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Sword and Pen (The Great Library #5) by Rachel Caine (ARC) - Review

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

With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it's worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series. The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library . . . or see everything it stood for crumble.

Sword of Pen by Rachel Caine is an outstanding finale to The Great Library series, which quickly became an all time favorite series. I devoured each and every installment before this, but I just wasn't ready to say goodbye to so many favorite characters so I kept putting book five off. I shouldn't have been worried, though, because Rachel Caine expertly concludes this marvelous series. I couldn't have asked for anything better. The world she has created feels like it has a life of its own and the cast of characters have grown so much since we met them.

Once I started this novel I did not want to put it down because so much happens and its quite the roller coaster of emotions that one goes through. Primarily, though, I savored the time I got to spend with everyone one last time from Jess, Dario, Glain, Khalila, Morgan, Thomas, Wolfe, and Santi. I love everyone, but the real stand outs here are Jess (I was so worried for him), Khalila (she really comes into herself here), and Wolfe and Santi (both are awesome and I'm really happy that they've practically adopted Jess). It's not often that I can say a couple of adult characters are my favorites of a Young Adult series, but Wolfe and Santi have certainly earned it. To be honest, I feel like I earned a few gray hairs right there along with Wolfe.

Finally, I just want to mention that I appreciate how much heart this series has. It's so hopeful when it comes to the future even though there's been so much bloodshed and destruction. It ends in a way that gives us great closure for our core cast, but also keeps things open to give us the opportunity to imagine their further adventures. Overall, I can't recommend The Great Library series by Rachel Caine enough and Sword and Pen, the fifth and final installment, is absolutely outstanding. If you haven't jumped into this series yet, or have been putting off the finale, what are you waiting for? My expectations were sky high, but I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing these characters again a few years down the road. They could be just going about their lives with nothing special going on and I expect I'd love it just as much. It would be nice to visit their world again in the future. What could really be fun - an adult fantasy spin-off told from Wolfe and Santi's alternating perspectives a little while down the line. I'm sure that that would be a treasure.

Sword and Pen (The Great Library #5) by Rachel Caine was released on September 3, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.  Thanks again, NetGalley!


  1. I've never continued this series after the first book, but not because I didn't want to. I'm glad it ended on such a high note😁

    1. All of them are brilliant, Tammy. I hope you try the rest of them some day. :)

  2. i have read a book or two by rachel, but not this one. i need to check the library for this series. great review
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I've really enjoyed everything I've read by her, but I've still got a lot to catch up on. :)

  3. I think this is a series my daughter might really enjoy when she is a bit older (she is almost seven and LOVES big chapter books that match her actual reading level.)


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