C.G. Drews's Reviews > Sword and Pen

Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, read-2019, young-adult, dystopian

This was stressful, brilliant, powerful and absolutely DESTROYING. I actually had to take a moment to breathe after I finished because, like Jess, I spent most of the book gasping and dying between paragraphs that were obviously designed to spear me right through the feels. This books was so so intense and it delivered everything I needed in a finale. Including making me not know if a single character I liked would get through. I was tHAT stressed!! I was so stressed!!!!

other things I did:
(a) pressed the entire ARC to my face and scream/cried at Santi calling Jess his and Wolfe's son
(b) panicked about Jess' life expectancy
(c) said I hated and loved it in a single breath
(d) took too many photos for my bookstagram
(e) died and came back as a library haunting ghost of appreciation

Last books are always hard to review because I don't want to give spoilers!
But least to say this totally delivered with a tight-action-packed plot, that was full of war and battles, super high stakes, and valiant sacrifices. It also had tons of stupid teenagers thinking they're invincible (I love them) and Wolfe getting grey hairs because his kids are irresponsible about their health (I love him). It had SO SO many satisfying plot twists. I was just beaming by the end.

It managed to be painful on the feels, heartbreaking at times, and also intensely right and satisfying. That's a hard balance to pull off in a finale, and I applaud the entire series for constantly delivering to my super high expectations.

The character dynamics did feel different for this one.
Which I liked, tbh, because I enjoy things being a bit different and I think it's good when character react to the emotional trauma they've been through. (WHICH WAS A LOT IN THE LAST BOOK.)

in this one...
Jess gets himself seriously seriously hurt and I freaked OUT over him for the entire book!! he is my fave!!!
Wolfe and Santi didn't actually take the forefront for this one but I loved their parts and their devotion to each other. Gay dads of the century. We stan. 😭🙌🏻
Thomas is off solving lots of puzzles; also being a super weapons genius while being the softest bean ever
Dario is such a snake I love him. Tbh he bad more chemistry with Jess than Morgan/Jess did but ok.
Khalila no spoilers but AHHHH SHE IS A QUEEN AND I LOVE HER. She really comes into herself in this one!!
Glain has always been like the smallest part of the squad but she is badass and I do like her.
Morgan was super powerful and kinda scary with it, but tbh I really appreciated her whole arc even though parts will make you scream.

(view spoiler)

I also love how the book balances destruction, violence, and hope.
Ultimately, the series is about fighting for what you believe, for making sure no one person has the ability to dictate the spread of knowledge through the world. The book is about knowledge being power...about found-family being the truest part of your heat...and it got so so dark in this book. But it gave us those teardrops of light that we needed to cling onto.

It was perfect. Freaking perfect. I'm NOT over it and will be melting inside for at least 600 years.

"Come off your high ground, Jess. The shadows are where we live."
He didn't want that to be true, but somehow, he felt she'd just spoken an important truth to him. He wanted to be better than that. He wanted to be a Scholar, to live in the light. But he, like Anit, had been born in shadow, and she was right: he functioned better there.


By the time he released the trigger, he'd killed four gods.

"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."


"Knowledge is all. It either is, or it isn't; you can't just say some knowledge is evil because it's inconvenient for you."


Ephemera: In this place we burn the lamp of knowledge that never goes out. We light the world.
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Reading Progress

August 30, 2017 – Shelved
August 30, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
August 25, 2019 – Started Reading
August 26, 2019 –
page 100
27.17% "everyone is abandoning Jess emotionally and I'M CRYING now 😭"
August 26, 2019 –
page 252
68.48% "i'm going to outright cry bloody tears if Jess dies istg"
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: 5-star
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: dystopian
August 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* I NEED THIS LIKE AIR


C.G. Drews IT WAS SO GOOD


message 3: by ilsa➹ (new) - added it

ilsa➹ i need to read the fifth book! sometimes i forget how much i love this series and then i remember khalila exists and i FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN


message 4: by Zara (new) - added it

Zara I can't wait to read this. It's going to be epic!


C.G. Drews ilsa➹ wrote: "i need to read the fifth book! sometimes i forget how much i love this series and then i remember khalila exists and i FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN"

Khalila is a GIFT and continues to be the truest treasure of the entire series in this book. :')


C.G. Drews Zara wrote: "I can't wait to read this. It's going to be epic!"

It didn't disappoint at all!!


message 7: by Panderp (new) - added it

Panderp 😦😦 I need to get my hands on this book


message 8: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth I cannot wait to get my hands on this!


message 9: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Craig I was sad about Morgan, but that was always the least functional relationship in this series, and that says A LOT!


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