The "frugal-minded" peculiars, as Myron Bentham put it, didn't want to waste any peculiar souls by taking them with them when they died. So, when peculiars died, it was said that they would journey to the library in Abaton, and replace the soul they had "checked out" when they were born, much like a library book.
The Legend of the Lost Loop Edit
|“||Then one day someone figured out you could break into the library, even if you weren't about to die. And he did break in- and then robbed the place. He stole the most powerful souls he could find and used them to wreak havoc.||”|
–Library of Souls, Emma Bloom telling The Legend of the Lost Loop
One man, however, found a way to enter the library without being dead. He stole the souls and wreaked havoc. The library's guardians killed him and put the souls back. However, it was too late and eventually peculiars got wind of the incident and the most cruel of them sought for the power of the library.
|“||Many lives were lost. The land was scorched. Famine and pestilence reigned while peculiars with power beyond imagination murdered one another with floods and lightning bolts.||”|
–Library of Souls, Myron Bentham about Abaton and the Library of Souls
Soon, a battle ensued there and the 'self-proclaimed kings' of the Library were constantly changed. As Myron Bentham and Emma Bloom tell us in Library of Souls, once it was discovered that Abaton could be broken into, all hell broke loose.
Peculiars with inconceivable powers battled each other day and night for control of the library, each new "self-declared king" being killed by another before he could claim his prize. Finally, the last king fell and the one who slew him went to claim the Library.
As he made his way to the hills of the ancient city of Abaton (where the Library was located in legend), and came across instead an empty valley. The loop, and all the souls inside it, had miraculously disappeared.
This story was told in the earliest (later banned) editions of Tales of the Peculiar, called The Legend of the Lost Loop.
Of J and the Claywings Edit
Owing to this story, Jack Peregrine a.k.a. Caul, brother of Alma and Myron, made it his lifelong mission to find Abaton, with the soul purpose of locating the Library of Peculiar Souls within. Jealous of his ymbryne sister, he always dreamed of usurping her and all ymbrynes through gaining access to the peculiar powers located inside the souls jars of the Library.
Jack recruited his brother Myron into his army, and together they searched for Abaton. Jack and his many followers, the Claywings, had initially formed to stop the ymbrynes from their continuing their reigning matriarchy. To gain more and more for the cause, Jack created many motivational posters.
Myron agreed with Jack's cause - which he originally believed to be equality for all peculiars - until Jack revealed his true motive to be finding and gaining control of Abaton. He and his followers became obsessed with finding the lost loop, no matter the cost.
Thus, Myron soon converted when he realised his brother's true intention: to gain control of Abaton. Myron voiced out his opinion and Jack, in anger, smeared Myron as a traitor and banished him from the group. Myron was placed in a prison, where he secretly made plans for the destruction of Jack and the Claywings.
|“||They searched and searched for the lost loop, mounting expedition after expedition, each failure only fueling their zeal. All along, my brother had only cared about ruling it, like the would-be peculiar gods of old. And when I tried to challenge him and regain control of the inter-loop traveling machine I'd built, he smeared me as a traitor, turned the others against me, and locked me in a cell.||”|
–Library of Souls, Myron on his brother Jack
Myron fed lies to Jack about a loop which could make Jack immortal. All Jack had to do was make a machine in that loop and activate it. Falling for the lie, Jack sidetracked from his goal of finding Abaton and went to make the machine. This machine, however, was a complete hoax and would not have collapsed the loop in any way. Shortly after activating the machine, the group of ymbrynes recruited chanted a 'ritual' that led to the collapse of the loop. This was later known as the Experiment of 1908.
Library of Souls Edit
The only appearance that this library makes in the series is in the book Library of Souls, which is the 3rd book in the Peculiar Children series.
|“||It was low-ceilinged and bare, empty but for some scattered straw and broken shards of pottery. Its most unique feature was the walls, into which had been dug many dozens of small coves. They were oval-shaped and flat on the bottom, large enough to hold a bottle or a candle. At the back of the room, several doors forked away into darkness.||”|
–Library of Souls
It is described on the outside as 'a stone room open to the sky'. The entrance was shaped like a head, 'one with a gaping mouth for a door, two warped eyes for windows, a pair of holes for nostrils, and grown over with long grass that resembled hair and an unruly beard'.
On the inside, however, the Library looks similar to what a library should be like, with shelves that are bored into the walls. At the end of the first passageway is a split, leading to other doorways. The Souls Jars are kept inside these shelves which Jacob describes as 'coves'.
Destruction of Abaton and the Library of Souls Edit
The Destruction of Abaton and the Library of Souls occured due to the second conversion of Myron Bentham. Upon being betrayed by his brother a second time, Myron, as a last resort, revealed his secred weapon; the soul of Abraham Portman in ambrosia. Myron took the drug and gained the peculiarity of being one of the library's guardians. Thus, he was able to see Soul Jars like Jacob.
Before being able to take an equally powerful soul as did his brother Caul, Myron was intervened by a furious Jacob. In order to carry out his plans, he gave to Jacob, and subsequently to his sister, the instructions on how to collapse a loop. Following this, he was released and he then made a bid to transform into a giant peculiar, and succeeded. Caul realised too late and then diverted his attention to his brother.
Both of them fought within the Library and collapsed it, with Caul described to be 'as big as 10 houses'. The Library was supposedly completely annihilated when the 12 ymbrynes collapsed Abaton, through the use of Myron's recipe.
Peculiar Gifts pertaining to the Library Edit
Another note on peculiars who can see hollows: their gift is to see what others can't, what is really there. So in the Library, they are the only ones who can see peculiar souls sitting innocently in ornate jars in every alcove in sight. Other peculiars can only see the souls, they can't see the jars.