"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Inkspell


Inkspell
Author: Cornelia Funke
Publisher: The Chicken House
ISBN-10: 0439554004
ISBN-13: 978-0439554008

Imagine a world within the pages of a book. Imagine blue fairies, a world with men made of glass, a world where women have no rights. Imagine a man who can make flowers out of fire, who can speak to the fire and command it. Imagine that words come to life, stories become real, that someone with a powerful voice saying the right words can talk you right into that world and that world is very real.

Cornelia Funke first introduced the Inkworld in her very popular Inkheart (Scholastic, 2003) and I like so many booklovers who read it, fell completely in love. Inkspell is the unplanned sequel in what is now to be a trilogy and I for one am thrilled.

Inkspell is the story of Meggie, daughter to Mo the bookbinder (also known as Silvertongue) and Resa who was trapped in Inkheart. Meggie is fascinated by her mute mother’s written tales of the Inkworld and of the characters therein. Mo is frightened for his daughter and tries to discourage her from being so fascinated by it. But there’s no stopping Meggie when she wants something and she is determined to keep her dreams of the Inkworld.

Then there’s Dustfinger and Farid. Dustfinger is the fire-eater, the man who can command the fire to become flowers. Farid is a boy who was read out of yet another book. They are both trapped in Meggie’s modern world. Dustfinger has been trapped ten years and is dying to go home. He’s finally found someone with the power to read him back and even though Farid thinks it’s dangerous, he gets this person, Orpheus to read him back and it works. Dustfinger is suddenly home!

But Orpheus has ulterior motives and brings danger to Meggie’s family’s door. The evil witch Mortola and the equally evil Basta are back and they have horrible things planned for Meggie and Silvertongue.

A lot going on? Wait, it gets even better. Meggie is determined to go visit the Inkworld and Farid is equally determined to find Dustfinger. Between them they find a way and soon they too are magically transported to the Inkworld and set off in search of Dustfinger and Fenoglio, the writer of Inkheart. Meanwhile, Mo’s heart is broken because he’s lost his daughter, the family is in danger, Dustfinger encounters his own set of problems and the story is taking on a life of its own – out of Fenoglio’s control.

Inkspell
is wonderful! The characters, the names, the worlds, the stories within stories, everything about it is fantastic. There are names like Cheeseface, Clouddancer, Her Ugliness… There’s fire honey that gives Dustfinger his ability to talk to fire, the glass men sharpen quills, there is an illuminator and descriptions of his art. Oh this is a book after any book lover’s heart. Highly recommended and in breathless anticipation of the sequel.

As Silvertongue says, "Stories never really end, Meggie, even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page."

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