Ink and Bone
By Rachel Caine
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Ink and Bone follows Jess Brightwell as he tries to navigate a world where the Library of Alexander was never lost and those who control the library, hold power over the entire population. In this world, books are not legal if they are not catalogued into the Library, and nobody should have copies of physical books. Instead everyone is given a tablet to read from called a Codex. Jess and his family are in the illegal business of obtaining and selling lost books to anyone with enough money to pay for them.
Jess is sent by his family to the Great Library to get through the Library’s initiation and work for them as a spy to obtain rare books that only the library has access too. Conflicted about his mission, Jess tries to figure out who really is working towards the best interest of spreading the knowledge in these books while also trying to pass the difficult tests assigned to them by Scholars who work for the Library.
Review: This was a hard book for book for me to pin down. At first I was a bit confused about the premise and I had to read about 100 pages before really diving in. I think it is because this book seems to be part dystopian/part fantasy. It is so much more than exploring the idea of a still surviving Library of Alexander. There is an oppressive government and constant monitoring, as well as magic that is used to update and catalogue the Library.
I think this book does a great job of setting the scene for future books in the series. We learn about Jess’ character and his initial trials that will push him towards his future decisions. We meet the characters that are likely to both help and harm Jess’ efforts and we are introduced to the world that all of this will take place in. With this solid base established, I am interested to see where Caine takes the series in future books.