Knowledge is Not Good, Not Evil, But Power (Sword and Pen – A Book Review)

Sword and Pen (The Great Library #5)

Author: Rachel Caine

Published: 2019

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated L for love, loyalty, and loss that not even I was prepared for.

Knowledge must survive.

The corrupt and deadly leadership of the library has finally fallen, but the Archivist hasn’t given up completely. With the Great Library up for grabs, many empires and kingdoms are determined to snatch it up. Now Jess Brightwell and his friends will have to figure out whose side their truly on. They must fight for the library and everything it was always meant to stand for. The future, not only that of the Great Library’s but of theirs as well hangs in balance.

The Great Library Reviews

Ink and Bone

Paper and Fire

Ash and Quill

Smoke and Iron

First off, I’m still mourning the loss of Rachel Caine who passed from cancer on Nov. 1st/2nd. It’s been pretty hard because I’ve utterly inspired and in awe of her books and series. She has always been a guiding light of wit, kindness, and talent and so much more. In fact, I’d received the first three books in the series on Christmas Eve of 2017, just in time to read them before the fourth book was released. It was directly from her publishing house and was a total surprise. I cried in utter excitement and joy. This loss just leaves me stunned. I can’t fully wrap my head around it. It’s going to take some time.

Now…this one beautiful and morose ending to a splendid and gorgeous series. I’ve been reading this series for a few years now, though only because I hadn’t had a chance to get this book sooner. Filled with danger and adventure and the kind of choices that will forever change everything. At every corner was a moment that was pivotal. Just as before, I got to experience those individual character emotional pull and it really got me further sucked into the book.

There was betrayal, love, heartbreak, revelation, revolution, and so much more. Engaging is only the half of it. Lustrous and rich in imagery and detail. *Chef’s kiss* I also admire the play on words with the title. Not only does it express this basis of this book where the fight for the true home and soul of knowledge is being fought for, but also on the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton who stated, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”.

“He’d been chasing down death. He’d actually caught it.” (p. 340)

Jess was running out of time. Throughout the entire book, he was on a timer for being poisoned, yet it didn’t stop him from being there for his friends…his family.  I really love Jess, so this was hard to handle. He’s so strong and smart and a bright soul. My heart was pounding hard as he would drag himself closer to death, trying to help them. Like, I’m still healing from the loss of Jess’s brother. Caine really piled on the struggle in this one, really making one wonder if not only Jess, but everyone, could handle such burdens that had been laid upon them and at such a young age.

With that being said, I’m one that does get a thrill with romantic turmoil and tension, but the relationship between Jess and Morgan came to a head, nearly breaking me entirely. It wasn’t an outright shatter. You know that dull ache of realizing that somebody will never choose you? Never put you first? Realize that something else would always be more important than you? That was the sharp yet dull knife-blade to my heart. It’s a noble calling they both each face but would keep them apart. So freaking tragic. You could see it from last book and I was just holding out that it would never come to pass though it was inevitable. *sob*


I still got so easily lost in this mechanical world of knowledge and machinery, leaving breath-taken, Still one that was surprising and stunning with each chapter. Beautiful. I highly recommend this series. You won’t find anything like it out there. I guarantee it.


“This, Jess thought, was the love he wanted in his life: a love of equals. Loyal and kind. He wasn’t sure he had that yet. But it was something to aspire to.” (p. 28)

“I’ve lost a brother. You’ve lost a father. We can be each other’s families now. If you’ll accept that.” (Jess to Anit, p. 75)

“Tota est Scientia. Knowledge is all. It either is, or it isn’t; you can’t say some knowledge is evil because it’s inconvenient for you. And anyone who claims differently has no understanding at all of what the Great Library represents.” (Thomas, p. 186)

“Knowledge is power. Knowledge is burning.” (p. 336)

More to come soon…                                                                                                


Song Today? River by Leon Bridges.

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