Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
The Great Library #1   
On-Sale Date: Available Now
Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
NAL, 368 pages
My Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Goodreads | Website

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.

INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine brings to YA reading a beautiful and terrible world where the Great Library of Alexandria still exists. A world of forbidden books, Alchemy, and Automations. A world of book smugglers, magic, and spies. This is a must read for book lovers, a story rife with danger and adventure that will have you clamoring to grab up all your books as Caine spins a story of an alternate history where knowledge is the ultimate power.

"At the next street he spotted a landmark a few blocks away: the glittering dome of St. Paul's Serapeum, the physical presence of the Great Library in London, and one of the largest daughter libraries in Europe. It was beautiful and deadly, and he averted his eyes and made a vow to never, never go that way."

Jess Brightwell is a young man after my own heart. A book lover in every sense of the word. It’s not too often that YA readers are treated to a male protagonist's voice, so when I found out The Great Library series would be narrated by Jess’ character, I was that much more excited.

Caine immediately sets the tone for this intriguing and terrifyingly world as readers get a first-hand look at the dark side of book smuggling. The shadow markets are filled with Burners and Ink-lickers, those that need to destroy or possess books in the most damaging of ways. An alternate London patrolled by the Great Library's Garda and the life-like Automata with their ability to hunt and destroy. 

I loved getting to know a younger Jess as a runner and seeing his deep love for books. Caine makes is almost heartbreaking to witness the destruction of these books and the terrible conflict Jess feels. 

INK AND BONE then whisk reader from London to Alexandria where an older Jess is sent to learn at The Great Library and as a spy for his family.  Here we come across for the first time some new characters that are traveling to the school - characters that make such a big difference in the story as Jess, along with their help, come across some deadly machinations deep within the Great Library. 

Wonderfully fleshed out secondary characters make INK AND BONE book such a treat to read. On the train, Jess meets Thomas, a sweet and friendly tinkler that makes the most fabulous gadgets. Glain, a Welsh girl who is a bit fierce and very outspoken. Khalila, brilliant and privilege, she helps hold the group together. Dario, Jess’ roommate, is a bit of a jerk but provides the best antagonistic banter that lightens the overall mood. Arriving later is the mysterious is Morgan who captures the attention of our young Jess. Scholar Wolfe gave me so many surprises. On the surface, he is cold and forbidding … yet, as I hoped for, there are many layers to Scholar Wolfe that make him an easy favorite. Of course, Captain Santi rounds out the picture perfectly, lending his strength and support as a loyal guard to Wolfe and fellow students. 

The Library of Alexandria holds many secrets and Jess and his fellow students are about to find out how deep those secrets are. Adventure and danger await, and Caine weaves it all in with exceptional care. Each character becomes important with a plot that easily makes the reader invested as this dark world of forbidden books becomes so real. 

INK AND BONE is a five-star series opener and I cannot wait to read her follow-up book in the series PAPER AND FIRE! I need much more of this exciting and dangerous world and characters I can't help cheering for.