The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine

The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Ink and Bone

Rating: Thumbs Up

Pages: 352
by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1


I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ink & Bone by Rachel Caine

I am in love with Egypt. I have been in love with Egypt for ages. At least since the first or second time I watched Anne Baxter, Yul Brenner and Charlton Heston waltz across my parent’s television on the night before Easter. MOSES! MOSES! MOSES!

I can tell you a brief history of Akhenaten, and Hepshesut. Or about how I nearly refused to finish Margaret George’s Memoirs of Cleopatra because I didn’t want to lose Cleo. Or about that time I nearly missed my flight in Detroit because of my concern for Princess Selene. Needless to say I have high expectations for my Egyptian Historical Fiction.

I was excited when I was approved for Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine via the Penguin FirstToRead programCait over at PaperFury.com alerted me to this book and I knew from the cover and description that I had to get my grubby little hands on this book. Egypt…magic…intrigue and the Great Library! OOOOO!

I was not disappointed with Ink and Bone. I was sucked in from the first pages of the story which provide a glimpse into the world the might exist if the Great Library in Alexandra may have survived its unfortunate demise. This book “forced” me to stay up late to finish it. The last few chapters are gut wrenching, revelatory and the perfect setup for a sequel.

His divine wisdom can kiss my common arse. We blind and hobble half the world through such ignorance, and I will not have it. Women shall study at the Serapeum as they might be inclined. Let him execute me if he wishes, but I have seen enough of minds wasted in this world. I have a daughter.

My daughter will learn.”

Rachel Caine, Ink and Bone

Most bookworms believe that the loss of the Great Library in Alexandra is once of the greatest tragedies mankind may have ever experienced. However, in Caine’s world, the Library welds power over the people and governments that might make readers thankful that the Library did not survive. As I read, I was questioned if there should be a single source for all knowledge. I marvel at the wonders of what I can find on the internet and how we openly share what we know and love. The good and bad of everything is available for all who are willing to search and participate in the conversation. But what if all of that was gone? What if that smart phone or eReader you carry only gave you access to books and knowledge sanctioned by the Library? *queue the freakout*

There is so much more I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil the book. This book is definitely for fans of historical fiction, but it does take place in the future. This book is for lovers of steampunk as the future world exists in sort of a Victorian Era (it’s starts in grimy London!). This book is for bookworms and lovers of knowledge as the questions it asks do lead to great discussions. You have to get your hands on Ink and Bone. It’s an excellent adventure that asks some deep questions about how the world does and should share knowledge.

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The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Paper and Fire

Rating: Thumbs Up

Pages: 354
by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #2


I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Goodness where do I even start. More stuff is revealed about the nastiness that is The Great Library. Love grows. Deception is around nearly every corner. There’s heart pounding action. And heartbreaking crimes against people and books.

I’m still marveling over Caine’s ability to convey, in this series, how important books are to individuals. I believe the emotion she writes related to books is as strong has the human relationships. I connect with Jess because of his love for books. The emotional connection he has with books just pours off the page.

He wanted to take those books in his hands and experience the texture of the cover, the smell of the pages.

Books spoke mind to mind, soul to soul across the abyss of time and distance.

Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

…between the retching spasms he realized he was still weeping for all the books he’d just seen die.

Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

On the flipside of that, Caine walks a delicate balance of the importance, control and power the knowledge that books carry in society. As our cast of characters journey from Alexandria to Rome to London and in the final pages a surprising location that I won’t reveal, the motives of the Burners are revealed. And the question is asked, what is more important—a life or a book?

A live is worth more than a book!” he shouted. “Vita hominis plus libro valet!”

Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

I truly excited to see where Caine takes this story next. Jess and the gang have been tossed into the fire at the end of book 2. After working through the depths the Library will go to cover up, hide and misuse knowledge, I almost certain that the team is in for a big discoveries about the Burners going into book 3. It sucks that those discoveries and adventures are more than likely another year away!

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The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Ash and Quill

Rating: Thumbs Down

Pages: 368
by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #3


I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

After two roaring exciting adventures traveling from the U.K. to Alexandria to Rome, the third book in The Great Library #3 takes a two giant pit stops and refuses to move forward.

I’ll admit it may be my fault that Ash and Quill seems to bottom out. See I thought this series was a trilogy. So expected way more death, defiance and action. I expected story lines to be wrapped up. I expected tears, not only from characters in the story, but also from me. I have so much invested in this story and these characters, I am loathing the day The Great Library series is finished.

Yes, you read that right. This is NOT the last book in The Great Library series.

Okay, with that frame of mind, Ash and Quill is a decent third book in the series, but it does suffer a bit from “middle book” syndrome.

There are many more starts and stops as Jess and crew are flung across the ocean at the end of book 3. A few of my favorite characters are incapacitated for a good portion of the story (and no, I’m not tell you who) and perhaps a bit too much of the action is happening off the page. The group has to split up a couple of times to accomplish their goals and of course, the reader can only follow one group of characters.

While Caine wrote this book before the “Muslim Ban” one of the most emotional moments in the book involves the newest member of our revolutionaries, Khalila, and the Burners. Within the first chapter, we learn just how grace, honor and toughness intersect within Khalila. Plus everyone receives a bit of education about her hijab.

I’m looking forward to the day when Jess and his band are no longer on the run and can face their enemies head on. In Ash and Quill, the crew never got to rest and as a result, physically and emotionally, they are stretched to the limit. For the reader, this results in little hope of success for our heroes, both pit stops within the story are not true refuges and they have no true allies. So while I was excited to see the words, “Continues in Volume 4 of The Great Library,” I was disappointed because hope is something I thrive on as a reader and there seems to be little at the end of Ash and Quill.

A version of this review also appeared in The Gazette. Read it now.

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