After two roaring exciting adventures traveling from the U.K. to Alexandria, Egypt, to Rome, the third book in The Great Library #3 takes two giant pit stops and doesn’t move forward. It appears this is not the last book in series. So, as a reader expecting way more death, defiance and action, along with a few tears (from characters and myself), the lack of progression is disappointing.
Starts and stops are common in “Ash and Quill” as Jess and crew are flung across the ocean at the end of book #2. The goal of jumping back across the pond becomes the main focus of the story rather than the fight against The Library. It’s unfortunate that a few of the beloved characters are incapacitated for a good portion of the story, and perhaps a bit too much of the action happens off the page. This is because the group is separated to use their specific skills to obtain their freedom.
While author Rachel Caine probably wrote this book before the “Muslim Ban,” one of the most emotional moments in the book involves the newest member of the revolutionaries, Khalila, and the Burners. In the first chapter, we learn how grace, honor and toughness intersect for Khalila. She patiently shows that a fist or weapons aren’t necessarily needed to prove a point, and Khalila explains the importance of her hijab.
The band of young revolutionaries never gets to rest in “Ash and Quill,” and they are stretched to their physical and emotional limits. This results in little hope of success for our heroes. So while there is some excitement in seeing, “Continues in Volume 4 of The Great Library,” there’s disappointment without series resolution and victory for Jess and the gang.