Sunday, October 28, 2018

Book Shelf: Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4) by Rachel Caine

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. 

More info on Goodreads....


Smoke and Iron is the fourth novel in The Great Library series by Rachel Caine and is an action packed story of adventure, danger and intricately laid plans that will keep readers entranced until long after the final page.

Jess Brightwell has placed himself in grave danger at the hands of the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. Disguised as his brother, Jess hopes to bring the Library down from within, but none of his wits and cunning will be enough to save him if his deception is discovered. As a mighty rebellion gains traction thanks to Jess and his friends, those who dare to stand up to the Archivist will have to rely on their shared love of knowledge in order to gain their freedom. Jess and his friends are once again imperative to success, but when things begin to fall apart will the revolution be over before it truly begins?

Smoke and Iron is another deftly depicted instalment in The Great Library series, showcasing Rachel Caine’s artfully skilled ability at world building and pacing as she once again brings her series to life. Smoke and Iron is well-structured and the story flows well, with each chapter and subsequent events within said chapter purposely written to drive the storyline forward and set things up. Admittedly there are some moments that were slower than others, but that only ramped up the anticipation for me.

Unlike the previous novels in the series told solely through Jess’s perspective, Smoke and Iron varies it’s chapters and follows Jess, Morgan, Khalila and Scholar Wolf primarily with also all of our beloved characters---Glain, Captain Santi, Thomas etc---featuring at least once. Given the geographical distance between some of them, this was a really smart change on Rachel Caine’s part as it afforded a better view of what was going on within the novel.

Jess and his friends are still in the midst of the battle of their lives as they fight to overthrow the Archivist and restore the Great Library to its former glory and easy of knowledge. This fight is not without its dangers and losses and as Caine continues to build the stakes and weave the story, it’s impossible not to back Jess and his fellow scholars as they stand against those who have corrupted their beloved Library and beliefs.

All the characters in this series are so very different but complement each other so beautifully. They all have important roles to play and the variation of personalities and dynamics make for interesting reading. It’s wonderful to see the connection these very different people share; they truly are a family and as they fight for their beliefs, and each other, Rachel Caine manages to include some moments of sweetness and true friendship in the story.

Smoke and Iron climbs to a dramatic conclusion as Jess and the gang take on the Archivist with startling results. I’m very excited to see what will happens next with the brimming of a new world order evident in the final chapters of the novel. Rachel Caine can’t release the next novel fast enough as I’m not ready to let go of this thrilling series just yet!

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Allison & Busby (Allen & Unwin)
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $16.99
Release Date: August 2018
Purchase: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Another fabulous Great Library novel. I can't wait for more.

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