by Genevieve Cogman
out May 9, 2023
I love the Invisible Library series so much that Genevieve Cogman could release a book analyzing the migration patterns of waterfowl and I would still preorder it, so maybe I'm a bit biased. Regardless, Scarlet was a fun read that takes place in an alternate history of the Reign of Terror in 1790s in which many of the aristocrats facing the guillotine in France are part of a "sanguinocrat" vampire nobility class.
The reader's impressions and predictions are influenced by a delicious element of moral ambiguity. Eleanor, an English maid in service of the estate of a wealthy vampire aristocrat, is loaned out to another noble's household, ostensibly due to her embroidery skills, but in fact because she closely resembles a French aristocrat that the nobles would like to try and sneak out of France. As readers, we want to root for Eleanor's mission, but her upper class companions are hot and cold in their treatment of her, attempting to treat her kindly but never failing to remind her of her place as a servant. Are they going to abandon her or betray her?
Similarly, there's somewhat of a love interest, and I find myself simultaneously rooting for them to fall in love and also warning her not to because he's kind of a jerk.
The events of this book wrap up nicely by the end, but there is a clear opening for Eleanor's story to continue into further books, I hope this becomes a series.
arc received from the publisher