If you’ve been following my blog, you probably saw my recent review for Inkheart, the first book in the Ink World trilogy by Cornelia Funke. I absolutely loved it, though I would not necessarily classify it as a book for young readers due to the complex plot and poetic nature of some of the passages.
The second book in the series, Inkspell, was also an enjoyable read. But, I have to admit I would only give it four out of five stars since it did move a bit slower than I would have liked. After completing the first two books, I definitely had to finish out the trilogy.
A Little Background:
Ever since the extraordinary events of Inkspell, when the enchanted book Inkheart drew Meggie and her father, Mo, into its chapters, life in the Inkworld has been more tragic than magical.
The fire-eater Dustfinger is dead, having sacrificed his life for his apprentice Farid’s, and now, under the rule of the evil Adderhead, the fairy-tale land is in bloody chaos, its characters far beyond the control of Fenoglio, their author. Even Elinor, left behind in the real world, believes her family to be lost – lost between the covers of a book.
Facing the threat of eternal winter, Mo inks a dangerous deal with Death itself. There yet remains a faint hope of changing the cursed story – if only he can fill its pages fast enough.
Inkdeath – the captivating final tale in the Inkheart trilogy.
If I had to describe this book in only a few words: Cumbersome yet enjoyable.
This was a long haul to finish. This series leans toward the dark side of fantasy, especially considering that the books were originally meant for children. And I have to say this one was significantly darker than even the first two books. Deals with death, homicidal vigilantes, induced insanity, soul shredding monsters… I would honestly not recommend this book for children. Besides being a somewhat morbid read, it was also quite long. Our heroes run into setback after setback in their attempts to right the corruption within the Ink World, only to be thwarted again and again. It was somewhat frustrating and disheartening as a reader.
So, complaints all out of the way, I really enjoyed the final installment of the Ink World trilogy. We meet some new characters, explore far reaches of the map, and unlock deeper secrets of this wonderful fantasy realm. Once again the narrative is poetic, painting a vivid picture of vibrant landscapes and weaving an intricate tale of love, loss, betrayal, and friendship. Funke’s representations of Death and the world of the dead are particularly fascinating (as well as a little disturbing) and her images of the Nightmare are deliciously horrifying.
The character interactions within this installment were well written and believable. Mo, burdened with his many identities (book binder, hero, father, husband, literary magician), struggles to find himself under the influences of so many others attempting to rewrite his story. Meggie finds herself as part of a love triangle, her feelings changing for the young men around her, as she tries to discover her place in this new world. And you can’t forget Orpheus, the character everyone loves to hate, as he tries to throw a ginormous wrench in everyone’s plans.
Overall I would give this novel Four out of Five stars. This series is definitely worth a read, but not necessarily for young readers.