Digging through a box of old books in our basement, I pulled out Inkspell and began reading it, only to discover that it was the second book in the Inkworld trilogy. Just my luck…
So, I stopped by the library and was able to find the first installment as an audio book, Yay! I’d heard of Inkheart several years ago when it was adapted into a movie, but had never gotten a chance to read the book (or watch the movie for that matter…). Figured it was about time to check it out.
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can “read” characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie’s mother disappeared into the story. This “story within a story” will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.
So How Was It?
Pretty cool overall. This book moves a bit slow to begin with, taking time to thoroughly introduce you to of the main characters before any real action begins. The book is marketed to young readers (the main character is only 12), but the language is somewhat advanced and swear words do occasionally pop up throughout the series. There are also scenes where characters discuss torture, arson, death, and other violence, though the author doesn’t really stress the gore factor. To be honest, I’d probably recommend the book more for young adults than for children.
Overall my favorite part of the book was the overarching concept: bringing books to life. Inkheart was an inspirational read for me, discussing the concept of books as living things, with each sentence and each word breathing life into the story living within the pages. The book presents an author who is literally manipulating a world with his pen, able to grant life or death while Mo, a talented orator, is able to pull characters right off the pages and into the real world.
The language of the book itself is quite beautiful. Funke writes like a poet, lending colorful imagery to her host of characters and multiple scenic locations, more particularly in the second book when the reader is introduced to the Ink World. The book is an intriguing mixture of fantasy and reality that draws readers into a story filled with dark villains, magical creatures, and modern day corruption.
I give Inkheart five out of five stars! I’m currently in the second book of the series and can’t wait to see what the third book, Inkdeath, has to offer 🙂