Series: The Great Library #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: NAL; Reprint edition (July 7, 2015)
ISBN: ASIN: B00OQS4BQQ
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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…
“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 by Rachel Caine was one fantastic wild ride! It's the first book in a new series in which history is re-written and the awesome Great Library of Alexandria has survived. But, in an unexpected twist of fate, the Great Library now rules the world and libraries are restrictive places - not the libraries we know and love. In the author's world, it is actually illegal to own a book. Of course, people still crave to hold books - to smell them - to lovingly turn the pages - all activities that are strictly prohibited. So... an underground black book market flourishes.
This story is told from the view of Jess Brightwell, a young man who was raised in a family whose business is book smuggling. Of course, that line of business is frowned upon as the Great Library controls access to all books. With the encouragement of his father who aspires to have an insider spy in the Great Library, Jess becomes an applicant to a possible position there. However, applying is by no means an assurance of obtaining a position. Positions are highly coveted and limited. The competition is stiff. Within these pages, we meet the applicants who are competing for the few positions available. We attend the trials with Jess. There's learning experiences, underhanded deals, cheating, and political upheavals. With the Great Library, it's a given that what you see, is not what you get.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
“They've all got stories, Jess thought. I need to know them. Best of all, he could know them. He could learn anything here. It felt like limitless possibilities.”
“There are three parts to learning: information, knowledge and wisdom, A mere accumulation of information is not knowledge, and a treasure of knowledge is not in itself, wisdom.”
“As Jess watched in numb horror, the man tore a page from the book and stuffed it into his mouth.”...
“This was like watching murder. Defilement. And it was something worse than either of those things. Even among his family, black trade as they were, books were holy things.”
INK AND BONE is well-written and perfectly paced. The word-building is quite imaginative. It was an enthralling reading experience. It is a YA book and includes just a small hint of a romance. This is actually the first book I've ever read by Rachel Caine, but it won't be the last. PAPER AND FIRE, the next book in this series, releases this coming week and I can't wait!
Suggested Reading Order:
Ink and Bone (Book #1)
Paper and Fire (Book #2)