Smoke and Iron is the fourth book in a series. See my thoughts on the previous installments
by Rachel Caine
Read: May 20 - 26, 2018
Published: July 3, 2018 by Berkley Books
Source: ARC from publisher (TY Penguin/Berkley!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Sequels, Library, Alexandria, Alchemy
Series: book 4/5?
Book Description: To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.
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.
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Smoke and Iron is the fourth book in Rachel Caine's great library series and by this point I am Very Invested in the lives of this ensemble cast and their plight to 1) save the library from the evil Archivist and 2) stay alive. The last installment ended on a huge cliffhanger, with these 8 characters in dire situations, and this book picks the story back up right in the middle of that danger.
In this story we get four different POVs - Jess, Khalila Morgan and Wolfe - all separated from each other, and all but Khalila completely alone in hostile environments (she is in a hostile environment accompanied by Santi, Glain, Thomas and Dario). Jess, Khalila Morgan and Wolfe each has a different mission, and I was eager to watch everything unfold, and desperate for them to get back to each other. I really enjoyed reading from each of their perspectives, as we haven't gotten so much of that before. Have I said yet that I love all of these characters so much?
I admit that I had a little trouble getting into the momentum of this book, meaning that it wasn't a super fast read for me. But honestly, I think that's mostly because of my own fears of what would happen to all of these dear characters - I was so worried about them that I kept stopping to take a breath and then come back later. And many difficult things did happen in this book - one that I'm still devastated about. But also exciting things happen too. Thankfully Smoke and Iron doesn’t end on a huge cliffhanger, although there is definitely a final book to come, and I cannot wait to read it.
In sum, this is one of my favorite series, and Smoke and Iron picks up where the last one left off and continues the overall storyline in thrilling - and devastating ways. This ensemble cast of 8 has stolen my heart, and I cannot wait to find out what next is in store for them. If you haven't started these books yet, do it now!
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low/Medium - not as harrowing as the end of the last book, but still a lot more to come.