Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: July 2015
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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. Owning private books is a crime.
Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market smuggler, sent to the 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 boooks will burn...
If you love books (and I'm guessing you do if you're reading this) then this is a book for you. There are so many books and they are discussed in a variety of different ways. There are book smugglers, book burners, the joys and differences between physical and ebooks, libraries and scholars who devote their lives to books. It is a paradise for a book lover.
The world building and the plot are both so intricately crafted that you can't help but be transported to the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt. I could really picture the streets and the serapeums/libraries and that was helped by the beautiful writing. This is the first of Rachel Caine's books that I have read but if her other books are written as lovely as this one then I'm going to be a new fan.
I loved the friendships between the characters and that they all had their own flaws. Each character is developed to an extent that I cared what happened to them and not just our main character, Jess. The leaders of the library are suitably frightening, there are plenty of plot twists, an entertaining competition and a teacher whose true intentions leave you guessing throughout.
The only downside is that I didn't really care for the romance. I don't think it added anything essential to the plot and it felt a little bit forced. Thankfully it is not an overbearing romance though; other matters have more time devoted to them and I was glad for that.
Ink and Bone is full of adventure, it's exciting and it's full of books. What else could you ask for? I'm eagerly waiting for the sequel!