Helena of Sparta ✰'s Reviews > Sword and Pen

Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine
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it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, best-of-2019, favourites, greco-roman, arcs, hardback

I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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"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 down because I prefer my endings more happily ever after, rather than bittersweet, but this was a phenomenal finale to a fantastic series. Why it's so underrated is a mystery to me!

Considering this is book #5, it makes it difficult to review, because how do I talk about everything that I want to without spoiling EVERYTHING?! I don't know, but I shall do my best, nonetheless! xD

I'm not going to lie...I spent the majority of this book hyperventilating about Jess. The poor bloke kept nearly dying every couple of pages, and I'm surprised that I didn't need to go the hospital for incessant anxiety attacks. Leave poor Jess alone! My favourite scenes with him though, were the ones with Wolfe and Santi as well, who truly considered him as their adopted son. What wonderful gay dads. These three characters are my absolute favourites in the series. <3

Furthermore, Thomas was being his genius self, creating inventions and solving puzzles. Dario gets to go on his own crafty missions. Khalila really cements herself into Library politics. Glain is the badarse soldier that we all know her to be. And we also get to see the full extent of Morgan's powers!

As is the norm for this series, the plot was action-packed (with INSANE and unexpected twists and turns!), with the stakes so high that one misstep could lead to the end of the world as they knew it. There were many battles with high costs, as everyone in this group seemed to be in competition to see who could make the most valiant sacrifices. I've never come across a found family with such low senses of self-preservation, haha. Everyone thought that they were invincible and completely ignored their health, which was SO STRESSFUL for me!

This series is a very timely discussion about who gets to dictate the spread of knowledge. Should dangerous information be contained? Is it everyone's right to have equal access to it? What happens when knowledge is power and those who are in power abuse it? Ultimately, it's about hope and fighting for what you believe in. But it's also about friends and family...how they are all you need to see the light in the dark.

This book series is so close to my heart, and as a bibliophile myself, I really related to Jess and his love of books. This really was a series dedicated to book lovers. This is a very important series in today's society where censorship and surveillance are not uncommon.

I cannot wait for Rachel Caine's next venture. No matter what it is, I'm certain that it shall be a good one!
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Reading Progress

February 2, 2018 – Shelved
February 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
February 2, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
March 22, 2019 – Shelved as: best-of-2019
March 22, 2019 – Shelved as: favourites
March 31, 2019 – Shelved as: greco-roman
August 27, 2019 – Shelved as: arcs
September 1, 2019 – Started Reading
September 1, 2019 –
page 63
17.12% "One of my most anticipated reads of the year...LET’S DO THIS!!! 👏🏻"
September 3, 2019 –
page 130
35.33% "“I wonder if it was your father who made you think so little of yourself...Having met the man, I would believe it. But, Jess: don’t believe what the demons whisper in the corners of your mind. We all have demons. You are not to be compared against any of the others, or against your own brother. You are yourself...”

😭😭😭 I love Wolfe and Jess."
September 4, 2019 – Shelved as: hardback
September 4, 2019 –
page 155
42.12% "I don’t actually know what’s going to happen, which is exciting!"
September 7, 2019 –
page 338
91.85% "I’m not ready for this to end! 😭"
September 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I think I picked up the first book in this series awhile ago but didn't really like it enough to finish it. I may give it a second chance and see if I can get through this series because I keep hearing about them, but I don't know if they are worth it.


Helena of Sparta ✰ Tiffany wrote: "I think I picked up the first book in this series awhile ago but didn't really like it enough to finish it. I may give it a second chance and see if I can get through this series because I keep hea..."

Hmm. Well why didn't you enjoy it? I personally enjoyed the Fahrenheit 451-esque atmosphere, where you can't own books and knowledge is regulated. The thought of the library taking over the world was fascinating to me! Personally, I thought that each instalment got better and better. :)


message 3: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I think I picked it up at the wrong time. I didn't finish the book and just returned it to the library. It was being read at the same time that I was going through that time when I was deleting my first account and I think I resented everything regarding books then. I am definitely going to pick this book up but I am not sure when.


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Tiffany Oh ok! Well I hope you enjoy it more the second time around! 💖


message 5: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I think I will this time. Whenever I go through one of my really bad days, I tend to find that a lot of the books I pick up go on the 'I hate this list'. Luckily, I haven't been going through those days lately, but it is so hard for me to settle down with a book whenever I go through those moments.


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Tiffany When I have a book slump, I either don’t read anything or I only reread an old favourite 😍


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary S. R. I own all the previous 4 books and haven't read a single one yet!


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Mary OMG YOU NEED TO READ THEM!


ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω LOL! @Mary, you shouldn’t have admitted that to Helena. She might get after you to read them now 😉


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Lynn I have no idea what you are trying to imply...🤔😂


message 11: by Mary (new)

Mary S. R. Uh-oh, I screwed up didn't I? It's just that, you know, they're so gorgeous? So, every once in a while, I take them out of my shelves and arrange them on my bed and stare at them for an hour, then reverently pick them up and...put them back on the shelf :) how're you doing *discreetly backs away*


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Mary GUESS WHAT. THEIR INSIDES ARE GORGEOUS TOO. PICK THEM UP AND READ THEM. How am I doing? Waiting for you to read these books lol


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary S. R. I'll take your word for it XD hopefully soon I'll tackle them! Before you personally haunt my dreams...
Next month, after our BR :)


Helena of Sparta ✰ @Mary Hehehe YAYAYAYAYA! Books about books are all that I live for lol


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