Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 529
A High-Stakes Finale with a Stunning Conclusion
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Isn't great to finish a series and feel satisfied? Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine is the final book in her series The Great Library. I’ve loved this series from the start, and the finale lived up to all of my expectations. I may have aged 10 years while reading it though. SO stressful! If you are a fan of the series, I highly recommend it. If you are coming across this review and haven’t heard of the series, be forewarned there are minor spoilers for the previous books (though I’ll do my best to avoid them). Picking up right where Smoke and Iron left off, Sword and Pen is a breathtaking final stand for the scholars against the injustices of the prior regime.

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.
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