“Paper and Fire” by Rachel Caine takes up where “Ink and Bone” left off, immersing the reader back in the complicated world ruled by the Library and those who oversee it. The surprising revelation on the first page was a welcome discovery and it intensifies the tension that mounts throughout the book as the surviving comrades work toward their goals, whether those who have other plans agree with them or not. I think it would be difficult to become immersed in this vividly rendered world without having read the first book in the series, but I daresay one could easily become mesmerized by such things as creepily animated automatons and the various ruthless and obsessed factions surrounding the vicious struggle over sequestering printed pages, all set in an alternative version of our world.
I like that the characters are growing beyond their initial regimented paths and displaying wondrous courage and ingenuity although it is sometimes disheartening to discover the almost insurmountable odds against them. Seeing facets of some previously reviled characters makes one take a long look at their choices and reminds us that there can be many reasons for some decisions even though it may not excuse everything. There are delicious and scary adventures, betrayal, courageous actions, and tragic loss…all of the elements that keep one glued to the page and sad that the story has ended. I can’t wait to see what creative twists this author has in store for us, but I am sure they will be just as entertaining and mesmerizing as the ones shared thus far in this delicious series!
This young adult fantasy novel is part of ‘The Great Library’ series and features Jess Brightwell, who has continued his search to discover the reasons behind his friend’s death. Working with the others who survived their postulant trials, he gets involved in a forbidden quest that risks everything he has worked for and requires that he find allies who may have to pay the ultimate price. The risk that he may upend the entire framework their lives have been based on is only a part of the challenge, the fear that he may not be the only other casualty in the struggle is an even bigger obstacle to overcome, especially if it destroys the world around them.
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history...
With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.
Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.
Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.
But Jess’s home isn't safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control...