Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…


My expectations were quite high for Ink and Bone in the wake of so many raving reviews. And while it was a little slower in pace than I would have liked, it was undeniably impressive and lived up to those expectations.

You’ve probably heard the old adage “knowledge is power”. You’ve also probably heard the one that goes “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. These two sayings are in essence the foundation for Ink & Bone. In this world, the Great Library controls all original works (books) and the distribution of information to the masses. While their original intentions might have been pure, now they are anything but. But most don’t realize how deep that corruption runs and the lengths that those in charge will go to to stay in power. Readers get to discover this right along with Jess, as he goes through initiation to become a member in service to the Library.

I love books where characters have to go through a series of tests, an initiation or anything of the sort. I love the challenge, the competition, the mix of excitement and anxiety. And I especially love when the characters I like overcome all that and shine. So it’s no surprise that I had fun rooting for Jess and his friends as they went through Library initiation. I also loved slowly uncovering the secrets of the Library, what they were really up to and who the key players were. I thought it was an added bonus that Jess has something to hide and had to play it extra safe.

The characters in this book really shine. Jess wasn’t the only one with a secret to hide or a complicated past. And coming from all over the world, they all added something unique to the mix. And as the story progresses, they become more than just competitors, they become family. Even their hardass proctor ends up putting his own life on the line to protect his students.

A lot happens in this book and yet, the story is just getting started. Caine takes great care to put a lot of detail into this world, these characters and this storyline. It is perhaps the book’s greatest attribute. I can’t wait to see what Caine has in store for us in the sequel. I will definitely be picking it up!

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