In 48 AD, a fire set by the troops of Julius Caesar destroyed much of the Great Library of Alexandria. It was the first of several disasters that resulted in the destruction of the accumulated knowledge of the ancient world. But what if the fire had been stopped? What would the Library have become?
Fast forward: the Great Library is now a separate country, protected by its own standing army. It has grown into a vast power, with unquestioned and unrivalled supremacy. Jess Brightwell, seventeen and very smart, with a gift for mechanical engineering, has been sent into the Great Library as a spy for his criminal family. Magical spells and riots abound in this epic new YA series.
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.
They have only two choices: face the might of the Great Library head on, or be erased from life, and the history of the world, for ever.
Win or die.
The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.
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.