Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.
In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.
Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar... but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.
Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life - and soon both heretics and books will burn...
This is set in an alternate world where the Alexandria Library wasn't destroyed and the written word is the most powerful thing. Knowing me and my love of books added with one of my favourite authors and I was all over this!
First off, I thought it has cool and very interesting world building; with excerpts from various diaries and time periods that builds up the history and background. For example, how the Curators of the Great Library stopped Gutenburg from inventing the printing press, thus not letting the public have access to books. The way that books and the written word was so powerful and special had morphed the way the world had developed. At first I thought it was just incredible the way that people appreciated the written word but without the printing press, it still had that air of entitlement around it. This linked into Jess's home life and the family business of dealing books on the black market.
Set in London then the Great Library, we follow Jess and his journey to escape his family's black market business and become a Librarian, to expand his knowledge and be a mole and get rarer, more expensive books. Part classroom, part deadly field trips, Jess and his fellow postulants learn a lot from their teacher, Scholar Wolfe. I loved learning about the history and the technical stuff behind the Great Library and having such a mixed lot of postulants we learned so much from each of them; they all had a rich history and bought loads to the Library and its teachings.
All in all, this was very different from Caine's other books but still had her imaginative style and great story telling with a very interesting subject. An awesome start to what I'm sure will be a fantastic series.
Published 7th July 2015 by Allison and Busby.