My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I struggled with the beginning of this book, an alternate reality, fantasy story, set in a world where the Great Library of Alexandria had never been destroyed, I found it dragged and if it had stayed like that, it would have been a very reluctant 3 stars but by the end of the book, I absolutely loved it, so it’s with a reluctance of a different kind that I still give it 3 stars but I can’t ignore those draggy bits. Anyway, what is the book about? The main character is Jess, the eldest son in a book smuggling family, he’s clearly not truly cut out for taking over the business, so he is sent to train in The Library. The Library control all written information in the world, making them an extremely powerful and very controlling organisation. It was only when Jess started his training did I find the story start to pick up, he meets the other trainees and I am a sucker for stories about the friendships and adventures of a group of characters. The trainees’ teacher is the unpleasant Scholar Wolfe and at first he grated me because he was written so two dimensionally but after a while, well, have you ever fell in complete and utter book love / lust with a fictional character? I love that when that happens and phew, Wolfe is up there in the pantheon of my favourite, sexy literary characters (sorry, not sorry to get all hot under the collar in a book review). And actually, I can sort of understand why Caine wrote Wolfe so two dimensionally at first, the trainees hated him and were scared of him, they weren’t exactly going to see him as that human.
Anyway, I went from, “nah, I probably won’t read the next book in the series ” to “bring it on now! and also whilst you’re at it bring on the short stories written in that universe too”. I suspect I’ll be giving the next book a higher rating.