Inkspell

May 29, 2009
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“Didn’t he understand that she [Meggie] wanted to see it for herself? She wanted to see everything Dustfinger and Resa told her” (Funke 52)
























The 635 page fantasy story, Inkspell, was written by Cornelia Funke and published in 2005 after being translated from German to English. The novel is the second on the Inkworld trilogy, and in my opinion, the best of the three. The story has a very adventurous and suspenseful mood due to the intense fighting scenes, the courageous journeys, and the magical elements.

The setting of Inkspell, as mentioned in the book Inkheart, is in Fenoglio’s magical Inkworld. There are also some brief parts in the story telling what is happening in the real world with the character Elinor. The story is in third person narrative, focusing on several different characters at a time in the breaking of each chapter. The main characters (protagonists) are Meggie, a teenage girl fascinated with reading, Mo, Meggie’s father, Resa, her loving mother, and Fenoglio, the author of the story Inkheart. Other major plot characters include Dustfinger, the fire-eater, his loyal apprentice, Farid, and several other antagonists, such as Basta, Mortola, and the Adderhead. The plot of the story begins in the real world with Dustfinger and Farid trying to make a deal with a man named Orpheus, due to his rare and magical ability to read people and objects in the in and out the story. Orpheus was to read Dustfinger and Farid back into the book Inkheart, but Orpheus tricks them and only reads Dustfinger in the story. Farid travels to Meggie’s house and asks Meggie to read him into the story to be with Dustfinger. Meggie agrees to this, but reads herself as well. Basta, Mortola, and Orpheus take over the house and capture Mo and his wife Resa. Orpheus then reads everyone into Inkheart with the exception of Elinor and himself. As soon as they reach the Inkworld, Mortola shoots Mo with her gun and escapes with Basta. The Adderhead captures Mo because he thinks Mo is the famous robber everyone calls the Bluejay. Then Meggie risks her own life to save her father by convincing the Adderhead to free her and Mo in exchange for Mo to create a book that traps the Adderhead’s biggest fear- death itself.

I think Cornelia is a great writer because of her ability to keep the story plot thrilling and suspenseful – leaving the readers wishing to learn what happens next. For example, toward the end, Fenoglio wants to bring the dead Prince Cosimo back to life. It was very exciting to listen to Meggie and Fenoglio devise a plan to achieve the impossible (then again, in fantasy world, anything is possible). Also, halfway through, Mortola finds out her son Capricorn is dead. After her discovery, she shoots Mo and leaves him on his own to die. It was very agonizing for me to know that my favorite character was close to death. The plot was so intense in such scenes, that I yearned to read more until I found out what happened. Cornelia is well descriptive, but personally, it’s a bit too much. After some event, for example, Cornelia spent the entire eight pages describing Dustfinger’s memories in the Wayless Woods – the things and beauty around him. Her writing is very impressive and powerful throughout book. I really enjoyed the author’s use of foreshadowing. In the beginning of each chapter, she includes quotes from books that are related to the title and the contents of the chapter. The quotes came from astonishing classical book, like Peter Pan, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sword in the Stone, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and many others. One notable weakness in Inkspell is that it’s too long; there is so much that happens and a lot of important events are mentioned, that Cornelia ought to have unworthy details omitted. Another problem in Inkspell is the enormous number of characters (thank God for the character list Cornelia includes) the reader must know. But although the several characters make the plot confusing at times, the talented Cornelia deals with this problem in her own unique way. She dedicates each chapter to different individuals, and she is able to clearly connect the story lines to one major plot. And this great strength I my main reason why I recommend this book to readers of all ages. Cornelia Funke’s Inkspell left me a larger appreciation for the magic of fantasy books. Many times, I felt like I was in the story, experiencing the same hardship, joys, worries, and passion as the loving characters in Funke’s masterpiece.





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Chans247 said...
Sept. 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm
I also liked this book, although the ending was pretty sad that Dustfinger died. I also liked the quotes she used at the beginning of the chapters. I am also a 8th Grader that likes to read....a lot. :D
 
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