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Ratings and Reviews (3 29 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
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    Wonderful start to the series!

    I really enjoyed this story! I have wanted to read this book ever since I first started seeing a lot of great reviews for it. I then started noticing that people not only loved this book but they were loving the other books in the series. That sealed the deal and I knew that I would have to work this book in very soon. I ended up reading almost the entire book in a single day. I am starting to understand why everyone seems to love Rachel Caine's work as much as they do. One of the things that I really loved about this book was the world building. What a vividly detailed world to spend some time in! As the book progressed and we discovered more about how things worked, I was amazed. The descriptions of the technology were so well done but I don't think I am going to be signing up to be transported in that world anytime soon. The politics and inner workings of the library were intriguing. The cast of characters in this book were wonderful. We see things from Jess's point of view and I liked his character from the very start. He proved that he was brave and able to think very quickly. The other candidates for joining the library were all so different but each added something to the story. I liked some of these characters quite a bit from the very start, like Thomas. I needed a little more time to get to know some of the other characters a bit more before I really liked them but by the end of the story, they had all won my heart. I highly recommend this book to others. This book has really left me eager to see what is going to happen to everyone in the next book. I will definitely be reading more from Rachel Caine in the very near future. I received an advance reader copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group via Blogging for Books.
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    A book lovers dream

    This happens to be a cumulative review of the first 3 books in the series. An alternate reality where the Library of Alexandria survives?!?! It’s every book lover’s dream- sign me up!!!!! Actually, that’s exactly what I did. I originally put in a request through Netgalley to view “Ash and Quill”. I quickly learned that “Ash and Quill” was book number 3 in “The Great Library” series and I would need to be (better) acquainted with the characters AND story line. Luck must have been on my side because I also had the opportunity to review “Ink and Bone” (book number 1 in “The Great Library” series”. I was destined to read this series- so I took it upon myself to purchase book 2 to bring them all together. What exactly does this world look like with preserved knowledge? Pretty similar to today, just a larger emphasis on knowledge running the world. Even in this bookworm’s world, someone is always hungry for power. People are still put into groups, and it seems each group has it’s own caste system. And yet again as we spiral down to the underprivileged, groups and caste systems dissipate and it’s an absolute free-for-all for survival. The Library, which is essentially the government, primarily focus on: “Knowledge is Power” However, knowledge is not meant for all. It’s true that the highest positions within the Library are privy to every and all information. It is up to the positions of power to filter out (or in) what they deem necessary. If it’s an original work that could bring about rebellion, the inventor is labeled a heretic, his/her original text is sent to the black archives, and the library is saved. If it’s an original work that benefits the present and future, the Obscurists (think of them ALMOST as magicians) will copy the original work into blanks. Blanks could be a hit or miss. Information may be omitted or added to depending on the idea the Library is trying to convey. “Knowledge is Power” It is in in that simple motto where groups start to break down. Smugglers: wish to preserve original books: it is their trade: money to be made. Burners: political statement: will burn any book to break the Library’s hold on originals Obscurists: the group in the library that “mirror’s” original books Scholars: protect any and all books, no matter the costs Readers are introduced to Jess Brightwell- who at the time is 10 years old. The Brightwell family runs a book smuggling operation- not just any books; originals. Just because you are a young member of the family, does not mean you are exempt from smuggling duty. Jess knows for certain he does not want a future career within the family business. One prominent memory for Jess was a run were a customer dubbed an “ink licker” ate an original book, for: “. . .there’s no act of possession more complete than consuming the unique. . .” Jess may have been born into a book smuggling business, but , “. . .[he] was born with ink in his blood. . .” making him consciously aware that he would do anything to protect a book. Tired of paying for a son who refuses to take over the family business, Callum (ever the opportunist) decides to use his son for bigger and better things; placement in the Library, and a chance to make return investment on years of tutelage. Jess passes the placement test, sending him to Alexandria with a train full of hopeful postulants. Whilst on the train ride, we learn of the other characters who will frequent the books: Thomas: from Germany. Has a large build, and hopes to get placed in engineering. Khalila: from the Middle East, very pretty, the first person to EVER score 100% on the exams. Glain: Welsh, solid dislike for Jess since he’s English and they’re in a war; very plain, brash. Dario: spanish, arrogant- used to getting what he wants. Morgan: late arrival; on the run from the library, safest place is right under their nose for the time being. Scholar Wolfe: intimidating; black robes, shoulder length hair, not the average teacher. Forced into teaching as a punishment (although the reader will not know that until much later). Santi: member of the High Garda, assigned to Scholar Wolfe So for the most part this is our rag tag team for the series. Naturally there are other minor characters introduced throughout, but these here are your main focus. Scholar Wolfe is expected to whittle down his applicants to 6; through lessons, practical life lessons, hand on tasks, as well as common sense training. The Library deems them fit to go on a mission to Oxford for the retrieval of Originals at the sister library. The problem? They are walking right in the middle of the English/Welsh war. Even in this alternate reality, history repeats itself. Usually, repeated ideas are the most dangerous, and most likely to draw (unwanted) attention from the Library; which is exactly what Thomas has done. Thomas has invented a machine that renders Obscurists obsolete, as well as challenging the powerful hold the library has on it’s information flow.
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    A Book for Book lovers

    This book is filled with wonder and adventure. When I learned about the synopsis I knew it would be a great book and I was not disappointment. This is a book about books and meant for those that love it. I also liked the relationship between the characters and how they developed throughout the story. Like the main character and his roommate who doesn’t see eye to eye. I also like the power of knowledge and what length people would got to prove a cause. Another cool thing about book is that at the end Rachel Caine a soundtrack for the book so you can listen to the music. That is cool. For those that want to check out the book click on the link below and until next time keep on reading.
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