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Ink and Bone

(The Great Library #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  18,163 ratings  ·  3,549 reviews
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 of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledg
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by NAL
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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…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)
Jenny The author stated in an interview I read somewhere that she plans for this to be a trilogy with the second one out summer 2016 and the final out…moreThe author stated in an interview I read somewhere that she plans for this to be a trilogy with the second one out summer 2016 and the final out summer 2017.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,163 ratings  ·  3,549 reviews

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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!) bur
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it

Phew! What a journey this book was! I’ve read ‘‘books about books’’ before, but nothing comparable to this one. I presently have a great deal of emotions inside me because of this story and, really, I had no idea that this author would be so ruthless! You have no clue how many people die, how many deceptions and manipulations occur. It was a journey because, when you look at the first and last chapters, you realize how much happened, how much changed and how things will never be how they were be
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 book - becau
C.G. Drews
REREAD: June 2017

Because I remember NOTHING I decided to reread this before heading onwards with the series. And omg I'm so glad I did. This book is precious and so book-loving and the appreciation for novels is just giving me life. I nearly up it to 5-stars, but the romance still annoys me. #Alas.

Also fyi the audiobook is incredible. The narrator is British and Jess' London accent is my favourite thing. The narrator puts so so much emotion into it, it just made the book come really alive! Plus
Mohammed Arabey
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ماذا لو لم تحترق مكتبة الإسكندرية القديمة؟
في هذه الديستوبيا المختلفة إجابة كابوسية، تمزج روح رائعة راي برادبري فهرنهايت 451، مع سحر عالم هاري بوتر لرولينج ولكن بصورة جديدة وتنوعية مميزة

رواية تحمل عبق الكتب القديمة بشحمها ولحمها، عذرا، بورقها وحبرها في مواجهة كتب المكتبة عديمة الروح
Blanks VS. Originals

تاريخ موازي،تيمة ماذا لو، ماذا لو بقيت مكتبة الإسكندرية وصارت تحكم العالم…ما التطورات التي سيشهدها حتي نصل لزمن الأحداث، في 2025..ذلك المستقبل القريب الموازي ،بين لندن والإسكندرية ومع شخصيات متنوعة

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 hero, who fricking lo
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
Sheharzad ⚘ (hiatus)




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 su
Helena of Sparta ✰
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
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 YEA
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
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
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
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
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 learning:
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

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
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
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
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,
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Four stars doesn't feel like enough, but five almost feels like too much, even though I LOVED this.... ehhhh... dilemmas. 4 is good for now.

I've never read the Morganville Vampires or any of Rachel Caine's other books (under other pseudonyms and what have you), but this was a great adventure. The cast was wonderfully diverse (and plausibly so-- none of them felt like "token" characters) and some compartment of my brain is already trying to fancast it, I'm positive. I'll probably wake up tomorrow
Dannii Elle
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 thwarted and the Library maintains a tight leash on its citizens. The all seeing and all powerful Library seems like an unbreaka
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 ❤Peril Please❤
*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 say
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.
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 lot
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this adventure book about...books!

Ink and Bone is set in an alternate future where all knowledge in the form of books are controlled by a central authority, (Amazon) The Great Library. (Amazon) The Library doesn’t want anyone else to have original copies of books and basically has it’s own private army of live people and automatons to enforce that.

People are allowed to read anything (Amazon) The Library owns, by way of a copy which is (downloaded) mirrored via alchemy into a
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
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, tense, grim, inventive and exciting from beginning to end with some powerful, intriguing characters
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
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  • Tabula Rasa (Tabula Rasa, #1)
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Other books in the series

The Great Library (5 books)
  • Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)
  • Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3)
  • Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)
  • Sword and Pen (The Great Library, #5)
“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.” 76 likes
“Always remember the words of Descartes: The reading of all good books is like conversion with the finest men of the past centuries.” 52 likes
More quotes…