Second in my favorite books series is The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine. I adore this series! There are five books total and it is YA so it was easy for me to zoom through. I highly highly recommend this series if you are into fantasy, steampunk, books about books, librarians, alchemy and government conspiracy in books.
Read on to see the entire series and what it’s about!
The Great Library #1: Ink and Bone
The series starts off with Ink and Bone. We learn that in this world The Great Library controls all knowledge and allows the masses to read books instantly delivered to “blanks” like kindles except they use alchemy for delivery. Private ownership of books is forbidden and the Great Library will do anything to keep it that way.
The Great Library #2: Paper and Fire
The Great Library is also the equivalent of the government in this series, so the government essentially controls all knowledge. And here’s an example of how far they will go to keep the power from the people.
The Library creates these alchemically controlled automatons that will attack anyone the Library poses as a threat. They are scary lethal creatures such as Lions and Phoenixes except they are made entirely out of razor sharp metal. The beginning of the first novel has a our protagonist running away from one of these lions.
I was hooked on this series from page one!
The Great Library #3: Ash and Quill
Enter our protagonist, Jess. His family is major in the illegal black market book trade. Most of the knowledge Jess has acquired in his life is through the books his family smuggles and sells. And now they want him to train to be a Librarian with the Great Library so he can spy on their operations.
Jess applies and enters a training program to become a part of the Great Library.
The Great Library #4: Smoke and Iron
Jess makes some friends within his training group and metaphorical shit starts to hit the fan when his brilliant friend inadvertently commits heresy by inventing a device that can change the world and put the power back into the hands of the people.
Jess and his group are now wanted rebels and they plan on taking down the Great Library for good to change the world and save their own lives.
The Great Library #5: Sword and Pen
The series culminates with the final book, Sword and Pen. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time.
This series is near and dear to my heart because it’s a combination of so many elements of what I love… fantasy, alchemy, books, librarians! I don’t read a lot of YA anymore, because YA writing tends to be a little too simple for me, but this is certainly an exception!
I also feel like it’s very relevant to current times right now with censorship running rampant and all the political turmoil, fake news etc. Do yourself a favor and read this!
Check out the first post in “my favorites series,” which is for The Tea Dragon Society books!
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