Tag Archives: The Great Library

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone, Novels of the Great Library : Book 1 by Rachel Caine |  9780749017224 | Booktopia

Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Historical fiction, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th August – 5th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: You’d do well to spot the danger quickly.

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Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

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 absolutely loved the foundational idea of this story – that knowledge is power. But, it takes it that little bit further – power always corrupts. So, in the instance of the world of The Great Library, knowledge and books = power = corruption. It’s a fantastic idea for a series and an idea which drew me in from the very beginning of the story. It was powerful, brilliant and just all around wonderful.

I didn’t connect to Jess as a lead character immediately, which sometimes happens when I read a book series. But I did eventually get there. And then all I could do was hope for the best for him. And I spent the whole time trying to figure out who was going to do the poor boy the most damage – his family, the library, his mentors, his peers…. The whole story was filled with potential pitfalls and warrens for Jess and once I felt a little in love with him, I was completely immersed in making sure he didn’t fall flat on his face.

I love how each chapter had a short excerpt from letters or correspondences written – it added a whole heap of context to the story that I would have missed otherwise. Not only with the corruption and secrets, but these excerpts helped me see into Wolfe’s history. It’s amazing, complex and beautifully intense. I absolutely adored that not only are you constantly worried about Jess, but you are also wondering what is happening with Wolfe and who is out to get him too… it was a wonderful and beautiful way to tell a story that has so many glorious twists and turns…

The plight of the Obscurists and Morgan completely broke my heart. It was seriously twisted and tragic. And this, more than anything else, makes me want to read the next book in the series as soon as I feasibly can. (Feasibly here means as soon as I have money). I loved this novel and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

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