The Great Library: Ash and Quill

Make sure to check out my reviews of Ink & Bone and Paper & Fire!

The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny….

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library….

If you’ve read my last two reviews, you know I was mega excited for this third book. I could hardly contain my anticipation, and put everything else aside to jump right in.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel like Ash & Quill held up to the first two. It felt more like a sophomore book–the action sort of stalled when the team left the Great Library for America. I found the plotting amongst the Burners quite boring. It did pick up in the second half, thankfully.

We do get some interesting interactions with Brendan, Jess’s twin brother, who had previously only skipped in and out of the pages. There’s a few other recurring characters too.

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I really don’t care much for Morgan–especially not in relation to Jess. Does anyone else ship Jess with Thomas? I feel there could be so much more than friendship there if Morgan wasn’t in the way. Those two together are just very uncomfortable to me. Glain is also intriguing–no romantic involvement at all, seemingly on purpose. Is she asexual, or just unattached? I’d be curious if anyone else had any thoughts on that. Just some thoughts I’ve had while reading these three novels.

After the action packed first and second books, this was pretty disappointing. However, the second part builds up to a fourth book, which I did not realize was coming. I had assumed this was going to be a trilogy–so the development here makes a little more sense knowing that. Hang on to the story, hopefully better things are coming.

This ARC was provided by Berkley for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

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