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The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)
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The Invisible Library > TIL: The Ending (Full Spoilers)

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
This is a discussion of the ending of this book, if the answer is revealed in a later book, please don't reveal that here.

So Irene is Albright's niece, right? I'm not sure if I'm going to continue the series, but I must say the Grimm fairly tail had me a lot more interested than I had been previously. It seems like she's the obvious candidate, especially with her being sent somewhere that is now 'safe'.

What did you guys think?


David H. (farrakut) | 719 comments *Alberich, not Albright. (You listened to audio, right?)

I think if I had a better idea of how old Irene was, I'd feel better about your guess! I had a hard time with the chronology here, and the fairy tale didn't mention Alberich's sister's husband.

I just wish the Library had been explored more. I get annoyed with great setups that don't take advantage of it.

That fairy tale is the only thing that's pulling me more towards trying out the sequel.


message 3: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
Yeah, I listened to audio. Although I probably would have spelled it wrong anyways.


Danielle (coffee_addict) | 60 comments I would assume so. It's what I started thinking after I got to the part with the Grimm Fairy Tale. I imagine the 88th story will be in one of the subsequent books and will elaborate on Alberich and his sister's story.

I agree with David. The fairy tale turned the sequel from a "not going to read" to "eh.. I may read it eventually."


message 5: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 2239 comments Mod
I assumed she was his niece after they read the 88th story.

Though that could be a red herring. Which is after all a popular Sherlock Holmes and detective fiction trope that Cogman may be playing with to trick us.

It may be Bradamant.


David H. (farrakut) | 719 comments I'm disinclined to think it's Bradamant since I think it would be better known if she was born in the library like Irene was. I don't know.

Also, I suppose I'll have to double check my copy, but isn't the 87th tale the one that is the secret Library story? What the heck is the 88th story? I got confused with all the talk of the 87th and then Irene tells Coppelia that she read the 88th.


message 7: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Apr 16, 2017 04:42AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
I thought she read the 87th story too, but that the 88th proved to be more interesting.


Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 523 comments I thought it was blindingly obvious that Irene is Alberich's niece.

I figured the time does not age you in the library is the reason for the time lag.

Since I am certain I am probably wrong.


David H. (farrakut) | 719 comments That's why I wanted to know more about the chronology.

Tale #87 had to have been written after Alberich's niece was born, right? Assuming that is Irene, how old IS she for her to show up in a collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales from 1812 (and the tale being old enough to even BE collected by the Grimm Brothers at that point).


message 10: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 2239 comments Mod
The 87th story was "The Story of the Stone from the Tower of Babel". Which was the one that Bradamant told Irene would prove it was the unique version.

The 88th story was the one they weren't supposed to read. The one about the siblings and the child and the library.

In Chapter 22:
She breathed a deep sigh "It's here. Eighty-seventh of ...eighty-eight.
The silence hung in the room as they all considered that point. If it was unusual that an eight-seventh should exist, Irene thought, then what was the eighty-eighth doing there? Could Bradamant have been given a mere indicator, as opposed to the true reason why the book was so important....?


In Chapter 23:
Coppelia said. "And then? I take it she also read it?"
"Only as much as I did". Irene said. Feeling on metaphorically thin ice.
"Which was?" Coppelia pressed.
"The eighty-eighth story."
........."and your conclusions? Coppelia said, entirely neutrally.
"Alberich had a sister," Irene said. This was not the time or place to pretend to stupidity. "The sister had a child. And Alberich either wants to hide the information, or he's looking for them, or both......



David H. (farrakut) | 719 comments Ah, gotcha. Right, since (now that I looked it up) the original Grimm's Fairy Tales had 86 stories, we have two extra.

Thanks for clearing that up, Dave.

I think my point still stands about the chronology, unless they did something weird where they made Irene stay a baby within the library for like a 100 years (that's a lot of diapers).


message 12: by William (last edited Apr 17, 2017 03:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

William | 241 comments David wrote: "...I think my point still stands about the chronology, unless they did something weird where they made Irene stay a baby within the library for like a 100 years (that's a lot of diapers)."

My thought is that the mum hid from Alberich in the library in a state of pregnancy, hoping that one day it would be safe to venture out. If healing doesn't progress, perhaps pregnancy will halt in the same fashion. The way it was rather heavily pointed out that Irene's hands won't heal properly until she leaves the library (right after discussing the 88th story) suggests to me that this is the case.

I assume that eventually the mother begged other librarians to take the unusual step of performing an artificial birth.

Perhaps she made very brief excursions to "safe" worlds until the pregnancy reached a stage where a cesarean could be attempted. Maybe this could only be attempted safely, rarely under specific conditions which may explain why it took so long.

This would explain the lost time, it all happened before Irene was born.

While staying pregnant that long seems mind blowing, this is my preferred theory.

Of course there are alternatives. I do think it is perfectly possible that time may move differently in different worlds. Perhaps her Swiss school progressed slower than "Library standard" or perhaps her parents took her through a wardrobe in a back room somewhere.

If you've got magical world-portals, anything is possible.


message 13: by Alex (last edited Apr 20, 2017 11:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex Tang | 12 comments If Irene truly is Alberich's neice, were Irene's parents (the ones that Irene talks about) really her parents? The fairy tale made it seem that the sister never left the Library, but Irene makes a bunch of references to her folks going on missions. Or maybe I read that wrong.

Also, was Coppelia pissed at the end or not? Granted I was driving while listening to the last couple of chapters of the audiobook, but I couldn't figure out if she was truly mad, feigning mad, or just messing with Irene at the end. :-S


message 14: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
The story makes no mention of the sister's husband/baby-daddy. So it's hard to say how accurate it is. Also, as mentioned with the various time discussions, that may have been true in the time of the stories writing, but maybe changed over time.

Your fake parents idea has merit though.

However that is a good point, that would the Library risk allowing her to leave. Of course that same thing could be said about Irene too. In her case though, Albrerich wouldn't likely have any way to recognize his niece.

I'm not sure how mad she was. She seemed disappointed or possibly unbelieving of Irene not figuring out something based on her reading of the story. That's part of what made me feel like Irene must indeed be the child of the story and that Coppelia knows the truth.


message 15: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2533 comments Haaah, interesting. I never thought there was a family connection between Alberich and Irene. Now, Bradamant...possible broken home, angry mother (if any mother at all) and lengthy decades hiding in the library to keep safe from Dad...that could warp anyone. And then there's the "end justifies the means" that both believe. My money's on Bradamant.


Christopher Mclean | 13 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I assumed she was his niece after they read the 88th story.

Though that could be a red herring. Which is after all a popular Sherlock Holmes and detective fiction trope that Cogman may be playing ..."


This was my thought too. I read it as implying Irene was his niece, but it feels like an excellent red herring.


Kardo (bosskardo) | 35 comments The (view spoiler). Or more like, it was so obvious that I was waiting the whole when I'll get punked on it.


Tyler | 5 comments Kardo wrote: "The [spoilers removed]. Or more like, it was so obvious that I was waiting the whole when I'll get punked on it."

Right? Maybe I'm a little too genre-savvy for my own good, but I felt like that realization was delayed just for the sake of the story, wasn't very realistic.


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