Series: The Great Library #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: July 7, 2015 by NAL (Penguin Group)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
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 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.…
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Penguin First reads in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
This book right here, is everything I wanted it to be an more. It seriously delivered. Ink and Bone is an engaging read perfect for fans of historical mysteries who are ready for a wild ride full of magic and mystery.
I was completely engrossed in the world that Rachel Caine was able to create here. It is one of the most multi-faceted worlds I have come across in a long time. For one thing she was able to create a unique and interesting boarding school that is full of magic. I'm a sucker for books set in a boarding school and the Library definitely satisfied that for me. It was like Hogwarts in the best possible way. The characters arrive in this school where they have their lives upending learning about different kinds of magic and putting it into practice. And this magic was also really cool. It was one part steampunk, one part alchemy. And while I loved reading about the characters learning, it was when they went out into the larger world that things got really good. I'm used to think that I didn't like revisionist history but it has to be done really well. Ink and Bone was a bit like The Bone Season in that it is set in the future but because of something that happened (or in the case of this book, didn't happen) things are very different. This book walked that perfect line between feeling like historical fiction and feeling like speculative fiction. It almost felt like a dystopian world in some ways. You see, this is a world at war, a world where the average person is stifled by a ruling entity that will do anything to stay in power. And it's the library! I'm sure it's hard as a bookish person to see the beloved library play the role of antagonist but boy were they terrible! Seeing the characters torn between those two worlds added so much conflict and drama.
And this fantastic world was made all the more engaging by Rachel Caine's writing style. Ink and Bone was also atmospheric and engaging. Her writing takes you into another world that you can immerse yourself in. Each chapter is started with a bit of extra information that added a level of dramatic irony and made the book more well-rounded. Dramatic irony is another thing for me that can be hit or miss. It can get frustrating very quickly if it comes off as the characters being obtuse. I don't like knowing things the characters don't. But in the case of Ink and Bone, it added to the mystery. And boy was this book was full of mystery. There were so many twists and dramatic reveals I never knew what was coming next. And things were perfectly timed and plotted. It felt like each reveal served to expand the story and drew you to an exciting climax that had me on the edge of my seat. When it was all over I was desperately hoping for the next book.
But when everything was all said and done I really loved this book and cannot wait to find out what happens next. Even just writing this review is getting me amped up about this book, that never happens. But now that I can step away from it, I can say that I absolutely loved it. It is the kind of book that is familiar, reminding me of great things about books I love, while still being unique and different. It was incredibly engaging and I would absolutely recommend it.
I give Ink & Bone by Rachel Caine 9.5 out of 10
Have you read Ink and Bone? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!