“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it.” // Review of “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine

Title: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA/alternate history/fantasy
Date Read: 11/16/2016 – 16/06/2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Review:

inkandbonecoverEveryone knows I love a good alternate history. This one also brings in elements of dystopia, steampunk and fantasy, blended beautifully into a great, character-driven series opener.

In a world where ownership of original books is illegal and all knowledge is controlled the Great Library of Alexandria and its daughter libraries across the world, Jess Brightwell is the son of a book smuggler, running illegal books across town to weathy collectors. When he is offered a place to study at the Library, his father insists he take it, but as Jess studies and works towards a coveted position somewhere in the Library, he starts to learn that perhaps this ancient institution should not be held in such high regard.

While some of the world-building in this book took me a little while to get my head around, I took to Jess pretty much instantly, and the other characters as they were introduced. It’s no easy task having a large ensemble of characters as this book does (Jess has several classmates, and at least six or seven of them are focused on). However, these characters each felt like a different, three-dimensional person. Their proctor, Scholar Wolfe, probably became my favourite, as it was revealed that underneath the harsh exterior was a man trying to atone for past sins and do what he thought was right.

Amongst the large cast, we have different ethnicities represented, as well as LGBTQI*relationships. Oh, and there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE! AT ALL! I wish this wasn’t such a novelty in YA, but it really is. There are romances and relationships going on, but there is no situation where two characters are obsessed with the same third character, and both think they are entitled to him/her.

As I said above, some of the world-building is a little hard to follow, but I think by about halfway through I had mostly grasped how the Library ran things and how technology worked in this world. While not all of it entirely made sense to me, I was happy to just roll with things.

The second book in this series comes out sometime in July, and I am very excited that I won’t have to wait too long to join this world again.


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3 thoughts on ““You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it.” // Review of “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine

    • Emily Witt says:

      Sadly, it sounds from the reviews coming out that the second one isn’t so good, but I can usually forgive that as lon g as a trilogy ends on a high note, so fingers crossed it’ll end up that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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