You may find it surprising– I certainly did, when I counted– to learn that I have seventeen books by Rachel Caine, which probably puts her under Stephen King and not a whole damn lot of other people in terms of the sheer number of her works that I own. I don’t talk about Caine’s work much around here because her previous work have slotted in my brain precisely where Star Wars and Conan books go: they’re the literary equivalent of candy, consumed quickly, enjoyed, but not really lingered on that much afterwards. I don’t think I’ve reread anything she’s written, for example. That’s not a criticism of her or her work, mind you; I like for my own books to have a bit of the “candy” feel to them, so it’s certainly not a bad thing.
Then I read Ink and Bone. This is a new series– the second is book is out in hardback, but I don’t have it just yet– and it’s wildly different from everything else she’s ever written, or at least everything she’s written that I’ve read, as I’ve not touched her Morganville Vampires series.
At any rate: her previous three series that I’ve read have all been urban fantasy, for lack of a better phrase, mostly written in first person. The Great Library series is alternate history, sort of, except it starts way back with the Library of Alexandria not being burned down two thousand years ago, and from there we end up in a now (or near future, maybe?) where the Library runs the world and there are no original books left. Instead, you can access any work ever written through a device called a Codex, which I thought was a little cooler until I realized it was basically just a Kindle. Throw in some shadowy government conspiracy stuff, a bit of advanced tech in the form of teleportation, creepy forbidden magic, a brutal war between England and Wales, and a bit of Harry Potter-esque librarian school stuff and you have a hell of a story.
Check it out, guys.