“Lives are short, but knowledge is eternal.”
Callum Brightwell, a smuggler of rare books, sends his son Jess to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar. As he continues his journey with other postulants, he discovers the dark secrets of the library and those who control it.
Through Ink and bone, the first book in The Great Library series by Rachel Caine, I was introduced to an entirely new world where The Library of Alexandria was never destroyed and where knowledge is considered more valuable than human life.
“The first purpose of a librarian is to preserve and defend our books. Sometimes, that means dying for them – or making someone else die for them. Tota est scientia.”
Rachel Caine has intricately revealed the world and has written a diverse cast of characters whose friendships are beautifully developed through the story, as they accompany each other during the war. The afflictions of people, in times of war where those in power refuse to act for the welfare of the citizens, are also explicit written.
Caine, however, mentioned On Sphere-Making was written by Aristotle when in fact it was written by Archimedes. I don’t understand why authors don’t bother researching before mentioning a historical information or event in a book. As an author, you cannot afford to publish incorrect information in your book. It only reflects poorly on your ability to research for your book.
The author introduced a unique and interesting concept. The story dragged a little in the beginning but it gained pace in the second half and the book was hard to put down. Except for the postulants competing to gain the position of a scholar, it, however, lacked a definite end goal.
I rated it three stars because a lot of questions remain unanswered; I never understood the working of tags, blanks, codex and translation chamber. Considering the length of the book, it could’ve been properly explained.
As the story took sudden and surprising turns, I was intrigued to read further on to find out how it ends and now that I’ve read it I can’t wait to begin the second book.
“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”
Have you read Ink and Bone? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!
View my other review on Goodreads.