Ink and Bone is an alternate history which starts with a simple change: the Library of Alexandria survived, and protecting it became the main focus of society. More than the church, the Library is the thing which holds society together, which has access and immunity, which controls technology. I thought there would be more about love of individual books, rather than books as a concept, since people talked about this as a book about books, but it isn’t, really. While the characters do read and study, and books are protected and valuable (and illegal to own an original copy of), it feels like the point is more the politics and the alternate history.
Which is fine: it turns out to be quite interesting. I found the supporting characters, like Wolf and Thomas, more interesting than Jess himself – and definitely wanted to see more of Jess’ twin, whose role and potential importance is kept very much in the background. The different way the world develops, with some types of technology (like the printing press) suppressed every time someone comes up with it, is pretty fascinating. The magic/technology is also pretty cool; I definitely want to know more about that, how it works and how much of it is magic, how much technology. The political background, with Wales’ war on England, is also pretty interesting, and I’d love to see Caine’s timeline of how exactly that would come about in the changed conditions of this Europe.
The end of the book leaves things very open; I’m quite impatient to read the next book and see where it all goes. I didn’t so much get involved with the characters as with the overall plot, so I won’t mind if the next book jumps POV. I just want it already!