Ink and Bone
Book 1, The Great Library - The Great Library
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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.…
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Best new series from a new author for me in a year
Imaginative, witty, and engrossing, this book is well worth a read. Though be warned, there are concepts in here that younger readers may find disturbing. However, for many I expect this will be a highly anticipated series, with readers counting down the weeks and months to the next book release. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Ink and Bone is the first book in The Great Library series by Rachel Caine. It is 2025 in London. Everything is controlled by The Great Library. The Library is the keeper of knowledge, wisdom, and information. Jess Brightwell is the son of Callum Brightwell, a book dealer. Unfortunately, dealing in real, original books (hard covers with printed pages) is illegal. Jess is taught the business from a young age. He starts out as a runner where he delivers the illegal books to clients (and will be arrested if caught). The one thing Jess does love about the business is the books. He will read anything he can get his hands on (which means pilfering them from his father and hoping he does not notice). When Jess is sixteen, Callum buys him a placement in the Library training program. First Jess will have to pass a test and be accepted (which he passes with flying colors). Callum does have an ulterior motive, of course. Jess will be training in Alexandria where the Great Library is housed (other cities have satellite libraries). Callum will want Jess to acquire and deliver books. Jess is thrilled to get away (and hopes to find a way to avoid his father’s demands). The training is difficult and rigorous. Not all the candidates will make it through the training program. Their teacher is Scholar Christopher Wolfe and he is not thrilled to be teaching a group of postulants (as the students are called). Scholar Wolfe has no intention of taking it easy on this group. One by one the students are dismissed. Then the final group has to go on a dangerous assignment to save books in a war zone. Who will make it back alive?
I enjoyed Ink and Bone for the most part. It is an interesting world (Rachel Caine came up with some unique things), and I liked the main character (especially his love of books and reading). There is a lot of action in the second half of the book (especially towards the end) which made it more interesting and gave the book a faster pace (better than the first part). Imagine a world where owning a real book (especially old, first edition books) made with paper and ink is illegal! The Library owns all originals and you can be arrested/jailed if caught with books (especially trading in them). There is violence and death in the book (if not for that it would more suited to young adults/tweens). I give Ink and Bone 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I will be reading the next book in the series to see what happens next (I admit that I am curious).
I received a complimentary copy of Ink and Bone from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book. The comments and opinions expressed are my own.