Review: Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Published by NAL on July 7, 2015
Series: The Great Library, #1
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 351
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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 he 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.…


I have wanted to read this book basically since its publication date. For one reason or another (aka my existing enormous stack of books to read), I just hadn’t gotten to it. Then it appeared in my Book Bub email one day as being on sale, and I jumped on it! And I’m just so glad that I did.

“The first purpose of a librarian is to preserve and defend our books. Sometimes, that means dying for them – or making someone else die for them. Tota est Scientia.”

Ink and Bone is set in an alternate history in which the Great Library of Alexandria has not only stood the test of time, but it now manages the circulation of ALL books and the world’s knowledge. This is a world where owning original paper books is outlawed; instead, the library controls how people read and the information available to them through the use of codexes, or blanks. Have you every borrowed a library book on your reader, only to have it disappear automatically two weeks later? Well, in this world, this is how all books and reading work. But instead of it being done through wi-fi like in our world, in Ink and Bone it happens through the practice of alchemy.

Aside from the fact that this is a book about books with a splash of magic, that takes place in an alternate history that seems reasonably realistic, this is also something of a puzzle solving adventure story. I mean, really. It’s like this book was written specifically for me. What else could a girl ask for?

To be clear, this certainly was not a perfect novel. Most of the characters weren’t fully developed or explored, and there were certain plot points that weren’t fully explained. But frankly, I didn’t care because I just enjoyed it SO MUCH. It was plot driven and beautifully paced, and I can’t wait to pick up Paper and Fire to see where Caine takes this series.

4

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