Friday, October 7, 2016

"The Masked City"

Genevieve Cogman is a freelance author who has written for several role-playing game companies. She currently works for the NHS in England as a clinical classifications specialist. She is the author of the Invisible Library series, including The Burning Page, The Masked City, and The Invisible Library.

Cogman applied the Page 69 Test to The Masked City and reported the following:
This section is taken from page 69 of The Masked City. At this point in the novel, Irene’s apprentice Kai has been kidnapped, and she’s starting to appreciate just how dangerous the situation is.
“It is unlikely that his direct family would abduct him or leave a note to say he’d left. It would probably be beneath them. However, any royal family does have subordinates, junior relations, and in general people who would take on Will nobody rid me of this turbulent priest? suggestions with too much enthusiasm. One of them could have... And there are factions among the dragons. Not all of them support the royalty.”

Irene sighed. Yet another uncertainty. “So I can’t be sure of their involvement.”

“No,” Coppelia said. “You can’t. Or rather, we can’t. And no, we don’t have any secret back-channels that we can use to ask about it, on behalf of the Library, either.”

Irene tilted her head slightly. “On behalf of the Library, perhaps not, but how about from a private perspective? Isn’t there anyone out there who knows someone who knows someone, who could ask...” She let the phrase trail off hopefully.

Coppelia shook her head, a definite no, but she also looked wary. Clearly there was someone who knew someone who knew someone else out there, even if they couldn’t handle this particular issue.

“Of course there isn’t,” Irene agreed bitterly. She could see where this was going. “Even if someone did have access to the dragons, they’d be too high-ranking within the Library to act alone. And the Library can’t be drawn into this?”

Coppelia spread her hands. “Precisely. There’s only one person in this situation who can ask...”
Looking at that section, the reader can see Irene realising how deep the political waters are. She’d been assuming that it might be a straightforward kidnapping, either by Kai’s direct enemies, or his family’s enemies, or alternatively by his own family because they don’t want him hanging around in her company. But now she’s beginning to realise that she can’t trust anyone, and that Kai’s own family might be divided among themselves. Worst of all, the Library won’t necessarily be able to help her. She really is on her own.

And she’s the one who’s going to have to contact Kai’s family and try to find out what’s happened to their offspring, while bearing in mind that they may decide it’s all her fault and take reprisals.

Nobody ever said that a Librarian’s life was going to be easy...
Visit Genevieve Cogman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue