Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire (Great Library, #2)

by Rachel Caine

In Ink and Bone, Jess Brightwell learned that the shining light of the Great Library of Alexandria was an illusion ... one that hides great darkness. Now, barred from his goal of becoming a Scholar, he's determined to make his career as a High Garda soldier a success. But news that a friend may be imprisoned and suffering brings Jess back with his old companions, and to a common cause: rescue.

Failure means death. Success means that their uneasy truce with the Archivist becomes open war.

But they have a secret that may shake the very foundations of the Library ... if they dare to use it.

Paper and Fire takes us on a breathless journey from battlefields to ancient tombs, from Alexandria to Rome, and to the edge of a world that must change to survive.

Reviewed by ammaarah on

3.5 of 5 stars

3,5 stars
"Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer."

It's sad to say that I didn't love Paper and Fire as much as Ink and Bone.

The world-building of The Great Library series and the concepts that the series revolves around might be unique, but Paper and Fire reads like a typical YA Dystopian novel. Basically, an oppressive and controlling regime has to be overthrown by a revolution and a group of rebellious teenagers. Don't get me wrong. I love Dystopian novels, but I was expecting something similar to Ink and Bone.

The first three quarters of Paper and Fire consists of planning, scouting and repetitive action scenes. However, the last quarter of Paper and Fire is intense. A lot goes down and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Most of the characters remain stagnant in terms of character growth and development. Jess is smart, cunning and forgettable. Glain is a soldier that I would want on my side. I love her blunt personality. Dario is a jerk, but at the same time I totally understand him. Khalila is freaking amazing. Thomas is so damn optimistic, even after going through so much. Morgan is Jess's love interest, the resident Obscurist and... well, that's it. The scenes with the Obscurist Magnus, Keria Morning, did an awesome job in showing what she's all about. She's a strong, tough, cold and calculating, but she shows vulnerability and has a heart.

I like most of the romance in Paper and Fire, with the exception of Jess and Morgan. They have no chemistry and the romance between them is so bland. Thank goodness there's very little romance in Paper and Fire because Morgan + Jess = WHY?! There is one romance that I am living for and that is the relationship between Wolfe and Santi. They way they love each other, protect each other and will go to the ends of the earth for each other... I will go down with the Wolfe and Santi ship.

I still enjoyed reading Paper and Fire. It's interesting. It held my attention and I care for the characters and am hoping that they succeed.
"Books spoke mind to mind, soul to soul across the abyss of time and distance."

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • 22 November, 2018: Started reading
  • 23 November, 2018: Finished reading
  • 23 November, 2018: Reviewed