Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone

eBook - 2015
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In a world where the Great Library of Alexandria governs the flow of information to the people, Jess discovers that those who control the Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than human life after his friend inadvertently commits heresy.
Publisher: New York, New York :, New American Library,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780698180819
Characteristics: 1 online resource (355 pages)
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


From Library Staff

The start of an epic dystopian fantasy series centered all around the Great Library and its control of all information and printed books.

From the critics

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Tigard_LindsayD Apr 22, 2020

Dystopian libraries, a world with alchemy, and a book smuggler turned library student. This suspenseful and adventurous book has interesting characters and sets nigh-impossible challenges for the protagonists. First in a (finished!) series of five.

Feb 14, 2020

Ink and Bone captured my attention immediately. I love the world building of this story, a bit of real life, mixed with fantasy. The Library being a holy thing where cherished books were kept safe and those who worked for the Library made sure of it.

The story follows a teen named Jess, whose family is on the wrong side of the law. Jess loves books and original copy's are something that needs to be kept safe from those who would destroy them. He is forced to work for his family and encounters a man who alters his views on society drastically.

Jess has a twin brother who is nothing like him and an older brother who was killed years ago. His mother and father are not the most loving and caring people, so books, especially original copies, were something he could cherish and love.

The story is filled with adventure and friendship, unlikely allies and death. I gave this a 4 out of 5 because even though it was enjoyable, it did not WOW me. It is a great read and if you love adventure this is definitely a good book for you!

Sep 10, 2019


Can we get a hard copy version of this series? Thanks!

Jul 23, 2019

Really enjoyed this book. Not dystopian per se, but people that like that genre will enjoy this. Has a touch of fantasy and even steampunk. Love the premise. After a war decimated a large portion of the world's literature the Great Library forms to keep the remaining books safe. Some people feel that the Library has over-stepped its' boundaries and isn't so much keeping the knowledge safe, but hoarding it or even changing it.

Well developed characters, plot and plenty of action!

Jul 16, 2019

AMAZING!!! Loved this book!! READ!! Jess isn't from a lawabiding family and he knows it!! But he wants something more for his life and The Great Library just might be able to provide that. But the Library isn't perfect and when Jess's friend commits an accidental act of treason and his girlfriend disobeys the Library Jess must question everything the Library stands for. 13+

May 12, 2019

WARNING! This is not a stand-alone story; the author leaves you hanging at the end of this and every other book in the series so far. I've just finished the 4th book in the series ("Ink and Bone", "Paper and Fire", "Ash and Quill", and "Smoke and Iron") and there is obviously a book 5 coming. Don't get started unless you are an avid reader. ;-)

Oct 14, 2018

Well written with good action that keeps you reading. Well developed character descriptions. Different story concept. Looking forward to reading the next volume.

Oct 28, 2017

This alternate history starts out a bit like Oliver Twist, morphs into an older Philosopher's Stone minus magic, then matures into a conspiracy story. This is the book I hoped Cogman's parallel world, historical romance series The Librarians would be. Caine does a good job of blurring the lines between technology and magic without making it about that. In actual fact, the core of this book is about a data cloud monopoly and the single instance problem of de-duplication.

GCPL_Teen Jul 26, 2017

I was sold on this book before I knew it. It was hard for me to put down for even a minute! Extremely fast-paced, this book has a lot of action and suspense set in a fantasy world where the Great Library of Alexandria had never been destroyed. A world where the library has quite a bit of power. Unfortunately, like with most things that have power, there is also corruption. And where there is corruption, there are those that fight it. A definite recommendation for any teen or adult who has a love of books.

Jul 03, 2017

Loved it! Couldn't put it down. Jess comes from a family of book smugglers in a world where books are controlled by the Great Library. He applies to become a librarian in this steampunk world and finds friends and conspiracies.

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Apr 13, 2017

“You have ink in your blood, boy, and no help for it. Books will never be just a business to you.”

Jun 09, 2016

" 'I just don't hold with making the world into copies of what I like.' "

Jun 09, 2016

"Kisses could lie as well as words."


Add a Summary
Jun 09, 2016

In an alternate future, the Library controls everything and books are more valuable than human lives.

Oct 03, 2015

Imagine if at the great library in Alexandria, Egypt wasn't destroyed and was now the center of all of the knowledge in the world. Knowledge that is restricted to what is deemed acceptable and safe. Jess Brightwell and his fellow students find out what lengths the library will go to in order to control that knowledge.


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Jul 16, 2019

GreenNinjaGirl thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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