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 believed 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 his friend 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...
His divine wisdom can kiss my common arse. We bling 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.
They are called cutters, which are children and teenagers, that literally run books around London. However, they ran in packs, with most of them only carrying trash, in case they were caught, which was often, whether by the Garda or by people wanting money for turning them over to the Garda. The prologue explains one trip where Jess runs a book to an old man that doesn't go quite as planned.
After reading the prologue, I knew I would LOVE this book! And all of this happens before the book even properly begins.
Imagine a world in which anyone, anywhere, could create and distribute their own words, however ignorant or flawed! ... We cannot be weak if the Library is to resist this invasive, persistent disease of progress.
There are three parts to learning: information, knowledge, and wisdom. A mere accumulation of information is not knowledge, and a treasure of knowledge, in itself, is not wisdom.
The Library holds itself to be the keeper of both knowledge and wisdom, but it is not true. So much should never be held in the hands of so few, for it is a natural, venal habit of men to hold power. And knowledge is the purist form of power.
But there is no wisdom without knowledge, no progress without danger, and I am not the Library's child! I must argue my own information, build my own knowledge, and through experience, transform it into the treasured gold of wisdom.This book went so many different directions that I never would have expected! It is fast-paced, and I loved everything about it! It made me laugh, it made me cry, and feel a whole wide range of emotions in between.
After finishing this book, I immediately downloaded Paper and Fire and started reading it, even though it was super late, and I probably should have just gone to bed...
Stay tuned for reviews for the next two books in the series! I'm about half-way done with Paper and Fire now.
I received a copy of this book from the publishers, through Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.