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Ink and Bone
Cover of Ink and Bone
Ink and Bone
The Great Library Series, Book 1
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In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time....

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library 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, who are involved in the thriving black market. 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 he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn....
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time....

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library 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, who are involved in the thriving black market. 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 he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn....
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.4
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    ALSO BY RACHEL CAINE

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    EPHEMERA

    Text of a historical letter, the original of which is kept under glass in the Great Library of Alexandria and listed under the Core Collection.

    From the scribe of Pharaoh Ptolemy II, to his most excellent servant Callimachus, Archivist of the Great Library, in the third year of his glorious reign:

    Great King Ptolemy, Light of Egypt, has considered your counsel to make copies of the most important works of the Library to be housed in daughter libraries, hereinafter to be called Serapeum, for the access and enrichment of all men. Pharaoh, who is as wide as the Nile in his divine wisdom, agrees to this proposal.

    You shall therefore survey the contents of the Great Library and create for him a listing of all works housed therein, which shall serve ever after as the accounting of this great storehouse of the knowledge of the world.

    You shall then consult with the Library's Editor to make exact copies of items suitable for the use of the Serapeum, being mindful of the need to provide works that elevate and educate.

    By these means shall we further preserve the knowledge we have gathered and hold in trust from ancient times, to be preserved for the future of all who come after.

    Pharaoh has also heard your words regarding the unaccompanied admission of females to this sacred space of the Serapeum, and in his divine wisdom refuses this argument, for women must be instructed by the more developed minds of men to ensure they do not wrongly interpret the riches that the Library offers. For a perversion of knowledge is surely worse than a lack of it.

    Pharaoh and the gods will grant eternal favor and protection to this great work.

    A handwritten annotation to the letter, in the hand of Callimachus.

    His divine wisdom can kiss my common arse. We blind and hobble half of the world through such ignorance, and I will not have it. Women shall study at the Serapeum as they might be inclined. Let him execute me if he wishes, but I have seen enough of minds wasted in this world. I have a daughter.

    My daughter will learn.

    PROLOGUE

    Six years ago

    "Hold still and stop fighting me," his father said, and slapped him hard enough to leave a mark. Jess went quiet. He hadn't meant to fidget, but the pouch strapped to his bare chest felt hot and dangerous, like some animal that might turn on him and bite.

    He looked up at his father as the man snugged the harness bindings closer. When it was suffocatingly tight, he tossed Jess a filthy old shirt.

    He'd done this often enough that, while it was still frightening, it was no longer strange . . . But there was a sense that this time, this run, was different. Why, Jess didn't know, except that his father seemed more tense than usual.

    So he asked, hesitantly, "Da—anything I should know?"

    "Doesn't matter a damn what you know. Lose that book to the Garda and you'll hang, if you're lucky. If I don't get you first. You know the route. Run it flat and fair, and you'd best damn well die before you give it to any but the one that's paid for it."

    Callum Brightwell cast a critical eye over his son's thin form, then yanked a vest from a chest and shoved it over Jess's shirt. There was only one button on it. Jess fastened it. It hung two sizes loose, which was the point: better concealment for the harness.

    Brightwell nodded and stepped back. He was a smallish man, runted by poor nutrition in his youth, but now he was dressed well in a bright yellow silk waistcoat and trousers of fine cotton. "You look the part," he told Jess. "Remember to stay with the cutters. Don't split off...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 22, 2015
    In a magical, near-future world where the library at Alexandria never fell and stands as the parent for the Serapeum, or daughter libraries, a supremely powerful body known as the Great Library closely controls all knowledge. Sixteen-year-old Jess Brightwell, born into a family of book smugglers, loves to immerse himself in the rare, forbidden, original volumes, though he doesn’t have the heart for the family business. Jess’s father finds another way for him to be of use: Jess is allowed to test for a coveted position in the Library but must agree to help out the family in return. Thus begins his descent into the dangers of discovery, the politics of power, and the wastes of war. Stylistically familiar fantasy elements (an elite school reached by train, magical automata) immerse readers in a world where survival often comes with a steep price. Caine’s (the Morganville Vampires series) elegantly detailed descriptions bring Jess’s world to vivid life in a fast-paced, action-oriented plot that will leave readers breathlessly anticipating not just the next page but the next book in the Great Library series. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2015

    Gr 8 Up-In an alternate reality, the Great Library of Alexandria is a powerful governing force that controls the dissemination of information. With strategically located branches around the world, it enforces its rules via a highly trained military and deadly automatons. Possession of a book in its original form is illegal, but copies can be requested and are transferred temporarily to readers. For the majority of people who follow its edicts, the library seems like a benevolent authority, but as the delivery boy for his father's black market operation in original books, Jess Brightwell lives in constant fear of being caught by the High Garda. When his father announces that he's enrolled Jess as a postulant to train for a coveted library position, Jess is intrigued and resentful. Constant exposure to books has him hungering for access to the library's vast archives, but he has no wish to continue risking his life for his father's business. His illegal activities have imbued him with the skills necessary to place among the top contenders for the few available positions. But the further Jess gets into the training, the greater the risk of being found out and the more he realizes that the library will stop at nothing to maintain control over its collection. Caine has created a Dickensian future with an odd mix of technologies and elements of sorcery. A strong cast of characters and nail-biting intensity make for a promising start to this new series. VERDICT Teens and librarians alike will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Great Library Series, Book 1
Rachel Caine
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