Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Ink And Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless 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, who are involved in the thriving black market. 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 that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

Stacey's review 5 of 5 stars

Ink and Bone is a great start to a unique dystopian series! Involving books and libraries, it is near and dear to any bibliophile's heart!

Ink and bone is set on the premise that the Library of Alexandria, which is said to have housed many great books and scrolls of knowledge and culture of ancient times, survived the fire (or series of fires) that purportedly destroyed many books. Instead, Ms. Caine twists history into a fantastical tale of scholars who hoard all original written text and filter all information given to the public. Owning original manuscripts is illegal. Knowledge is power which makes the Great Library the most powerful entity. They have sister libraries in all countries around the world, enforcing their will in any means possible. Carrying out their mission is more important than human life. This type of tyranny incites rebellion and a black market of original copies of books thrives. Bookrunners risk everything to keep original manuscripts in the hands of the people- some for profit, some for the point of having collectors' items. Jess Brightwell comes from a prominent bookrunner family- he reveres original books (unlike the text the public reads on tablets, streamed directly from library scholars) and believes everyone should have access to all available books. He is conflicted since he also reveres the Library and the scholars within and is in awe of all the knowledge at their fingertips. He passes the test to become an apprentice within the Library's walls and his adventure begins.
Ink and Bone follows Jess and his fellow recruits through their journey into becoming the newest employees of the Great Library, where loyalty is held above all else. Some will become the next great scholars or alchemists and others will become the next generation of enforcers to keep all knowledge at the hands of the scholars. But this group of recruits has a few that think for themselves and soon find themselves questioning the foundation of the Great Library and the methods they implement to keep total control over the world's access to information.

I loved this first book. The characters are interesting, especially when Jess goes to Alexandria to meet up with his class of future knowledge keepers. The fictional world of alchemy and how information (and people) are transmitted is unique. And I love how the entire book revolves around Jess's love for books and original knowledge- the opposite of what our society seems to be about these days! Book one ends when Jess's brilliant new best friend gets himself into trouble creating a device he believes will help the world obtain more knowledge. What he doesn't know is that his invention is exactly what the Library does NOT want the world to have- and that he has put his life at risk for developing it...

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