Ink and Bone: The Great Library Review

Ink and Bone: The Great Library (Book 1)

by Rachel Caine

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. Owing private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to 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 knew nothing about Ink and Bone when I bought it, just thought it sounded interesting. If you like books and preferably like a bit of fantasy (alternate timelines) then you will enjoy it.

Jess is the son of a book smuggler, in a world where the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed and they control all books and knowledge, who does not particularly enjoy partaking in his father’s business. Callum sends his son to sit the Library exams, which he passes and is accepted to the Library. He travels to Alexandria where he faces challenges of a new kind.

Wow! That was intense! I started reading it (about 40 pages) then put it down and onto newer books, when I then picked it back up again, it then took me about a day to read it. I did not want to put it down while reading it. I was hooked in and kept hooked by the twists and turns, I did not expect half of things that happened, and there were so many things. I liked the chapter breaks, where we got to see some of the notes that occurred over time to set the background for us, it was ingenious.

I thought it was fun that it is our world in 14 years, with a ‘slight’ change of history. I think my favourite part was all of it! I do not want to ruin anything for you. It was fantastic and so well-written. I went on a roller-coaster through all the emotions.

My favourite characters were Jess, Thomas, Morgan, Wolfe and Santi. However, all the characters were written fabulously and completely draw you into the story. I quite liked that there are the different factions (Library, Burners, Smugglers) and the differences between nations, and also the schisms within each.

Ink and Bone ends on a cliffhanger, as The Great Library series continues in Paper and Fire.

While reading Ink and Bone, I described it as an alternate Earth where knowledge is controlled by the Library and what happens when postulants are taken on. I would recommend this to anyone. 5 out of 5.

Ink and Bone





  • Storyline
  • Characters

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