by Cornelia Funke
performed by Brendan Fraser
read/listened to March/April 2009
Wow. I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I thought Inkheart was excellent and very original. The story flows wonderfully into this, the second book in the trilogy.
Meggie, Mo, and Dustfinger’s adventure continues out of Meggie and Mo’s world and into Dustfinger’s. Desperate to get back, Dustfinger finds a shady, yet talented man named Orpheus to read him back into his story. Unfortunately, Orpheus is in league with Mortola and Basta. Mortola and Basta are still seeking revenge for Capricorn’s death at the voice of Mo and Meggie.
Orpheus was supposed to read Farid into the story with Dustfinger but doesn’t keep his word. Farid then seeks out Meggie to help him to return to Dustfinger. A big part of the story revolves around Farid being seemingly torn between his love for Dustfinger as a pseudo-father and his more “grown-up” and developing love for Meggie. His struggle with this is present throughout the storyline.
Meggie agrees to read Farid into the story on one condition, she reads herself in with him. Meggie leaves her beloved Mo and Reesa and goes into the Inkworld with Farid. Though her intent was to return to them, it was a decision she seemed to make easily.
She and Farid arrive in the Inkworld and are both amazed at it’s beauty. It is with a bit of luck that they are found by the Strolling Players and saved from the creatures of the woods. Mo, Reesa, Elinor, and Darius are not so lucky.
After Orpheus reads Dustfinger into the story, Mortola has him join them in kidnapping Meggie’s family and adopted family. Mortola has Orpheus read herself, Basta, Mo, and Reesa into the Inkworld. Almost instantly, Mortola wounds Mo, nearly fatally. He is clinging to life by only a thread.
Meanwhile, Finolio, stuck in the story for more than a year now, is getting increasingly frustrated with his story and the way it seems to have taken a life of it’s own. His words are not obeying him. Kosomo the fair is dead, the Adderhead grows increasingly powerful, and the Laughing Prince is now so devastated by his sons death that he is referred to as the Prince of Sighs.
Finolio comes up with a plan to set his story straight. And when Meggie has entered the Inkworld, he sees his way to fix everything. Unfortunately, things don’t happen exactly as he planned it. The Adderhead has Mo and many of the Strolling Players who are helping him seized and brought to the castle. He believes that Mo is the legendary, brought to life by the words of Finolio, Bluejay. The Bluejay is an infamous, Robin Hood-like character that Finolio created for the minstrels to sing. Unfortunately he based him on the appearence of Mo. So, in a fashion, Mo is the Bluejay, which causes great problems. All of the stories come together for a climax that I didn’t see coming.
I loved the plot twist in the story. I loved the character development and the way they evolved throughout. They were not static. All of this being said, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. Whereas, Inkheart had a definitive ending and could stand alone, Inkspell needs Inheart and I’m guessing now Inkdeath to be complete. Knowing that it is a trilogy, I kind of expected that, but I still like a book to end properly. It just seemed more like a break in chapters.
I’ll use Harry Potter as an example. Each Harry Potter novel builds upon the last one, but you could read one from the middle without needing the previous or next book in the series. It helps to read them all, but isn’t necessary. Each book is a story in itself. This book was not like that.
Another thing I did like was Brendan Fraser’s audio performance. I loved Lynn Redgrave so much in Inkheart that I really tried hard not to like Brendan Fraser in this book. But the boy has vocal talent. I think I was reluctant because, in my opinion they only picked him because he was in the movie. I’m probably right, but he did an EXCELLENT job.
Themes- death, violence, shooting, stabbing, magic, greed, family, love, infidelity, teenage love.
Characters- Mo, Meggie, Reesa (Teresa), Elinor, Darius, Dustfinger, Roxanne, Farid, Basta, Mortola, the Adderhead, the Black Prince, Firefox, Orpheus, Brianna, Viloante, Finolio
Setting- Modern-day Europe, the Inkword, a made-up place created by the word of Finolio
Topic- Finolio is trapped in the story of his own words that is out of control. Things get more out of control as Meggie, Farid, Dustfinger, Reesa, Mo, Mortola, and Basta all enter the strange world as well.