Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Enjoyment of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

There are many more good things about this book besides its cover, but I must say that’s one of the main reasons I read it. And believe it or not, the paperback is just as beautiful as the hardcover!

Series: The Great Library, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia, Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 4 stars


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…


There are many more good things about this book besides its cover, but I must say that’s one of the main reasons I read it. And believe it or not, the paperback is just as beautiful as the hardcover:

For a book I read because of its cover, this one pleasantly surprised me. I was a little afraid it would have paranormal undertones because of the author’s previous series, but this was (luckily for me) not the case. Instead, it was an unusual mix of historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction dystopia, with a sprinkling of romance (along with a fantastic gay couple I ship over all the seas!) and much adventure. I was expecting this book to be a bit more focused on the contents of the books it was so centered around, but it instead was more about the Library(s) that contains them.

Ink and Bone takes place in a world where the Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. The time period of this book is rather vague, since the living style is old-fashioned (candles and ink pens and such, and the printing press hasn’t been invented… for an important reason…), yet America is discovered and colonized, trains are extremely fast and advanced, and the Welsh are in a deadly war with the English. Much of the beginning of the book was devoted to explaining this strange world and the various factions that live in it, including the Librarians and their supporters, the smugglers (Jess’s family) who trade in illegal books, and the Burners who destroy them.

I found the beginning to be a bit slow but still necessary to the plot. After the Mysterious Benedict Society-esque intelligence test (without the hidden answers sadly), Jess travels to Alexandria the story picks up considerably. New characters are introduced and the story takes a new direction it keeps for the rest of the novel. Ink and Bone feels like it has three different climaxes, so my eyes were certainly glued to the page for the last third of the book!

The conclusion of this book was very well done–conclusive enough to leave one satisfied, yet fully introducing a changed scenario for the rest of the series. The second book in this series is called Paper and Fire, and comes out on July 5th of this year. And yes, I’m in love with this cover too. I’d frame any of these and hang them on the wall!

Have you read this book yet? Love the covers as much as I do?


2 comments on “Gwen’s Enjoyment of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

  1. bobandkilehgotoalaska
    January 13, 2016

    Sounds fun. I’m reading a book by the author of Shadow of the Wind.

  2. Pingback: Gwen’s Recent (and Not So Recent) Reads | Gwen & Kate's Library

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2016 by in Author: Gwen, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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