I wanted to tell you about one of my very favorite series today. It is Deborah Harkness All Souls Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed these books and keep waiting for her to come out with a new novel (which I hope will be very soon). The All Souls Trilogy is composed of A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. It tells the story of Diana, a scholar and a witch, and Matthew, a centuries old vampire, and a very special book that is wanted by all. The books are well-written and a delight to read. You should get a sample (for your Kindle or reading device) and see if it appeals to you!
Ink and Bone is the first book in The Great Library series by Rachel Caine. It is 2025 in London. Everything is controlled by The Great Library. The Library is the keeper of knowledge, wisdom, and information. Jess Brightwell is the son of Callum Brightwell, a book dealer. Unfortunately, dealing in real, original books (hard covers with printed pages) is illegal. Jess is taught the business from a young age. He starts out as a runner where he delivers the illegal books to clients (and will be arrested if caught). The one thing Jess does love about the business is the books. He will read anything he can get his hands on (which means pilfering them from his father and hoping he does not notice). When Jess is sixteen, Callum buys him a placement in the Library training program. First Jess will have to pass a test and be accepted (which he passes with flying colors). Callum does have an ulterior motive, of course. Jess will be training in Alexandria where the Great Library is housed (other cities have satellite libraries). Callum will want Jess to acquire and deliver books. Jess is thrilled to get away (and hopes to find a way to avoid his father’s demands). The training is difficult and rigorous. Not all the candidates will make it through the training program. Their teacher is Scholar Christopher Wolfe and he is not thrilled to be teaching a group of postulants (as the students are called). Scholar Wolfe has no intention of taking it easy on this group. One by one the students are dismissed. Then the final group has to go on a dangerous assignment to save books in a war zone. Who will make it back alive?
I enjoyed Ink and Bone for the most part. It is an interesting world (Rachel Caine came up with some unique things), and I liked the main character (especially his love of books and reading). There is a lot of action in the second half of the book (especially towards the end) which made it more interesting and gave the book a faster pace (better than the first part). Imagine a world where owning a real book (especially old, first edition books) made with paper and ink is illegal! The Library owns all originals and you can be arrested/jailed if caught with books (especially trading in them). There is violence and death in the book (if not for that it would more suited to young adults/tweens). I give Ink and Bone 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I will be reading the next book Paper and Fire to see what happens next (I admit that I am curious).
You can follow Rachel Caine on Amazon and her fan page on Facebook. I received a complimentary copy of Ink and Bone from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book. The comments and opinions expressed are my own.
I will return later with a review of a cozy mystery (I have several to review). I hope everyone has a good Saturday. Make sure to make time for yourself. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader