By Cynthia Bujnicki
The future of the Great Library of Alexandria hangs in the balance as the new revolution comes to order. However, the corrupt former leader, the former Archivist, is still loose, and he would rather see the Library burn than survive without him.
Sword and Pen is the final installment in The Great Library series. Throughout the series, the critical element here has been the diverse cast of characters that has driven the story forward. Each character in this series has gone through so much, and finally, in the last installment, readers get to see how the events of the previous four novels have affected the characters. In Sword and Pen, each character has a distinct voice as well as their own perspective used to both expand the scope of the novel as well as allow the characters time to come to life. So much has happened in the course of the series and in previous novels, the characters were only known through the perspective of one character. Now that each has their perspective they have time to shine, they have tome o become full-fledged characters, and their narratives allow the reader to see just how everything in the previous novels has affected him as well as highlighting their character development and the growth in their character dynamics. Readers can connect to them more in this novel than in previous novels. The diversity of the characters also adds more depth to the story and the characters. They all have different backgrounds and origins that lend a hand in understanding where they came from and how they have grown through everything. Their voices are all distinct and compelling, ensuring the reader’s relatability to them.
As for the novel itself, the pacing was well constructed and dynamic because from one page to next, something is happening to keep up the fast momentum. The added tension of the political upheaval, the twists and turns and layers of betrayal and mystery keep the reader engaged in the progression of the story. A revolution is happening and, as with any revolution, pieces of the previous corrupt power remain, creating that drama and tension necessary for the progression of the story. It also adds some much-needed realism to the story as it moves forward. There are losses in the novel, personal, emotional, and mental losses for the characters that mean something to the story, that creates layers of depth as it evolves the world that readers have come to understand. The story is as much a journey for the readers as it is for the characters.
Overall Sword and Pen was by far the best way a series could go out as it is probably the most engaging and action-packed of the entire series. (★★★★☆)