Saturday, 9 January 2016

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine // Everything I could ever want in a book

Title: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: Violence
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Review
This is not just some other book about books. This is so much more.

In Jess' world, the Library of Alexandria never fell. The printing press was never invented, and owning private books is punishable by death. The Library rules all knowlege.

I have longed to read this book since I saw it mentioned on tumblr months before it even had a cover. The Great Library of Alexandria is a fascinating piece of ancient history. It's destruction was a huge loss of culture and knowledge, but Caine shows the extreme of how our world would be had the Library never been destroyed.

The plot was gripping from beginning to end. The concept was original and the world was so similar yet distinctly different from our own. Caine is able to show how dark the world of Ink and Bone is in such a short space of time, demonstrating how such a tiny difference in history can change everything.

Jess is sent by his family of book smugglers to train at the Library and become a scholar, and seeing the world through his eyes shows the level of corruption in his world that in many ways relates to our own. The characters he meets during his time in the Library are lovable and complex. Some are sweethearts and others are cruel, but each of them brings something to the story. One thing I didn't count on when starting the book was how attached I would become to Jess' friends as well as his world. The cast is wonderfully diverse both ethnically and religiously, which are aspects that most YA fantasy novels tend to leave out. Different cultures are acknowledged and respected which had me over the moon and made the story sound so much more real and human.

Some aspects such as the technology and alchemy could have been brushed up because I would get confused by them at times, but never so much that I was put off from reading on. I have fallen deep into the world of Ink and Bone and I am not ready to leave yet.

Diversity note: The 7 core characters include characters from England, Wales, Germany, Spain and Italy, a Middle Eastern Muslim girl (who wears a hijab), and a M/M relationship.
(The book is told entirely from the perspective of the English character, but the other characters are consistently prominent throughout the series that I consider them protagonists rather than side characters.)


  1. I love it when a book is original and it sounds like this one definitely follows through on that promise. And a book about libraries and books? Of course every booklover is going to want to read this one! I have it on my TBR :3

    My recent review: