(Cover picture courtesy of Tower Books.)
A year has passed, but not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart, the book whose characters came to life. For the fire-eater Dustfinger, the need to return to the tale has become more desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller to read him back, he abandons his apprentice Farid and plunges into the pages. Before long, Farid and Meggie are caught inside the book, too. But the story is much changed—and threatening to end tragically.
This may just be me, but I liked Inkspell more than I liked Inkheart. Meggie and Farid journey to the Inkworld, where the villain of the last novel, Capricorn, was originally from. The romance between the two develops at a natural pace as they try to navigate the quasi-Medieval world that has hidden dangers lurking around every corner. The plot is fairly fast-paced and Cornelia Funke’s character development is second only to her wonderful world-building.
Unlike a lot of fantasy writers, Cornelia Funke does not use creatures exclusively from Norse mythology. Fire elves, White women and brownies populate the Inkworld and enchant readers who are used to the normal fantasy clichés. Of course there are taverns, castles and farms (but what fantasy universe doesn’t have these?), but they do not seem out of place with the rest of the world because it is very well developed.
Cornelia Funke is really an excellent writer and Anthea Bell, who translated it from the original German, certainly deserves a lot of credit. Translating a book and still keeping the author’s original subtleties is incredibly hard to do. Most translations make the English version a choppy, poorly written book, yet the writing is still very consistent throughout the novel.
I give this book 5/5 stars.