Ink and Bone

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Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Pages: 374

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads SynopsisRuthless 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. 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 knowledge is more valuable than any human life and soon both heretics and books will burn.


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When I first started with this novel, it took me awhile to really get into the first few pages. It wasn’t like that the more I read and quickly got taken into the rest of it. I knew it had to do with tons of books and many libraries (which is already awesome in itself) and maybe a few magical feels to it. It not only had that, but so much more that really took me in and left me wanting to get into the next book in the series.

“We are pleased to inform you that JESS BRIGHTWELL, is hereby accepted for the high honor of service to the Great Library. You are directed to report tomorrow to St. Pancras station in London at ten o’clock in the morning for transportation to Alexandria. Please refer to the list of approved items you may bring with you into service.”

It becomes all about the Great Library and everything it represents, who deserves to have their hands on an original book, or their sight upon it. Jess is that character that has to choose between what his family thinks is the way it should all be, whether the library has the right to continue the legacy it has upheld all those centuries, or if the people should finally be able to acquire access to all the knowledge held within those walls.

“While the Doctrine of Ownership is logical, it led to our current age of unrest. At first, it was merely sentimentality that led people to conceal books in their homes; perhaps it had been an ancestor’s gift or a favorite and well-loved volume. But then profit entered into it; in the early days, whole caravans of books were stolen. Even today, when new discoveries of original documents come to light, it becomes a race between criminals and the Library to own them.”

There is so much that goes on in this novel and I love all of it. Even though it did take a little for me to get brought into this world, I don’t hold that against Ink and Bone as everything else was a great adventure. The creatures (automaton statues) gave this novel a whole other creepy factor, I mean who wouldn’t freak out with metal statues that follow your every move and there eyes go from green to red when you don’t belong.

As the story progresses, there is more than just one setting visited and that makes it so much better. We’re taken from London to Egypt, as well as Oxford and so many other places. The characters are many, but dwindle as one reads even more and that has to do with the way they select the new “Librarians”; many having their own secrets they need to have stay hidden. It is definitely a book about books that I quickly came to really enjoy. I can’t wait to start the next novel in the series and see where it takes me and where it leaves Jess and all the rest.

***I received this copy from NAL/Penguin Random in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***


  1. Hannah

    August 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Welp, found another book to add to my never-ending TBR pile…. 🙂

    1. Jen

      August 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      I know how you feel lol, mine keeps growing also… so many good reads coming out this year! 💕

  2. Reese

    October 2, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    It sounds very interesting, I really enjoy books that ‘take on’ libraries and/or books in different ways, they can be anything from ordinary magic, to fantasy magic, to something very very creepy. Hadn’t heard about this book, but I’ll have to check it out now!


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