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 Terri M. LeBlanc on

3 of 5 stars

Goodness where do I even start. More stuff is revealed about the nastiness that is The Great Library. Love grows. Deception is around nearly every corner. There’s heart pounding action. And heartbreaking crimes against people and books.

I’m still marveling over Caine’s ability to convey, in this series, how important books are to individuals. I believe the emotion she writes related to books is as strong has the human relationships. I connect with Jess because of his love for books. The emotional connection he has with books just pours off the page.

On the flipside of that, Caine walks a delicate balance of the importance, control and power the knowledge that books carry in society. As our cast of characters journey from Alexandria to Rome to London and in the final pages a surprising location that I won’t reveal, the motives of the Burners are revealed. And the question is asked, what is more important—a life or a book?

I truly excited to see where Caine takes this story next. Jess and the gang have been tossed into the fire at the end of book 2. After working through the depths the Library will go to cover up, hide and misuse knowledge, I almost certain that the team is in for a big discoveries about the Burners going into book 3. It sucks that those discoveries and adventures are more than likely another year away!

This review was originally posted on Second Run Reviews

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 20 May, 2016: Finished reading
  • 20 May, 2016: Reviewed