Ｔｉｔｌｅ：Ash and Quill
Ｓｅｒｉｅｓ： Book 3
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ： ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny….
Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.
Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library….
Khalila was amazing in this book. She was so strong, defiant, and rebellious. It’s so different from how she was in the first book. Actually, that’s not true. She’s still the same polite person, but she knows just how to act in order to defy and still be graceful and polite. She’s just amazing ❤
Beck was also really interesting because of how passionate he was. In some ways, he wasn’t a bad guy. He really did want to do the right thing, he just went down some dark roads to get it done.
I’d add more but I know with this I’d end up putting down every single character.
✩ I’m really glad that half the book takes place with the Burners. I think it was interesting to see things from their perspective, and not just seeing them as background characters that were there for a few pages before they were gone.
Words were sacred things, and this was a particularly awful kind of heresy.
✩ Khalila ❤ She’s so strong, willing to stand up for what she believes in–but in a peaceful way. It makes it hard for anyone to really dislike her (except Beck).
In one calculated move, she had taken Willinger Beck’s symbol away and made it her own. Jess felt a fierce surge of savage joy at the look on Beck’s face. He’d just been bested by a girl a quarted of his age, and the taste seemed bitter.
✩ I like the easy friendship that Jess and Glain share. It’s funny to think back to the first book where they hardly exchanged a word.
Jess laughed. “You know, Glain, there was a time when I didn’t like you. I was stupid.”
Glain gave him that half-wild grin. “Shut up. You still are.”
✩ Best line. I think all readers can relate to this.
“Shut up, booklover.” It was still funny to hear that as an insult.
✩ It’s interesting to see Jess and the Library being at such odds. The Library: willing to destroy anything, even books to preserve itself and the knowledge it controls. Jess and his friends: willing to sacrifice anything to protect any and all knowledge.
Librarians to the end, Jess thought, and it should have been funny. Nothing was funny now.
The Burners! We finally get to see the Burners come out of the background. We get to see them as people and survivors–albeit some really stubborn and ruthless ones at times. Beck was a calculating and cold leader, which proved to Jess and his friends that even the lesser evil was still evil. This was a great part of the book because for so long we have only seen Burners show up as crazy fanatics, but in this book, they’re humanized. More importantly, I hated Beck but admired him when he showed his true love and passion for books.
The loss of the Black Archives proves that the Libray is being pushed closer and closer to the edge. They crossed a line which they cannot come back from, and which is seen as unforgivable even in the eyes of some of the most powerful. The Library knows it’s losing its grip, and it’s digging its heels in when it comes after Jess and his group hard.
We were able to see the characters come together and start to heal from the losses they’d experienced. Particularly, for Wolfe, it’s a bittersweet moment watching his machine being built. It was a really powerful moment for many of the characters. It reminded them (and us) why they’re fighting.
Khalila was one of my favorite characters in this book. She’s always been really peaceful and someone who follows the rules, but in this book, she’s kind of daring, bold, and just plain awesome. I loved how she stood up to other people but could still be civil.
The story doesn’t let up and keeps adding more tension as the Library launches attack after attack. Not only that, but we see how power can corrupt anyone (Beck, Jess’s father). It’s not just the Library that Jess and his friends have to fight.
And then the ending! It was something I didn’t foresee–a pleasant surprise really to see how much of a sacrifice these characters made in order to bring down the Libary (some of them willingly, others… not so much). There are bound to be some negative exchanges between characters in the next book when the truth comes to light—but Jess is putting it all on the line in order to see the Library change. I’m in love with the series and can’t wait to see what comes next! The biggest surprise was reading the ending and realizing there’s at least another book!
This book comes out July 11th, so check it out! It’s basically a series about book lovers fighting for books. What could be better!