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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ink and Bone: The Great Library By Rachel Caine

Jess Brightwell loves books.  Since the family business is selling books, one might think Jess would be like a kid in the candy store.  The problem is, the Brightwell's book business isn't legal by any stretch of the imagination and Jess' father can only see the books for the coin they can bring.

This is the world woven by Rachel Caine in her book Ink and Bone: The Great Library.  A world where being a librarian is more of a calling than a career and libraries hold the keys to all the knowledge and whose power is absolute.  Ms. Caine does a masterful job of bringing us to a world inspiring accomplishments under the iron fist of an authority afraid of what can be done with the knowledge it safeguards.

From the streets of London to the alleys of Alexandria, we learn about Jess' world right along side him as he learns from his father, his family, his friends and of course his instructor, Scholar Wolfe.  A young person's introduction to the way a world works is still by far my favorite way of entering a new reality.  In Ink and Bone, we get not only Jess' views and lessons but, a peek into those of his friends and fellow students.  It makes for a richer is somewhat skewed vision of this world.

Rachel Caine also uses her characters to add depth to the reality she created.  Not only what we see but, also places we're only told of.  Each character is a post card from their homeland and given their complexity, gives us a small window into places we don't get to see in this book.  As we grow familiar with each character, we start to understand how it is living under the control of the Great Library and different ways the different peoples live within that control.

This is a book of sometimes stark and often striking imagery as well as thought provoking and emotionally evoking moments that seem to swirl around a central theme: If knowledge is power, who has the right to own the knowledge.  Of course we all have own thoughts and I, for one, love the way this book challenges and affirms many of them on this subject.

Ink and Bone is not just really good allegory, it's wonderful entertainment.  There is a sufficient  amount of violence and mature subject matter that I would give it a PG13 but, only just.  I actually suggested it to my 14 year old for a school reading assignment.

Roberts Signature

P.S. On a personal note, I would like to thank again, Ms. Rachel Cain for being so kind and generous with her time during her book signing at San Diego Comic-Con this year!!

Rachel Cain



Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. Sounds like a great choice for Fantasy and Steampunk fans. Nice review! :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews