Ended up listening to the audio book while at the gym. I thought it was really fascinating - as someone that loves paper, stationary, books, etc. it was really fun to hear about the full history of paper, it's impact on human societies, etc. Also very well written without too many personal anecdotes (which I don't really like in these types of books)
East-coast born, but transplanted to the midwest (US) decades ago - wide range of reading interests including Fantasy, SF, Gardening, Natural History, Social Sciences, Science, European History, translated (English) Japanese light novels (guilty pleasure), Young Adult, etc., etc.
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Read this book when in high school and had the urge to read it again - and I liked it again. It's a bit of an interesting approach as there are two branches of the same story going on at the same time - one is the 'main' conflict, which is fairly high-level, but engaging, while the other is what's going on with some other characters that are trying to survive the main conflict (while having no real idea what's actually going on). Characters are really enjoyable and the concept is a slightly unique approach on a not unfamiliar idea in fantasy. It's a really fun read with characters that I think would be fun to hang out with...
Also - if you like the characters/concept there are several more books in the series...