Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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Title: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Notable: Book #1 in the Inkheart series


Inkheart is about a man named Mo who is able to read things out of books.  Quite by accident, while reading aloud one night, he reads some characters out of a book, while at the same time his wife vanishes into it.  Nine years later, he and his daughter Meggie are living a quiet life, trying to hide from the nefarious characters who appeared the night his wife disappeared.  One of the characters, Capricorn, is a thoroughly evil man who is smitten with the possibilities of power and money in this new world he’s been brought into.  He has been hunting Mo so that he can read more things out of books–money, henchmen, women.  Eventually Capricorn catches up with Mo and all heck breaks loose in a series of chases, kidnappings and hostage situations.  Capricorn is defeated at the end through the power of words.  Sorry for the vagueness; I hate to give away endings.

My thoughts:

While hanging out with daughters 1 and 2 at the library, I wanted to grab a book for myself.  Since I couldn’t let the girls out of my sight, I stuck to the kid’s section, scanning for a fantasy or sci-fi novel.  I came up with this one–Inkheart.  Never heard of it.  Looks interesting.  Grab it and go.

There are several other characters who play an important role in the story–Basta, Capricorn’s henchman; Elinor, Meggie’s aunt; Dustfinger, a street performer; and Farid, a boy read out of another story.  Some of them are more well-developed and intriguing than others.  Dustfinger in particular is difficult to classify.  I’m curious to see what happens with him and Farid in the next book.

Inkheart is a long novel, but I like that kind of story.  The pace of it alternates between exciting action and more relaxed scenes.  If you’re looking for something that propels itself forward at a fast pace, this may not be the book for you.  Also of note, there is much more in this book about our world than about Mo’s magic reading.  The fantasy element is there, but it is at least equaled by our earthly reality.  Just some fair warning so that you won’t be disappointed.

I recommend this book for pre-teens and older.

Possible Objections:

  • a fair bit of violence & threats of violence
  • the occasional passing reference to relationships of a sexual nature

Rating: 3 Stars

Until next time…




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