Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone

Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Publisher: NAL
Released: July 7th, 2015
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Ink and Bone is the first novel in Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. And honestly, it’s probably series that most book lovers should check out, if for no other reason than the common threads of interest in it.

In a world where alchemic libraries exist, the private ownership of books has become illegal. Here one can go to a library and get any book they desire instantly – but they can never bring it home with them.

This is the world that Jess Brightwell grew up in. He’s an avid book lover, and even supports the Library itself. Which is ironic, given that his father runs a black market book trade. Jess is one of the many runners, and he’s about to be sent on his biggest mission yet.


“The lion rose from its haunches, shook itself, and padded down the steps, soundless and beautiful and deadly. The other beasts woke, too, their eyes flickering red, bodies stretching.”

Spoiler Warning

Ink and Bone was a brilliant start to what is sure to be one of my favorite series. It’s beautifully written, and obviously, we all know that I’m in love with the core concept in this telling. The idea of an alchemic Great Library is fascinating. Adding complications, corruption, and politics is just icing on the cake in my book (no pun intended).

So, let’s talk about the Great Library. This series is based on the premise that the Library of Alexandria survived (if only). No, more than that – it thrived. It turned into a complex system of Libraries, all thanks to Alchemic interference.

But now the Library has taken on a weight of its own, taking over the rule of one country and time. And prioritizing knowledge over human lives. There are arguments to be made on both sides, of course. But thanks to the adventures and trials that Jess was forced through in this book, it’s clear how we’re meant to feel by the end.

Speaking of Jess, I found him to be a fascinating character. His introduction in this world immediately caught my attention, and then promptly held it. He was the ideal perspective for this novel, knowing enough about the world to get by – but still needing to learn so much.

I’m actually a bit ashamed of how far behind I am in reading this series. I’ve read Ink and Bone once before (years ago), but for whatever reason, I never made it on to the next book in the series. That’s why I just reread Ink and Bone – I wanted to start over fresh, and hopefully finish the series in short order. Wish me luck!

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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