The Great Library

Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

ink and bone    paper-and-fire

Imagine a world where the great Library of Alexandria did not burn.  Where a great wealth of knowledge from the ancient world survived and became a powerful entity in the world.  What would the world be like?  In this series, this is exactly what happened. The Library controls all knowledge and has become very powerful.  No one is allowed to own personal books.  Instead the Library issues Blanks on which you can have books loaded from the vast public collection.  But not every book is available, some are forbidden and some are even kept locked away and hidden from the public.  Anyone caught with a book or trading in books (huge black market) is considered a criminal.  Enter Jess Brightwell, the son of a notorious black market dealer.  He is sent to apprentice at the Great Library in Alexandria to become a Scholar (aka librarian), but  he finds that the library is so much more dangerous and controlling than he ever imagined.  Through out both of these books, Jess must rely on his friends and allies from his past to help him survive and to ultimately expose the library for what it is.

The world that Rachel Caine has created is wonderful, full of magic and technology, that work seamlessly together.  The Blanks that everyone uses to read, remind me of an ipad or kindle like device, but seem to have a magical quality to them as well.  I also love the automatons that help protect the library.  They come in many shapes and sizes, many based on Egyptian myths, and are ruthless in their protection of libraries.  This series may not be for everyone, but it has so much going for it. The next book in the series will be out in 2017.


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