by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #4
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies
Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine is the fourth novel in the Great Library series. As addictive as its predecessors. I could not set this down. Jess and his motley crew face their greatest danger yet. Jam-packed from beginning-to-end with plots, deception, danger and nail-biting suspense. Gads I love this series.
After the jaw dropping conclusion of Ash and Quill, I was more than a little eager to return to this world and my friends. Yes, the characters have become friends as Caine has made me an honorary coach participant in their quest to save the library and the vast books and knowledge contained within.
If you are unfamiliar with the series, I will give you a general breakdown. It shares a dystopian world where all knowledge and books are contained within the Library. To own a book is illegal. They give each citizen a codex in which they may read sanctioned books and approved news. The Libraryis powerful and the some have chosen to rebel. There are book smugglers, extremists who believe books should be burned, and alas greedy rulers who thirst for power and control. The leader of the Library is a greedy and controlling man. Troubling things are happening behind its doors. A Professor, his students and his lover soon find themselves on a quest to stop the corruption, protect the books and free knowledge.
Spoiler Free and Vague Thoughts
Smoke and Iron was suspenseful with nail-biting developments, new automations and great loss. We’ve got Jess, posing as Brendon, his twin, Morgan is back in the Dark Tower a place she swore she’d never return to and Wolfe being held prisoner in the dungeon. The rest of our crew is aboard a ship manned by Ani. All have a part to play in the game to undermine and remove the archivist from power. Ahhhh…. it was all so stressful!
The story moved from POV to POV, some Jess, some from Wolfe and others from Khalia. The ebb and flow keep me engaged. I tried to savior the story by setting it down and just digesting things for a day, but the last sixty percent I devoured in a single sitting.
Things I loved:
- Wolfe and Santi’s relationship. (swoon)
- Dario who completely won me over.
- Thomas the brave.
- Khalia who continues to impress me. I see great things in her future.
- Jess who is clever, foolish, and inspires his friends to greatness even as they want to kill him. LOL
- When I close my eyes, these characters are the actors and actresses from the Harry Potter movies. Wolfe is Snape, Thomas is Neville, Dario is Malfoy, Jess is Harry, Morgan is Luna, and Khalia is Hermione. All have traits that from the beginning reminded me of Rowling’s characters and while there are vast differences, I think readers will agree they come to care for these characters in much the same way.
Caine must have poured her soul into this installment. It had everything an epic fantasy needs. We saw fantastic battles, plot twists, and death. Now I’ve heard readers say this ended in a cliffhanger and while things are not completely resolved I felt differently. After a good cry, the ending left me satisfied and for once I didn’t close the book while screaming.
If friendship, strong characters and epic world-building tickle your fancy I recommend you devour the Great Library series. The next and final book is yet to come.
The Great Library SeriesSmoke and Iron by Rachel Caine delivered a suspenseful #fantasy with nail-biting developments, new automations and great loss. A #mustread edition to the Great Library series #NewRelease Click To Tweet
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: