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 kimbacaffeinate on

4 of 5 stars

When I reviewed Ink and Bone, you may remember I noted that the novel reminded me of Harry Potter and particularly its characters. In my mind, I pictured some of the characters in this trilogy as beloved characters from the Potter series. That trend continues as Caine continued to develop this motley crew. These similarities whether purposeful or not only enhanced my overall reading experience.

Intense, filled with death, danger, and horrifying images for any book lover, I quickly became immersed within this fascinating and dark world. Caine continued to flesh out the world painting a vivid 3D images. The tower and the automatons have me hoping these are turned into major motion pictures. Her world-building skills are incredible, original and fully developed.

The characters and their friendships pull the reader as Caine endears them to us. Jess Brightwell now a member of the High Garda begins searching for one of his dearest friends. Jess is a fantastic hero and his cause just. Jess is an inner scholar turned soldier who moves like a ninja and is incredibly clever. His loyalty to friends, family and his passion for the written word make him someone to champion.

His squad leader, Glain along with Morgan who lives in the Iron Tower, scholar’s Khalila and Dario as well as Commanding Officer Santi and Scholar Wolfe, join Jess in his quest. In doing so they put themselves in great peril. Caine developed Glain further giving the reader insight into this fierce and competitive young woman. Each member contributed and made sacrifices as they moved forward with their quest. We see them suffer through pain, growth, loss and betrayal. Caine drew us into their circle as she exposed the horrors of the library and what occurs within.

Once again, I enjoyed the dynamics of this band of allies from their interaction to the breakdown in relationships. For those looking for romance this series has several but do not look for swoony moments, as these relationships are just threads. While they further connect the reader to this group, they are mere mentions allowing the intense, action packed plot to take center stage.

Paper and Fire made me weep, clench my fists in anger, and gape in amazement. It was an engaging ride from beginning to end. Caine managed to avoid the dreaded second book syndrome and its heart-pounding ending has me counting down the days until the last next release.

Copy provided by publisher. This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Reading updates

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