I chose to read this book because it is a Lone Star Book. I’ve yet to find a book on these lists that I haven’t liked, so I knew it would be good. I’ve never read a book by this author before. Her other books are Vampire Horror stories and a Fantasy series called Weather Warden. The Weather Warden series sounds like my kind of read too.
Ink and Bone
by Rachel Caine
Ink and Bone grabbed my attention because it imagines a world in which the Library of Alexandria was never destroyed. My heart still hurts when I think about all the knowledge that was lost when the real Alexandria burned.
In this world imagined by Caine, Alexandria never burned and since knowledge is power, The Library has become the ultimate power. Books are precious and contain knowledge that should be available to all, therefore all books belong to The Library. People are allowed to have a personal journal made of regular paper. If they want to read something contained in the library, they use their Blank, which I imagine as a book-like tablet in which they can pull up texts listed in the Codex. Since it is illegal to own a real book, there are of course book smugglers and collectors. Jess is born into a family of these smugglers. As the story progresses he makes friends with the unlikeliest of people and learns The Library is not as benevolent as he once thought. The Library controls all knowledge (or tries to), so you can imagine the corruption that comes with that.
Caine creates likable characters with depth. As in real life, we sometimes perceive people to be one thing and slowly over time realize they are more or less than we thought. We see through Jess’s eyes as he realizes this. I especially the diversity of cultures found in this book. The this story has a somewhat thriller pacing for the last third of the book. Through the whole book there was never a slow moment. There is a bit of romance but it remains perfectly clean. There were a handful of strong cuss words sprinkled throughout, not many though. Some cuss words were in another language.
I enjoyed this book immensely! Kids who love a bit of mystery, intrigue, true friendship, spying, smuggling, and a dab of love, in a world of magic, will love this!