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Sword and Pen

Sword and Pen, September 2019
Great Library #5
by Rachel Caine

368 pages
ISBN: 0451489241
EAN: 9780451489241
Kindle: B07JF8JH4F
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Phenomenal conclusion to a must-read series for all steampunk fans!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Sword and Pen
Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted September 17, 2019

Young Adult Fantasy

SWORD AND PEN is the fifth and concluding book in The Great Library series. Rachel Caine picks up the story line right after the startling and quite emotional events of SMOKE AND IRON. The war for the Library is underway, even as the old Archivist has been deposed from his role. Now, the Library, with a new Archivist, is struggling to show the rest of the world that they still wield the power to stand alone without others controlling them. Meanwhile, the old Archivist seeks to destroy the Library completely. Can Jess Brightwell and his friends survive the coming chaos and save The Great Library?

Rachel Caine alternates points of view throughout SWORD AND PEN, allowing us to see the characters grow and change as war knocks on their front door. I love how we see the characters fully mature, accepting themselves for who they are despite, or maybe even because of, their various imperfections. Khalila has long been a favorite of mine, and I can finally say that Dario proves himself worthy of her.

Rachel Caine doesn’t hesitate to wrench our emotions, as time and again in SWORD AND PEN, I found myself on the verge of tears. No character is safe as the war requires sacrifices from everyone involved. I laughed, I cried, I put SWORD AND PEN away angrily, fearing the worst, only to immediately snatch it back up as the story line is as irresistible as it is gut-wrenching.

SWORD AND PEN should be read in the context of the series as a whole, as the events and relationships have been building over the course of the series. Rachel Caine has crafted a phenomenal steampunk story featuring automatons, diabolically clever puzzles, and a library filled with forbidden knowledge kept hidden from the general population for years. Saying goodbye to The Great Library series is going to be hard, as Rachel Caine’s intricate world-building coupled with her superb character development, make this series a must-read for all fantasy fans.

Learn more about Sword and Pen


With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it\'s worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library…or see everything it stood for crumble.

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