Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – Review

Cover- Ink and Bone

Published: July 7, 2015

Publisher: NAL

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 355 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

 

Synopsis:

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


Can you believe I nearly forgot to write a review for Ink and Bone!!? I don’t know how such a thing is possible, because I LOVED this book. Having known little about this book besides the fact that it was sort of about the Great Library was enough for me when decided whether or not to give Ink and Bone a read. A book about a library is kind of like magic for someone who loves to read.

The burning of the library of Alexandria is an event that makes historians, scholars, and even some of us book lovers out there cringe, but what if it never happened? Ink and Bone explores the idea of a Great Library that wasn’t destroyed, but rather effectively took over the world. In this alternate history, the Library has spread its tendrils across much of the world, is itself a political entity, and employs the use of magic/alchemy to keep its operations running, without regard to the sanctity of human life. Half the reason the Library is so effective is the people who work there are carefully selected and rigorously trained.

This training period is where Jess Brightwell and the rest of the characters meet one another and the story truly begins. The selection process is fiercely competitive, so at first many of the characters try to undermine one another in hopes of improving their chances of securing a library position. As the story goes along, however, bonds begin to form between those who haven’t been culled from the herd and the action really begins to pick up. I really don’t want to spoil any of the plot so I’ll leave the description of the story at this: it’s fantastic and who knew working for the library could be quite so hazardous!

Ink and Bone was truly a unique literary adventure for me! I loved the characters, which I thought were really well-written and vibrant. The plot thickened more and more by the end of the book and I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN. I was in an audiobook haze for hours on end and when I finally got to the end I was crushed and hopeful and so excited to pick up the next one.

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6 thoughts on “Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – Review

  1. An amazing book, indeed, and – as you correctly pointed out – one that makes for compulsive reading. For me it was also an example of how one can write YA characters without falling into the much-abused trap of the various tropes linked to the sub-genre: I liked the young protagonists and cared for them quite a bit. The second book is on my reading queue, and I’m more than looking forward to it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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