Recipe & Review: The Dark Archive, Genevieve Cogman

Recipe & Review: The Dark ArchiveThe Invisible Library Book 7, Genevieve Cogman

The Dark Archive

Fantasy: The Dark ArchiveThe Invisible Library Book 7, Genevieve Cogman


Irene and her former apprentice Kai have faced many enemies during their time together. Now the dragon prince Kai remains at Irene’s side by choice, as her friend and lover and as 1/3 of the treaty guarantors between the Fae, the Dragons, and the Library. Irene is the guarantor for the Library. They are now joined by the Fae representative, Catherine, who has also become Irene’s newest apprentice.


For her first outing as apprentice Librarian, Catherine joins Irene, Kai, and their friend Peregrine Vale, in retrieving a book from Guernsey. Kai and Catherine wait in a cafe while Irene and Vale take a side trip to retrieve a document for Vale.


Which, of course, means that everything goes haywire.


Kai and Catherine are poisoned. Irene and Vale nearly get blown up. And we readers are off to the races on another adventure in the multiple worlds fantasy that is the invisible library series.


Apparently facing one enemy per book is too tame for Irene and her team, so The Dark Archive features two (arguably three) opponents. Very inconveniently, their enemies are blasts from the past, enemies that they had faced and defeated previously. Now, they are working together. Assassination attempts, kidnappings, traps, and mysteries abound. Add in another dragon, extend the chase across multiple parallel worlds, and you have an involved and creative story that mixes fantasy and adventure and mystery and more than a little dose of humor.


Irene and Kai are both strong minded characters whose love story is one of equals. Irene is no shrinking violet and Kai–well, he’s a dragon. Bringing the newer character Catherine into the story makes for a delightful addition. She is also strong minded, but youthful and impetuous. Where Irene has learned some wisdom and restraint, Catherine has not. Although she is talented and resourceful, there are times when an adventure just needs someone who needs to be rescued. Catherine fills that role admirably.


Every one of The Invisible Library books takes the overall story further, and The Dark Archive may do this more than any of the others. I suspect that author Genevieve Cogman is planning to take the series into some very different directions in future books. A few things will never change, though. Irene will continue to be a kickass heroine. And The Invisible Library will continue to be one of the best fantasy series in print.


Part of the first chapter of The Dark Archive is set in a teashop. Unfortunately, the escalating action prevents Irene and Vale from joining their comrades at the table. Spoiler alert: it really wasn’t a very nice tea for Kai and Catherine anyway. When they finally get a break from their adventures perhaps Irene and Kai will be able to converse with Catherine about the challenges of working with the Library over tea and cookies. The cookies below are rich enough to fuel a librarian before a book chase and decadent enough to be a reward for a post adventure reading session.


Almond Sandwich Cookies

  • 2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cups white sugar
  • ⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (for a nuttier flavor toast the flour for 5 min in a 350 degree oven or in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat while stirring for approx 7 minutes)
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (I pulse in the food processor till whole almonds have an almost cornmeal like texture)
  • Nutella (for filling spread or use a mixture of 8 oz or half a can of praline paste with 1 cup melted chocolate chips)


Suggested: nut shaped cookie molds or 1 teaspoon cookie scoop


For cookie dough:

  1. Combine butter, salt, and sugars then beat well in a stand mixer. 
  2. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla then mix till fully incorporated.
  3. Add flour and ground nuts and mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and chill for approximately 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.


Baking and forming cookies:

  1. Prep and use nut shaped cookie molds per manufacturer’s directions or scoop small balls of dough then flatten with a glass coated with extra confectioner’s sugar or roll to ¼ inch thickness and cut with a simple shaped cookie cutter. 
  2. Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 7-9 minutes.
  3. Cool cookies completely before spreading with filling.
  4. Spread a thin layer of filling on the flat side of the cookies, then pair with another flat side to form the sandwich.


Note: This recipe is easy to double for long reading sessions.


For more on this series, also see:

Book Series Review: The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman 

Book Review: The Mortal Word, The Invisible Library Book 5, Genevieve Cogman

Book Review: The Secret Chapter, The Invisible Library Book 6, Genevieve Cogman

Read more about books and libraries:

Booklist: Books about Books for Shared Reading with Children

Booklist: Books about Libraries for Shared Reading with Children

Book Review: Summer Hours at the Robbers Library, Sue Halpern

Book Series Review: The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman 

Book Review: The Mortal Word, Book 5 of The Invisible Library Series, Genevieve Cogman

Book Review: The Library Book, Susan Orlean

Quote: The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library. Albert Einstein

Quote: Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation. Walter Cronkite

Quote: Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. Ray Bradbury

Quote: At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It’s an enormous force for good. Barack Obama



The Dark Archive

Recipe & Review: The Dark ArchiveThe Invisible Library Book 7, Genevieve Cogman

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