Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine

Sword and Pen (Great Library, #5)

by Rachel Caine

Jess Brightwell and his friends have achieved the impossible: masterminded an uprising against the Great Library, and toppled its corrupt regime. But while the battle is won, the war is far from over.
A new Archivist must be crowned, one capable of weathering the political storm. With the Library reeling from the coup, foreign nations are circling, eager to plunder the world's knowledge. And the old Archivist, their despotic enemy, has fled into hiding and plots from the shadows. Threats could come from anywhere, at any time. Any of Jess's friends could be wounded or killed in an instant, and the future of the Library itself hangs in the balance.

Reviewed by ladygrey on

2.5 of 5 stars

This book took me forever to finish. Or, really, forever to start. I got about a chapter in and put it down... and it took DAYS to pick it back up. Because I was bored. Bored with the story and bored with the characters and I wanted to find out how it all ended, but I didn’t really want to read the book.

And then I started again and got through it in about a day. For such big books, they’re all pretty quick reads. And lots of plot things happen and some character things happen. Caine is good a making things happen but this whole series felt a little like too much happened—like it should have been 3 or 4 books instead of 5. But plot things kept happening which drew the story out. And yet also those plot things didn’t feel like they had any resonance to the story—they were just things happening which got boring.

By the end, this wasn’t a bad book. But it wasn’t particularly engaging to me. I haven’t really connected to the plot in the past 2 or 3 books because I was bored by the plot. And the characters which I enjoyed the first 2 or 3 books, I don’t know, felt perfunctory. They weren’t as dynamic, maybe because Jess wasn’t as dynamic as the plot pushed him in different directions. I did like that all the characters came together at the end. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for very long but it was nice.

It didn’t help that I never fell in love with this world she created. It had interesting ideas (sort of) and a few touch-points that maybe I would have liked but weren’t really developed. And I didn’t really find the parts that were developed all that interesting.

So my reading, like the story, became perfunctory and now I’ve completed the series. I can move on to the next one.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 4 December, 2019: Finished reading
  • 4 December, 2019: Reviewed