The group dynamic has evolved from the start of the series, and the progression for each of the scholars is believable with what each has gone through. Jess, who normally takes the lead, is grieving and lost at the start of the book. He’s drifting, and his friends are taking turns caring for him. Khalila and Thomas are working with the new archivist. Dario is using his connections in Spain to stop an impending war. Glain is taking over a squadron of soldiers. Wolfe and Santi, while not as prominent in this book, still stand out.
The main goal here is for the scholars to find the Archivist and stop him from trying to regain control of the Library, and it is nonstop action from page one. There is little downtime in this plot. And the suspense….I didn’t know if any of my favorites would make it to the end. I could not stop reading! While I didn’t want it to end (and that ending shattered my heart), I’m happy with it. Rachel Caine ties all the loose ends together nicely, leaving no questions as to what will be happening in their world after the end.
Overall Sword and Pen is a phenomenal ending to a fantastic series. I’m sad and happy all at the same time. All of the characters come full-circle in their development, the plot comes to a conclusion, and the final words “The End” are perfect. If you’ve enjoyed this series, you will love the book. If you haven’t started it yet, I highly recommend it for anyone that enjoys steampunk and dystopian.