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Ink and Bone

(The Great Library #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  27,030 ratings  ·  4,673 reviews
In this exhilarating series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content
Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Berkley
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Karen I agree for 12+, but I think she spends enough time on the war, violence, sadness, helplessness, and political machinations that I would read it for y…moreI agree for 12+, but I think she spends enough time on the war, violence, sadness, helplessness, and political machinations that I would read it for yourself before recommending it to anyone under 12 that you know personally, and judging then it accordingly for that person.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Emily May
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
"We're nothing but secrets."

Books, alchemy, secret tunnels, books, friendships, rivalries, books and villains who become heroes? Oh, and did I mention books? Oh so many books...

I might complain every time I read that ridiculous "X meets Y" marketing strategy, but I have to admit that Harry Potter meets The Book Thief meets Fahrenheit 451 is a pretty good descriptor for this book. The main character - Jess - is indeed a book thief, and they're are people called Burners who (you guessed it!) b
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I am on book tour currently, and now appreciate every author who ever lived because this stuff is CRAY! It's like doing a convention for 3 weeks straight, but you're flying to different cities every day and since i'm a REALLY picky sleeper, I'm starting to feel like someone's trying to murder me if the bed has a low thread count. Anyway, I loaded my Kindle up with reads in anticipation of traveling a lot, and this book was #1 on my list to get to first. And I loved it!

I'm a big fan of Rachel Cai
Miranda Reads
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.

Few people, if any, have ever set eyes on a book in Jess Brightwell's London. And yet, no one is illiterate and writing is considered sacred across the world.

Instead of books, everyone has blanks (think: ereader but run by alchemy and magic) where they can rent as many books as they want, respond to messages and conduct their lessons on.

But no one has a book - as in an actual printed bo
Faye, la Patata
Dear bookworms of the world,

You need this book in your life. If you don't buy, read, and love this as much as I did, well, I ain't gonna be your friend no more.

With much love, Faye.

Okay, I kid, I'll still be your friend nevertheless, but do you think I'm kidding about the awesomeness of this book? Let me tell you something: I don't always give books 5 stars. But when I do, there are two categories: 5 stars, and 5-fucking-fantastic-stars.

When you have a story with a male her
Darth J
Aug 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
DNF @ page 37

Dry. Dry. DRY.

I gave this book 37 pages but I didn't feel anything for it. Despite having an interesting premise that would appeal to most bibliophiles, I felt like there was nothing there to hook me immediately. There were animatronic lions and statues, and then steam powered carriages for some reason (this book is set in the near future so it was really odd). It felt like a smattering of other successful stories right now in the market had bits picked from them and this was what w
✨ Helena ✨
So, I’d just like to point out that I was a weird child growing up. I adored mythology more than any other type of bedtime story and I began reading both The Iliad and The Odyssey at age 10. I know, weird. Having said that, I was heartbroken when I later discovered that these were the only two Ancient Greek epics surviving, out of the eight that were written, now known as the Epic Cycle. The thought of destroyed books makes me despair in agony. Now I’m certain that I’m not the only person who st ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-releases
GIVEAWAY: find out the title of the sequel to Ink and Bone - and win in a copy of Ink and Bone!

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Book One of The Great Library series
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Reread 04/18 : Skimming through this again because I just got the arc of Paper and Fire. WOOT!

Actual rating : 3.5 Happily rounded up at 4 because DUH. BOOKS.

In my honest opinion the strength of Ink and Bone lies first in the plot, which is entertaining as hell, and in the world-building, which contains several of my main interests : think books, automatons, alchemy, a dystopian world ruled by Librarians who control every knowledge (or aim to) and an academy blended together. Exciting? FUCK Y
Dannii Elle
First Read: June 2017, Rating: 4/5 stars
Second Read: April 2020, Rating: 4/5 stars
Third Read: November 2022, Rating: 4/5 stars

I was never not going to love a book with Library in the series name!

This is set in a world where the Library rules in place of a government. By keeping the knowledge contained in books closely guarded, and only available for scholars and those deemed worthy, it can both impede and advance societal growth as it sees fit. Technology is stunted, business advancements are th
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
In this alternate history type of fantasy, the Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, which ended up affecting the world profoundly. But - surprisingly - not necessarily in ways that are good. The world has developed in a very different direction, scientifically and politically, and the Library keeps a stranglehold over the ownership of books, forbidding private ownership of hard copies on pain of death (ereaders are fine, but the Library monitors the content) and ruthlessly destroying the p ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Truth be told: I liked the idea of this book more than I actually liked the book.

This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015 and, well, it fell a bit flat.

Welcome to a world set in 2025 in which the Great Library of Alexandria had never been burnt and destroyed, and where books are a treasure hoarded and guarded by a powerful minority. Where the private possession of books is illegal and punishable (yes, I think we can agree that we’d all be screwed).

There are three parts to learnin
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The Great Library is in every city and controls the books of the world. Using alchemy to distribute the books those working for the library track down anyone with any in their possession and confiscate the materials. Ownership of books is expressly forbidden and anyone violating this law could even be sentenced to death.

Jess Brightwell's family has been involved in the black market for books. He's been raised to be a runner, delivering the books to those willing to pay the price and risk owners
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“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 think this book needs more attention because it is a bit different from what I expected and yet I ended up enjoying it very much. I saw this book on BD many times for a very low price and I regret that I did not get a copy back then because I always th

WOW. Just WOW.

This book had me at "Hello" / page 1. Honestly speaking, I don't know whether the effect would have been the same had I just read it instead of listening to the audiobook, but the narrator, Ben Allen was simply superb in making all the different characters come to life and the story to rock and roll.

As for the story in general, I think it was very well-written. It was tight-paced, te
Vanessa J.
4.5 out of 5 stars

Books, books, books, books, books, books, books, books, books, books.

Have I caught your attention already? No? Then, BOOOOOOOKSSS!!!

The world of Ink and Bone is a world in which the Great Library of Alexandria still exists. They love books as much as you and me... but they take their love to a higher level: Books are precious and really valuable objects and they must all be preserved in the Great Library. Rare copies cannot be found anywhere and just the more privileged can own
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Second Read December 2020 - 4.5 stars

This still holds up for me rereading it 5 years later. I love the way Caine writes her action scenes in war-torn Oxford, the whole thing was just horrifying.

The characters are all so different, and they all evoke emotion of varying kinds in the reader. Even though I knew what was going to happen at various points, I still enjoyed it immensely. There was always a small part of me that kept hoping for better outcomes even when I knew there was only disaster aro
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/07/10/b...

I spent most of the last week bouncing up and down telling everyone I know about Ink and Bone. In case I haven’t already gotten the chance to corner you with my mad ravings about this book, let me just tell you right now: this is an outstanding novel. Needless to say, it is going straight on my Favorites shelf and on my list of best books of 2015. There’s still almost half a year to go but I already know it’ll be hard one
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I can not even fathom living in a world where you can not have your own books I mean you could go to jail or most likely be killed for having books!!! If they saw all of mine I would be history!

There are those that have books that they sale to people that are willing to pay anything to have a book, but.... unfortunately, they use kids as runners and if they are caught they will be put to death as well. What is wrong with this place!!!!

Jess is one of the runn
Ashley Marie
*If any of my writer friends love this series, hit me up!*

The original review was wrong. This deserves five stars and more. The whole series is so tightly plotted, and it all starts here. Khalila, Jess, Glain, Dario, Morgan, and my sweet Thomas. It's nuts to think the first time I read this was five years ago, because this series really feels timeless. Rachel Caine has a gift for tossing you off a cliff with five pages to go, doesn't matter which book in a series it is.

(view spoiler)
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review, 2015
Knowledge is power and that's what the Library has been cultivating for centuries. Instead of releasing this knowledge to the world, it hoards it and if knowledge equals power, then the Library has proven that equation time and again. With an iron hold on the world and it's knowledge, it makes itself out to be the protector of information. Owning books is illegal.

But what it really presents is the stagnation of technology. And Jess is a book smuggler.

Original works are worth their weight in gol
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book but never really felt involved in it. It was a good story, fairly well told but the characters never really grabbed me. In fact when one of the more important characters in the story was killed I was not at all disturbed and I am sure I should have been! By the end I had still not really grasped the ultimate purpose of the library and I must have missed the the bit that explained the war. Not sure whether I will seek out the next book to read or not.
Heidi The Reader
In Ink and Bone, knowledge and power is the name of the game.

"The Library holds itself to be the keeper of both knowledge and wisdom, but it is not true. So much should never be held in the hands of so few, for it is a natural, venal habit of men to hold to power. And knowledge is the purest form of power." pg 51

Printed books, called originals, are now highly prized and illegal to own without a dispensation from the Library. The Library is an entity without borders as powerful as the church or a
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this story especially the second half when the story has had time to evolve. The Great library preserving the world's original texts. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well-no actually. Very wrong! What starts off as a deceptively simple tale, takes a more sinister turn as it is slowly revealed to us the sinister tone of the Great Library's guardianship and its Big Brother nature. Interesting alternative history/ fantasy. Well worth a read.
3.5 stars

"The first purpose of a librarian is to preserve and defend our books. Sometimes, that means dying for them - or making someone else die for them. Tota est scientia. Knowledge is all."

Imagine what it would be like if you couldn't legally own a single book that you could cherish, re-read over and over again until the pages are dog-eared, and then place it lovingly on your home bookshelf. What if every single word that you read was controlled by a higher power? As readers and book-lovers,
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
4 stars

I think this is the first time I can say I agree with the pitch. This book is SO HP meets The book thief. I loved it, but I hope she invests more time in the world-building in the sequel. I need more information about how everything works, because it's such a fascinating concept!


Review to come.

I always try to ignore the 'PITCHED AS THE NEW X" but damn:

“The Book Thief with Fahrenheit 451 by way of Harry Potter.”

The book thief AND Harry Potter in one sentence.. I think I'm in lo
Chelsea ✨Arielle’s Nebular Ally and Team Acrux✨
*4.5* stars

Give in. Give up.

Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Addictive. So many words come to mind when I think of this story. I have many regrets as of late, and not being able to read my dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy is one of them. But perhaps the larger crime is that when I do attempt to stick one of these stories in my reading schedule I'm either:

A) too tired
B) too tired
C) too tired

Oh, and did I mention my time has been severely limited? I've always been that girl that scoffs when people sa
Elise (On The Bookshelves)
Original Post Can Be Found at On The Bookshelves

“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.”

It is 2025 and the Great Library of Alexandria still exists with its presence looming over every city. The Library controls the flow of knowledge as the ownership of books is forbidden.

Ink and Bone is an interesting concept, but the story isn't exactly fluid. There's a lo
Maria V. Snyder
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much! Usually when stories are about a library - the library is the place of refuge or solace - a good place to go. Authors love libraries - really how can a place filled with books be bad? Well Rachel twists the trope on this one and while the library is still the keeper of knowledge, it's very stingy with who can access this knowledge - a monopoly and an evil one at that!

The world she crafted is also very unique - a combination of magic and high tech, but because of th
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well that was a really cool book. I love the concept. :)

Now, let's see if my suspicions are correct and Rachel Caine has tried to pull one over on me.

*picks up book two*
Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice)
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you my thoughts surrounding Ink and Bone and why it is a 4.5 star from me and officially one of my favourite books that I've read so far in 2017. Ready? Let's go!

This was the YA Book Club pick of the month for July but me being me, I sadly couldn't be at the meeting to pick up a copy straight away so after waiting until I was next free, seeing the beautiful cover of the butterfly made me realise that I was going to love reading this. I categorise Ink and Bone t
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Other books in the series

The Great Library (5 books)
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