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Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) & Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4) by Rachel Caine (ARC) - Reviews

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Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3) by Rachel Caine is officially one of the best books I've had the pleasure of reading this year. I don't know how the author does it but this series just keeps getting better. I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but each book outdoes itself. I think I need more stars to show just how much I appreciate this series. I have no idea why I put it off for as long as I did, but I expect it must be nerves at what is surely coming for this wonderful cast of characters. I adore each and everyone of these characters, but like I've said before Wolfe and Santi are hands down my favorite in this series even if they don't get quite as much page time in this volume. Plus, I think they're one of my favorite LGBT couples in YA, especially as parental figures to the rest of the core cast. Finally, this installment is so intense and that ending is a brutal place to leave us - luckily for me since I waited to pick this up, I was actually able to jump right into my ARC of Smoke and Iron. If you can't already tell I adore this series. Rachel Caine's writing is marvelous as are her characters and world-building skills. If you call yourself a bookworm, then you absolutely need to try this series.

I read this novel from June 28 - July 7, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jess Brightwell and his allies are now in direct danger from the Archivist Magister and his supporters in the Great Library. The world is about to catch fire in all out rebellion and printed words are the spark to ignite the blaze. They'll have to use everything they've got if they want any chance of surviving this fight. It's down to the smugglers, thieves, and Scholars to save all that's still good about the library.

Smoke and Bone by Rachel Caine is the fourth installment of The Great Library series which has quickly become one of my all time favorite series. I know I've said this with pretty much every subsequent volume, but the series just manages to get better and better and this one is no exception! The stakes haven't been higher than they are here. I love the vivid world that the author has created, no matter how brutal it is to our favorite characters. I love her take on this alternate very near future, no matter how terrifying it is in terms of censorship, and that we've had the opportunity to travel and see that world from everywhere to London, Oxford, Alexandria, and Philadelphia. Here a great deal of the action is back in the city of the Great Library's headquarters - their return trip is according to plan but it's still heartbreaking for the characters who weren't let in on that plan.

As fantastic as Caine's world-building has been throughout this series, our diverse core cast of characters are some of the best I've had the opportunity to spend time with. I'm so invested in Jess, Khalila, Morgan, Glain, Dario, Thomas, Wolfe, Santi, and even Brendan. I love them all, but I have to admit that Wolfe and Santi are my two favorites. If anything happens to either of them, I won't know what to do. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting older, but they've been my favorite characters since I started this series. Anyway, this time around several of our main cast have POV chapters. I was kind of worried about that element, but to be honest it's a great addition since Jess and the others are split up for a chunk of the story. Like I said before, the stakes are sky high and everyone is risking their lives, so you can imagine just how stressful it is to see my favorites in such danger. No one is safe, no one.

Overall, Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4) by Rachel Caine is another brilliant installment of one of the most bookish, inventive, and addictive YA fantasy series currently out there. This story is marvelous and I didn't want to put it down, but honestly I was so stressed out while reading it because I couldn't be sure that all of my favorites would survive the oncoming war. I was truly worried bout these characters which is a fantastic testament to Caine's top-notch storytelling abilities and talent at creating diverse and realistic characters that feel as if they could walk right off the page. I know my review hasn't done the novel justice, but I can't recommend it enough. Seriously, I don't know how I'll cope until the final book is released next year - or after it's all over either.

Thanks again, NetGalley!

I read this ARC from July 7 - July 14, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsSmoke and Iron was released on July 3rd, 2018.


  1. Oh My! I generally neither read YA, dystopian, or fantasy books, in any great quantity - but I may just have to make an exception for this series, even though it contains all three genres!

    I have checked back on some of your reviews, which are all amazing, the premises are intriguing and the cover art stunning.

    The idea of a world where there is a central library, but all the information coming out of it is censored, let alone a time when the owning of books as an individual is banned, definitely drew me into this series straight away - but the idea that the printed word is now on the point of destruction - how nail-biting is that?

    Thanks for introducing me to this series, I am giving it some serious thought for my TBR list :)


    1. Ooh, I'm glad I could pique your interest, Yvonne. Let me know what you think of the series if you do decide to give it a try. By the way, it isn't just a central library - it's the Library of Alexandria that in their world was never destroyed! :)

  2. I have got to catch up, I've only read the first book (and loved it!) And then I read some unenthusiastic reviews of book #2 and never read it. But good to know you love this so much. I'll have to try again!

    1. You're missing out, Tammy! I hope you'll end up loving it!!

  3. I've only read a few books of the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. It looks like I'm missing out by not reading this series :)

    1. I haven't tried any of the Morganville Vampires yet, but I'd like to try at least one of them sometime. :) I bet you'd enjoy this one.


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