Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
Published by Berkley on July 11, 2017 (expected)
Series: The Great Library, #3
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 368
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The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.
Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealousy guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny….
Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.
Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library….
Wait, WHAT?! I somehow missed the fact that this was no longer the final book in a trilogy until I got to the end and found a MASSIVE cliffhanger! Which apparently was announced back in early March here. But I didn’t know!!! And I was so excited to marathon this and close the loop. Now I’m stuck in the middle waiting for the fourth book to be released who knows when. Bah!
Okay, I think I’m done ranting. Maybe now I can wrap my brain around the actual contents of Ash and Quill. I am happy to say that Caine has found her stride again. Where Paper and Fire was lacking, this novel reanimated The Great Library series for me. For which I am immensely glad, given that there will now be TWO more books. (Guess I wasn’t done ranting. Sorry, not sorry.)
The fast pace of this novel actually followed a series of events that mattered, to this book and the overall story arc, setting up future action to come later. About halfway through, I had been wondering how everything was going to wrap up by the end, given the relatively short amount left, but now I know; it wasn’t. Given that, I do understand the reasoning behind extending the series.
The characters also finally begin to grow and evolve, becoming more dimensional with each plot turn. Jess really started coming to life for me here, along with some of the other main characters, which not only enhanced my reading experience, but also encourages me to want to keep reading this series. If you’ve read even the first novel, Ink and Bone, you will know how diverse this cast already is, and that aspect has grown with this novel as well.
So far, this series as a whole has been completely entertaining. Ash and Quill felt like the turning point that was necessary to hook me in to continuing on, and I do hope Caine delivers in whatever comes next. At this point, I would recommend The Great Library books to readers who like adventure stories with a bit of history and magic (and, books, of course!) mixed in.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.