Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) By Rachel Caine

From the first book of the The Great Library series by Rachel Caine, I’ve been hooked. However, I didn’t absolutely love the second book as much as I did the first book, which contributed to me taking at least a year before I picked up the third book, Ash and Quill.

Blurb: Words can kill.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny…

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library.

Initially, I think it was a good idea that I waited to read this book. One reason is because by the time I decided to read this one, the last two books had been published and I easily found them at my library. However, the other reason is that so far, this is not a favorite of the series.

We mostly follow the events in this book from our main character Jess Brightwell. I did forget how much fun it is to read Jess; he’s clever, calculating, loyal, and a lover of books and reading. I also love that this mixes in well with his criminal upbringing. He’s a good person yet knows how to pick locks and create a layout of a building in his head among other things.

While I loved having the whole gang together again, it became pretty clear that I would not be getting too excited about the plot of this book. Honestly, it felt a little too much like a book full of filler. Sure, there were plenty of events that occurred that was important yet the whole book felt like one plot point dragged out until the last 50-100 pages or so. That last bit is where it finally started to get exciting and the plot felt like it was finally moving. Caine’s writing, as usual, was great. I guess I just expected more from the third book of the series.

Have you read Rachel Caine’s Great Library series? What did you think of this book? Let me know in a comment!


Be sure to check out my review of Book 1, Ink and Bone, and Book 2, Paper and Fire.

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