Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
ISBN: 9780451472403 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698180826 (ebook)
ASIN: B016JPTGZ4 (Kindle version)
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…
With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.
Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.
Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.
But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…
Imagine a world where the leading superpower isn’t a national government or religion. In this world, there’s one organization that has ruled for centuries and that organization is the Great Library. In this world, there’s no such thing as bookstores. The Great Library allows you to read portions of books and anything that doesn’t fit with their agenda is banned. Any library scholar or affiliate that comes up with ideas that may minimize the Library’s power is deemed an enemy and arrested. This is the world that Jess Brightwell and friends live in. Jess and friends must decide if they’re willing to adhere to strict Library guidelines or think for themselves in the second book in The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire.
After our introduction to The Great Library in Ink and Bone, Jess and friends had finished their postulant training. Morgan had been forced into service as an Obscurist, never able to leave the Iron Tower. Glain Wathen had become a training officer in the High Garda, living to protect the Great Library no matter what. Khalila Seif and Dario Santiago had become Library Research Scholars. Jess is a low-level Garda-in-training and Thomas, an engineering genius, is reported as killed presumably for creating a printing press. Down, but never out, Jess is looking for answers to why the Library killed Thomas. With a little help from Morgan and a local book smuggling family, is that Thomas is still alive and being kept in a prison facility far away. Jess and friends must decide if they want to free their friend Thomas and if so, if they’re willing to fight the might of the Library no matter the cost?
I found Paper and Fire to be just as riveting a read as Ink and Bone. I’m somewhat enamored with a world that still has the great Library at Alexandria, but this is definitely tempered by the notion that bookstores are nonexistent and I could only read and own approved “books” via the library. (No these are printed books that we’re used to be a cross between printed books and digital books.) Ms. Caine has crafted a believable dystopian world based on a desire for control and power and the Library is powerful beyond anything we could possibly imagine. She provides romance, dysfunctional family drama, and tons of internal and external conflict for all of the characters to deal with. The head of the library, the Archivist, and his assistant, the Artifex Magnus, are willing to do anything to ensure their world view continues. There are people fighting against the Library and its control, but they are just as blinded by their vision as the Archivist and Artifex Magnus. It was disheartening to learn that the Obscurist as forced into service and treated no better than slaves. The female Obscurists are even raped in order to perpetuate the Obscurist line. (No, I won’t tell you if this has been Morgan’s fate or not…read the book!) There’s a lot happening in Paper and Fire and I could go on and on about everything, but if you’ve read Ink and Bone I’ll simply say “read this book.” If you haven’t read Ink and Bone, start there; you’ll probably want to binge read both books so make sure you have a few days to read and enjoy. I eagerly await the next addition to The Great Library Series to find out what happens next.
Read free stories from The Great Library Series here.
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