This book was recommended by a expert fellow book lover that I met recently. I would never put this book in the YA category, not at all. For me this book is the a great Fantasy/Dystopia. An amazing, breathtaking one! A thrilling, fast-paced novel that will keep you holding on like your life depends on it.
Here is a book about books, the value of books, how far people are willing to go for books and books take the phrase “Knowledge is power” to a completely different level.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine takes a different approach in history if the Great Library of Alexandria had survived the test of Time. Welcome to a reality where the dangerous and ruthless Great Library controls the knowledge of the world with the assistance of alchemists. A reality where the possession of books is strictly forbidden. The book follows the life of Jess Brightwell, a young boy with a passion for books, born in a family of book smugglers. When Jess is chosen to take the tests to be part of the Library his first mission is spy for his father all the happens in the Library and smuggle books when requested. As his training advances, Jess realises that he was to make a choice: stay faithful to his family or be loyal to the library, an institution that values books more than lives.
It’s a scary world and I think all the book lovers out there would have their hairs standing up imagining a reality where books are forbidden to have, to see, to touch. In the novel they make a clear distinction between the original books and all the “blanks” or copies. I liked the idea, because, being a bit old fashioned, I prefer the feeling you have when holding a real book in your hands and not a Ebook.
Ms Rachel Caine did an amazing job in describing the details of this world. For example, since The Great Library controls the world, there was no progress in the creation of printers or pressers since it’s heresy and, consequently, all that try, are an obstacle of the “regime”. Another important detail is the war raging between the English and the Welsh.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with the characters, not just Jess but also Wolfe, Santi and the other postulants. I specially liked Wolfe, he reminded me very much of Severus Snape from Harry Potter, a troubled, traumatised character with a kind heart.
There is nothing not to like in this book. The ending is perfect and I can’t wait to see what Ms Caine has in stored for the characters in the next book!