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Inkheart and InkSpell by Cornelia Funke

Posted by Caitie F on July 23, 2010

Titles: Inkheart and Inkspell

Author: Cornelia Funke

Publisher: Scholastic

Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages and 656 pages

ISBNs: 9780545046268 and 9780439554015

Ratings: +++++ and +++

Summaries (from PW):

Inkheart is about Meggie, 12, who 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. Things change after a visit from a scarred man who calls himself Dustfinger and who refers to Mo as Silvertongue. Meggie learns that her father has been keeping secrets. He can “read” characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released Dustfinger and other characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie’s mother disappeared into the story. Mo also released Capricorn, a sadistic villain who takes great pleasure in murdering people. He has sent his black-coated henchmen to track down Mo and intends to force him to read an immortal monster out of the story to get rid of his enemies. Meggie, Mo, Dustfinger, and Meggie’s great-aunt Elinor are pursued, repeatedly captured, but manage to escape from Capricorn’s henchmen as they attempt to find the author of Inkheart in the hope that he can write a new ending to the story.

In Inkspell, Fourteen-year-old Meggie is back at home after the intrigue and adventure she encountered in Inkheart (Chicken House, 2003), the first volume in this projected trilogy. In this second episode, the calm of her life is shattered when Farid, protégé of the fire-eater, Dustfinger, begs her to use her magical ability and read him into Dustfingers story. Meggie longs to see the enchanted world she has only encountered through the pages of a book and travels with Farid into the story. Events quickly spin out of control. Evil characters from Inkheart re-emerge to extract revenge. Battle lines are drawn between two kingdoms. Several individuals are intent on re-writing the story to ensure their own happy ending.


I loved the first book in the series. I thought it was a fun, fantastical book and I could not put it down. The characters seemed to jump off the page, the story look at books in a completely new way, and I got to dream about my favorite books coming into my reality. There were times I was excited, times I was scared, and times I just wanted everyone to get out to safety.

The only disappointment is that I figured out who was living in the bad guys village much earlier than when it was revealed.

One of the greatest things about both of these books is the side characters – Elinor, Dustfinger, and the evil Basta. They made the book so much more enjoyable and interesting.

Since the side characters are a main part of the Inkspell, you would have thought I would love the second book, but I just didn’t. I sped through the first book, I dragged through the second. The problem was, it felt like the second book in a trilogy. It just set up everything for the final book, which I hate.  I don’t want to complain about it too much, so I will just say it had the typical “second book” issue.

That said, I am excited to read the last book because I have heard great things about it!

Are there other trilogies/series that have the same issue? Let me know in the comments!

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