Book Review – Ink and Bone

Book: Ink and Bone (The Great Library 1) by Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 17th 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars




Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .


‘There are three parts to learning: information, knowledge, and wisdom. A mere accumulation of information is not knowledge, and a treasure of knowledge is not in itself, wisdom. ‘

I feel like I am the only one that did not fall in love with this book. It certainly sounds amazing. A world where the great library of Alexandria survived. Like wow, can you imagine that? Also the covers are stunning. Yet the book in itself just disappointed me.

Like I said, the concept of this book is great. I was expecting to instantly connect with it. However the book started off with a rather dry prologue and after that was unable to really grab me.  The first 100 pages were extremely boring. So much I left it to the side for a few weeks. It picked up a little after that with action and the set-up of a plot. We go to Egypt, Alexandria. To the great library. I was expecting some form of epicness. I didn’t get it. I feel like there was a distinct lack of a certain character. The library! This world also takes place in our future yet it feels like a portion of our history development and technological wise for most of the world. There are also wars going on that receive very little explanation.

As for the set up of the book. We got a chapter then an Ephemera and so on. I did not mind the Ephemera’s as they gave us information away from our main character. But I didn’t need it quite as frequent as it was given to us.

The training our characters received to become a part of the organization of the great library was perhaps also not what I had expected. For a position of a scholar I feel there was an awful lot of physical labor required. And I’m not talking about hauling books. Maybe Rachel Caine and I have a different definition of the world scholar?

‘I just don’t hold with making the world into copies of what I like.’

As for the characters, our main character is Jess. For about half of the book I forgot his name. Every time his name was mentioned I was like: who is that? Right our mc. Oops. He was just such a bore to me. And a bad friend to Thomas for as far as I can see. Friends before girls, Jess. His family situation was a bit odd. Especially his relationship with his brother.  His love interest was also not that exciting to me as a character.

I did however appreciate how diverse the rest of our characters were. Especially Khalila and Wolfe. Wolfe might be an ass but he clearly had some depth to him that I thought was interesting. Khalila should have been the main character for as far as I am concerned. She was amazing.

11 thoughts on “Book Review – Ink and Bone

  1. Aww sadness this didn’t wholly capture you! I really did like it, although I confess the magic system kind of confused me. 😂 Like where they disapparating at the end there?! Haha. I have NO IDEA. And I haven’t read the sequels yet, but I need to do that! STILL. Books about libraries are the kind of books we definitely need. #BookwormAppreciation 😂


  2. I had a free copy for signing up for a publisher’s newsletter or something similar, but it was one you had to access through their site and you have to bookmark it. The bookmark was on a Kindle that died, so I don’t have it anymore. I feel better about losing it now. I have seen some less than stellar reviews, so you are not completely alone in your feelings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry this book didn’t work for you. I loved the first two books in this series, but I’m a bit apprehensive about the rest as sequels are hard and often disappointing. Btw, I kept imagining Jess as his namesake in Gilmore Girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is true. I hope you’ll end up really liking them though.
      And that would have probably been a more interesting way to imagine him than what I had in my mind haha.


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