Alternate History · Diverse · Fantasy · LGBTQA+ · Review · Steampunk · Young Adult

Book Review: Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)

So if you don’t already know this about me, I am absolutely in love with The Great Library series. And every July, I get super excited/nervous over how I will feel about the newest release. However, I am super happy to say that this series only gets better and better with each book, and I LOVED Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4) by Rachel Caine.

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.

Rachel Caine has a way with words. It’s not that her writing is anything fancy or flowery, but that it’s just so accessible. I always find myself immediately drawn into the story and can vividly picture whatever is happening in my mind. I really appreciate that in books. While flowery language is pretty in certain circumstances, it’s also really nice to just be able to dive into a story without having to try to navigate what is actually happening. And Caine does this to perfection.

I love that as we come closer to the finale in this series, the stakes truly begin to feel even higher than in the book before. This book starts off with plenty of action and tension, and never lets up from there. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish, as I really felt that at any moment one of my sweet babies could come to a terrible end. I absolutely love when authors can really give you that sense of impending doom. I mean, who wants to always know that everything will turn out perfect for everyone? Not I.

Emily Henry

Probably my favorite thing about this latest book, was that we get points of view from almost every major character! Wolfe, Santi, Khalila, Morgan, Jess, and Thomas all have their moment in the sun (so to speak), and I surprisingly loved every single one of their chapters. When it comes to multiple POVs, I usually don’t care for at least one, but that wasn’t the case at all in this book. Each point of view was full of tension and actually impacted the overall plot, not just used as filler. While Jess is totally my favorite clever little bookworm, I have to say that Khalila’s chapters were probably the most interesting in this book. She’s just one of the best female characters in literature and I loved seeing her evolve into even more of a leader in this book. Pretty sure she should be featured in Beyoncé’s Who Run the World (Girls) music video. NO JOKE.

Overall, this book was just as amazing as I could possibly have hoped for. It checked off all of the boxes for me and really solidified this series as one of my favorites. I find it to be a really underrated series and wish more people would give it a chance. It’s written extremely well and only gets better and better with each book. I can’t say enough good things about it!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars


Have you read Smoke and Iron? If so, what did you think about it? Which POV was your favorite? Is The Great Library series on your TBR?

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)

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