the same time.

With all the assassination attempts, there was a lot of action pulling the book along and a character is brought back to life in a very interesting way. I love the note at the front that explains that Cogman thought the character was better off alive, so why not? Usually, it wouldn’t work in a series, but with the play on tropes thanks to the Fae, it fits seamlessly into the eccentric world created.

We have a new character – Catharine! She’s Irene’s fae apprentice, who hasn’t yet found her archetype, but she knows it’s some sort of librarian. After seeing older Fae who lean into their archetypes (to the point that they can be manipulated if you play their tropes right), seeing a teenager still working it out was really fun. Plus bringing Irene back to her teaching roots was great (even if her teaching always has to happen in the middle of danger!)

Irene is the primary POV, and had started the series off as the only POV. However, the last few books have had the odd chapter here and there from Kai or Vale. This book, while being 70-80% Irene, it does give Kai some room to have a side adventure of his own and explore more of his family dynamics. Hopefully we get more of that in the next instalment, as I’ve liked getting into the heads of these major characters.

There is at least one more entry to come, and the epilogue seems to promise that we’ll get some answers about the threads of history that were slithering through THE SECRET CHAPTER. That’s something to look forwards to, even if I’m sad that my binge-read of this series is currently over.

Read my reviews of other books by Genevieve Cogman:

The Invisible Library (this series):

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