Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Posted October 15, 2018 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel CaineSmoke and Iron by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #4
Published by Berkley on 2018-07-03
Length: 430 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
3 Flames
Reading Challenges: 2018 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2018 New Release Challenge

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.

Why oh WHY?!?! I’m feeling all the emotions right now! Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine is the much anticipated 4th book of The Great Library and picks up right were Ash and Quill left us hanging. Without spoiling that one, I’ll just say that Jess and Dario’s harebrained plan has left the friends split up and being tortured….yeah good going guys 🙄

Jess, Morgan, and KHALILA

Told in multiple POV this time, Smoke and Iron plays out much like I thought it would AND not at all like I expected. Jess is in the hands of the Archivist and pretending to be something he is not. It takes all of his cunning and then some to pull it off. But pull it off he does and it is magnificent. I caught myself holding my breath through most of his chapters. 

Morgan is with the Obscurists. I loved her scenes. Not only do we finally get a peek into what they do inside the Iron Tower, but we also meet new characters: Anissa and Eskander. Anissa is kind and sweet, but pulls no punches. She isn’t very powerful, but what she lacks in power she more than makes up for in stealth. Eskander however is scary powerful. That’s all I’ll say about him, because…..


And KHALILA!!! Sheesh does she step up this book or what?! I’ll be honest. The first time Khalila was introduced into the series, I kind of overlooked her. She didn’t seem to be an important character, other than to be smarter than Jess and drive Dario mad with want. Well…she does all that and more. As the reader, you get to be in her head and see the turmoil she is going through along with her resolve. Seriously she makes me want to fight a revolution!

Revolution on the Horizon

The plot of this book is complicated and simple all at the same time. Jess is trying to infiltrate and kill the Archivist. It’s crazy, but if it saves more books and the people that protect them, it’s worth it. While in the previous books, the Archivist was on the outskirts, just out of reach, he is present in this book and within Jess’s grasp. The big bad becomes fully fleshed out and honestly he’s a bit scary because of the power he wields. 

Despite being scary, the people are beginning to see through him and question his decisions. As a reader, you realize he’s inferior and his time is coming to end long before the characters. Caine does a fantastic job of foreshadowing and playing into the reader’s anticipation. I seriously couldn’t set the book down because it is SO fast paced. 

My Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed Smoke and Iron! It was a quick, fast-paced read that kept me guessing until the very end. And the end 😭 I’m not over it yet. I need the next book. The world-building, the characters, I need to know what happens next. What more could they possibly go through?! If you’ve enjoyed the first three books, don’t wait to read the next one. It’s satisfying and still leaves you wanting more. 

About Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 45 novels to date, and many short stories, including fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, young adult fiction, mystery, thriller, and horror. Her notable series include The Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden, Revivalist, Red Letter Days, and Outcast Season novels. She graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her first short story was published in 1990, and her first novel in 1991.

After a long career in business (including working as an office manager, payroll manager, insurance investigator, web designer, graphic designer, and corporate communications executive) she began writing full time in 2009.

She and her husband, artist R. Cat Conrad, live and work in Fort Worth, Texas.

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