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Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone

The Great Library

Book - 2016 | First New American Library trade premium paperback edition.
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Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library of Alexandria 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 knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family. Jess has been sent to be his family's spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library's service. When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life--and soon both heretics and books will burn... --Publisher's website.
Publisher: New York, New York : New American Library, 2016.
Edition: First New American Library trade premium paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780451473134
Branch Call Number: YA FIC CAINE, R.
Characteristics: 370 pages ; 21 cm.


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IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

This book has a diverse wonderful cast of characters. Of course, my favorite part of this book is that it is a book about…books! 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!) burn books for political protest in this alternate world where the Great Library rules. This is a fast paced and exciting read leaving you perfectly set for the sequel!
Also, the audiobook is incredible. The narrator is British and Jess' London accent is my favorite thing. The narrator puts so much emotion into it, it just made the book really come alive!

Tigard_LindsayD Apr 22, 2020

Dystopian libraries, a world with alchemy, and a book smuggler turned library student. This suspenseful and adventurous book has interesting characters and sets nigh-impossible challenges for the protagonists. First in a (finished!) series of five.

Feb 14, 2020

Ink and Bone captured my attention immediately. I love the world building of this story, a bit of real life, mixed with fantasy. The Library being a holy thing where cherished books were kept safe and those who worked for the Library made sure of it.

The story follows a teen named Jess, whose family is on the wrong side of the law. Jess loves books and original copy's are something that needs to be kept safe from those who would destroy them. He is forced to work for his family and encounters a man who alters his views on society drastically.

Jess has a twin brother who is nothing like him and an older brother who was killed years ago. His mother and father are not the most loving and caring people, so books, especially original copies, were something he could cherish and love.

The story is filled with adventure and friendship, unlikely allies and death. I gave this a 4 out of 5 because even though it was enjoyable, it did not WOW me. It is a great read and if you love adventure this is definitely a good book for you!

Sep 10, 2019


Can we get a hard copy version of this series? Thanks!

Jul 23, 2019

Really enjoyed this book. Not dystopian per se, but people that like that genre will enjoy this. Has a touch of fantasy and even steampunk. Love the premise. After a war decimated a large portion of the world's literature the Great Library forms to keep the remaining books safe. Some people feel that the Library has over-stepped its' boundaries and isn't so much keeping the knowledge safe, but hoarding it or even changing it.

Well developed characters, plot and plenty of action!

Jul 16, 2019

AMAZING!!! Loved this book!! READ!! Jess isn't from a lawabiding family and he knows it!! But he wants something more for his life and The Great Library just might be able to provide that. But the Library isn't perfect and when Jess's friend commits an accidental act of treason and his girlfriend disobeys the Library Jess must question everything the Library stands for. 13+

May 12, 2019

WARNING! This is not a stand-alone story; the author leaves you hanging at the end of this and every other book in the series so far. I've just finished the 4th book in the series ("Ink and Bone", "Paper and Fire", "Ash and Quill", and "Smoke and Iron") and there is obviously a book 5 coming. Don't get started unless you are an avid reader. ;-)

Oct 14, 2018

Well written with good action that keeps you reading. Well developed character descriptions. Different story concept. Looking forward to reading the next volume.

Oct 28, 2017

This alternate history starts out a bit like Oliver Twist, morphs into an older Philosopher's Stone minus magic, then matures into a conspiracy story. This is the book I hoped Cogman's parallel world, historical romance series The Librarians would be. Caine does a good job of blurring the lines between technology and magic without making it about that. In actual fact, the core of this book is about a data cloud monopoly and the single instance problem of de-duplication.

GCPL_Teen Jul 26, 2017

I was sold on this book before I knew it. It was hard for me to put down for even a minute! Extremely fast-paced, this book has a lot of action and suspense set in a fantasy world where the Great Library of Alexandria had never been destroyed. A world where the library has quite a bit of power. Unfortunately, like with most things that have power, there is also corruption. And where there is corruption, there are those that fight it. A definite recommendation for any teen or adult who has a love of books.

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Add a Quote
IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

"The truth was what the library wanted it to be."

Apr 13, 2017

“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”

Jun 09, 2016

" 'I just don't hold with making the world into copies of what I like.' "

Jun 09, 2016

"Kisses could lie as well as words."


Add a Summary
IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

In this world, books are supremely powerful. The Great Library is the control of that power. The library, using alchemy, delivers content of all the greatest works of history instantly, but they deliver what THEY want you to read. Owning personal books is expressly forbidden!

Jun 09, 2016

In an alternate future, the Library controls everything and books are more valuable than human lives.

Oct 03, 2015

Imagine if at the great library in Alexandria, Egypt wasn't destroyed and was now the center of all of the knowledge in the world. Knowledge that is restricted to what is deemed acceptable and safe. Jess Brightwell and his fellow students find out what lengths the library will go to in order to control that knowledge.


Add Age Suitability
IndyPL_TammieB Jan 27, 2021

IndyPL_TammieB thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 16, 2019

GreenNinjaGirl thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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