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Sword and Pen

(The Great Library #5)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  4,979 ratings  ·  782 reviews
With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it's worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its fut
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,979 ratings  ·  782 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIVE MEMORABLE GAZILLION STARS and I’m singing from Doors “This is the end my beautiful friend” with tearful eyes.

Starting to this book like joining an hard-core boot camp class because I was literally having panic attacks that one of my favorite characters could die or something terrible happened to them so I kept procrastinating my starting date over and over. But I didn’t let my fears control my brain so last night I opened the book, in one hand flipped the pages, with the other I held my hea
✨ Helena ✨
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


"Is it worth it? What we're doing?"
"It has to be," she said. "If the Great Library comes to pieces, what's left? Warring kingdoms fighting over bones, dragging apart Archives, hoarding and hiding knowledge? Do you want to live in that world?"
"No," he said, and took a deep breath. "But I'm afraid we may inherit it anyway."

WOW. What a finale! I may not be pleased with everything that went
A difficult one to review really. There is a lot of love out there for the whole series but I felt this last book did not quite make the grade.

Sword and Pen never really grabbed me at all. The characters came and went as the POV kept changing and not one of them, even Jess, interested me much. People got in a fight, they were injured, they were fixed, then they got in another fight. And so it went on.

Maybe the best part of the earlier books was the group of young people being together. When the
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so sad that this series is over. What a fun and fantastic world that Rachel Caine has created! She's got a handful of deep characters that I've grown to care for, and now, they'll have to live on through rereads I guess.

Sword and Pen is the final book in the Great Library series, and it goes out with a bang! Character growth, plot twists, major events, Indiana Jones-esque tombs, and evil villain
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
It is so very hard to review the last book in a very much beloved series. This series has been amazing and stand out since the very first book and it has continued to astonish and blow me away with each new installment.

This last installment might very well be my most favorite one of them all.

Entertaining, action packed, thrilling, fast paced and full of all the great stuff and characters that have made this series so outstanding from the very beginning, Sword and Pen blew me away.

It made me cr
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

OMG THIS SERIES! Sword and Pen did not disappoint folks! Ugh, it was so good and I'm so happy that I took my sweet time with this series. Even if I read the ARC way after it was published. Eh.. eh. Oops?

Honestly, I loved how this didn't go as I planned at all. Complete mind fuck but I enjoyed the ride. Definitely would've wanted some things to go differently but in the end, Rachel Caine continuously surprises me.

Loved each
Ashley Daviau
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My heart is both so full and so empty after finishing the final book in this absolutely BRILLIANT series. So full because I love this series to pieces and it was such a perfect ending to the series. So empty because I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself now that I’ve finished this series and have no more books to look forward to! I really couldn’t have imagined a better ending to these books and although a couple moments left me gutted and heart broken, I wouldn’t have had it any other w ...more
Maria V. Snyder
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I've said for the other books, I just loved this series. This was a good end to the series and this one is now my favorite of Rachel's. She has many series out there and is a wonderful writer and person! My other favorite is her Morganville vampire series.

TS Chan
Jul 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much to my delight, Sword and Pen delivered a truly satisfying and emotional conclusion to The Great Library, a spectacular YA series that has earned a spot as one of my favourites.

I would once again reiterate that I don't read very much modern YA, and one of the reasons is that the subgenre, is more often than not, chockful with problematic tropes. I found, however, that I did enjoy YA titles which were penned by authors who predominantly write adult fiction such as Brandon Sanderson, Sebastian
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Great conclusion to the Great Library series. Starts fast and does not linger one bit, and before you know it, the journey of the series concludes wonderfully. There were so many complex aspects of the continuing story and character developments throughout this series, and honestly Rachel Caine never dropped the ball during this series. Kudos to her and an amazing job well done!!!
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
A fittingly fantastic end to one of the best YA series I've read. ...more
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2021-read
4.5 stars

Wow, a great finish to an overall excellent series. Like every book preceding this one, Sword and Pen is exciting and emotional. It's hard sometimes to wrap up a series with several characters in a way that feels satisfactory, but Caine managed to do a great job here.

I loved the ending, and how all the characters were remembered and dealt with in a loving and careful way. I think Caine must have had a special place in her heart for Jess, Thomas, Kahlila, Dario, Morgan, Glain, Santi, and
What a fantastic end to this fantastic series. I was both teary and happy by its satisfying end. To get there, our library gang only had to deal with several murder attempts, numerous betrayals, near death experiences, and the sure knowledge that they could count utterly on each other.
Jess says it well:
“Thomas nodded and looked at Wolfe. Santi. Glain. Dario. Last, at Jess. Jess felt something cold and knotted ease up inside him. They might all be doomed, but at least they were, for the first
☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer)
Don’t you love when you become invested in the characters and story? When you cry over loss, worry about outcomes and curse villains names? If you do than the Great Library series is for you.

In this world the written word and knowledge are controlled for the greater good. Books are illegal and and smugglers profit. It’s the story of a small group of Librarians who overcoming the controlling faction to better the world. They believe knowledge and books should be shared. Along the way there will b
Robin (Bridge Four)
I do love it when a series wraps up well. Most loose ends are tied up and we have a pretty clear idea of what the future will hold for both the Great Library and the people that serve it. I will say the conclusion was satisfying for me.


I will miss the crew we have spent the last five books getting to really know. They are all interesting and special in their own way and I’ve grown to love them all. I’ve also loved the twist to the Library at Alexandria and how information was kept in this world
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ya-fantasy
The fifth and final book in The Great Library series by Rachel Caine. This fantasy series involves an imaginative world where owning books is banned and information from books is controlled by the Great Library.

The world-building in this series is fantastic. The assorted cast of characters have really grown as the series has progressed. The characters have worked hard to bring down the corruption in the Great Library, but the future of the Library is unknown as multiple sides vie for control. Si
Ashley Marie
One of the best series I've ever read ever. Rachel Caine, you are a fantastic genius. Thank you for not giving up on this idea.

I have to add: It is nearly always a TERRIBLE idea to begin a series with the final book. I say this because I saw updates from someone who picked this up without having read the first four and had no idea who anyone was or what was going on. This is NOT one of those series where you can start wherever you like all willy-nilly and such. PLEASE start with Ink and Bone. PL
Nicole Chinnici
The fifth and final installment in The Great Library series, Sword and Pen is an excellent conclusion to this story.

“There was peace in this place. Maybe there was peace everywhere, if she’d slow down to look.”

I was a little concerned about a third of the way into this book, as it was feeling long and wasn’t gripping me as much as I wanted it to. But it was just me; in the end Caine delivered a book just as entertaining as the previous ones. Sword and Pen combined a well woven plot with characte
Blog tour review, excerpt and giveaways 9/4/19.


Wait. First buy and read the first four books, then buy and read this book. It really doesn't work well as a stand alone especially as it's the last in the series. I'm sad the series is ending and delighted that

Caine ended the series on a high note. I'm not referring to the events of the story but the writing. It was tightly plotted, full of emotion, politics, action, a little romance, found family and musings on who should control
Wanda Pedersen
Fabulous! This is going out with a bang, rather than a whimper! I am not sure what it says about me that I adore dark fantasy, with plenty of battles, plots, backstabby treacherousness, and ingenious weapons. And don’t forget the Great Library! Having worked my whole career in libraries, they are near and dear to my heart.

This volume reduced me to emotional tatters by its end. I shed plenty of tears and just sat staring into space for a while after I finished it. What a ride!

Ms. Caine, you have
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, fantasy
Book #5 and finale to a terrific and recommended series by Rachel Caine. Creative world, interesting characters, and a theme for readers of all ages: who is entitled to knowledge? With the death of an important character, the evil Archivist has been banished, but forces are amassing around Alexandria and the Great Library: several nation’s fleets are just outside the harbor, the Russians are camped outside the northeast gate, and the Archivist in exile has spies everywhere. Everyone on the team ...more
Maja Ingrid
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, ya
A satisfying conclusion to the series!

While I've felt there was a sliiight decline beginning with book 4, the series is still solid through and through. I think one of my dislike was that, with book 4, it started getting multi-pov. Don't get me wrong. I love the other characters as well but I had grown stuck on Jess and was bit territorial with charing my page-time with him with others.
Also with this decline was that, stuff didn't have the same emotional impact on me. Book 1-3 had me crying and
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars. This is the fifth and final instalment in The Great Library series.

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 Libra
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5-4


Sword and Pen is the Fifth and final installment in author Rachel Caine's The Great Library series. As a sort of summary, The Great Library of Alexandria exists in a alternative world. It exists to "contain the knowledge of the world in the name of the greater good." This is a world where possessing real honest to goodness books is a serious crime, but there are those who have found a way to do so even at the threat of death b
The Goblin Times
No spoilers (for this one or the previous ones)

A satisfying ending. The stakes were high the entire time and the action was really good. I loved what the author did with Jess’ arc as a character and his relationship with Morgan. Morgan herself didn’t bother me as she did in the previous books and I even started to like her.

I wanted more interactions between Thomas and Jess and in general among the friend group. It’s understandable that each has something to do during a siege and an inside-war b
Melanie Dulaney
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is both sad and exciting to come to the end of The Great Library series. I have loved each and every one and will continue to recommend it to YA lovers of fantasy, action-adventure and books/libraries in general. With its unique weaponry and mechanical marvels such as tablets that are far more capable than anything currently available and almost sentient statuary that can both kill and protect, this might also be a series for those who enjoy sci-fi, as well. In this final book, readers will s ...more
What a fabulous way to end a fantastic series. The Great Library is among the best, most consistently solid series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, both in the YA genre and outside of it. This final installment gives us perspective chapters from all of the characters I’ve come to love so much over the course of the series, and I was heavily invested in every single point-of-view. The action was nonstop without becoming overwhelming or fatiguing. I love this setting, I love these characters, and ...more
Allison Sesame
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-or-ya
This series definitely did not need to be five books. I think three would have been more than sufficient to tell the story.

This finale was underwhelming and the pacing was bizarre. A “war” of a few days doesn’t carry much weight in my eyes. The ending for some of the characters felt rather lazy and rushed.
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange from an honest review.

With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it's worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series. The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must co
Sandra (LadyGrey Reads)
I'm not crying. Definitely not. Nope. Not at all.

(full review coming soon)
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