Ink and Bone (The Great Library, Book 1)
Paper and Fire (The Great Library, Book 2)
Ash and Quill (The Great Library, Book 3)
Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, Book 4)
Sword and Pen (The Great Library, Book 5)
By: Rachel Caine
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best For: 14 and up
I guess I’ve got a thing for books about books.
History lesson: The fabled Library of Alexandria was established around 295 BC by Ptolomey I, King of Egypt and General of Alexander the Great. The object of the Library was to “collect, if possible, all the books in the world.” Ptolemy’s desire was to equip “his library with the writings of all men as far as they were worth serious attention.” It was tragically destroyed by war around 48BC, but it’s influence is felt today in the tradition of library, scholarship, knowledge sharing, and education.
But what if the Library of Alexandria hadn’t been destroyed? What if it still existed today? What if all that knowledge had never been lost?
It would surly be a good thing, right?
Meet The Great Library series, by Rachel Caine. It’s the year 2031. The Library of Alexandria still exists…and it controls everything. Technology is distributed to the world only through the Library’s filter. The Library decides what knowledge humanity is allowed to know. The printing press? Electricity? The combustion engine? All too dangerous. The great poets? The great thinkers? The revolutionaries? Vanished, and their written works locked up tight.
The Library knows what’s best.
And they’ll kill you and everyone you love if you disagree.
This is a really cool take on the well known rebel-against-the-wicked-establishment story. There’s a bit of magic, some steam punk, cool imaginary tech, a whole bunch of great characters, and TONS of book love. I loved the relationships, the conflicts, and the imagination of this future. I was a bit annoyed by the superhuman abilities of the characters to escape every impossible situation, quickly recovery from any injury, and basically never die even though they should be dead. But, the story is cool enough I was happy to ignore reality and enjoy the ride.
Book 5 ends the series with a bang…I plowed through it in just a few hours. A very worthy conclusion to the ultimate book lover’s book series.
No sex, but there are romantic relationships. PG-13 violence. No language at all until book 5. I can count the instances on one hand, but still it was weird to see when the first 4 books had none. Also, there is a same-sex relationship between two main characters.
Best for 14 and up.