Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
As soon as the mysterious Dustfinger appears on Meggie and Mo’s front door, she can sense something disturbing about his scarred face. When Mo lets him stay with them and she hears them talking about mysterious places and people, she is even more confused than before. Adding to her bewilderment, the next day they leave for her great aunt Elinor’s house who greatly dislikes them. It was due to his arrival, Mo told her the truth about himself and Meggie’s mother. Mo is unwilling to drag his daughter into the mess he had created unintentionally, years ago. But he wasn’t exactly given a choice.
When the villainous Capricorn kidnaps her father Meggie has to take her great aunt Elinor’s help. Going to his hideout, they all get captured. In their cell, Mo has to give Meggie answers. He finally tells her and Elinor about his capabilities, he can read people out of books, but the condition is going in of someone from this world. Unaware of this, he was reading Inkheart to his wife and daughter. He was so absorbed in his book that he didn’t realize that his wife wasn’t there anymore; instead there were men with swords. While he frantically searched high and low for his beloved wife, the men tried to make sense as to what had happened. Some of the men, Capricorn and his followers were glad to be out, but Dustfinger wasn’t. He begged Mo to send him in but Mo never read aloud again.
As Capricorn uses Mo’s voice to bring riches out of books, Meggie discovers she has the same ‘gift’ too. But unfortunately, they are in Capricorn’s captivity, so she tries to hide the fact, with no success. Mo has to clear up this mess and send Capricorn where he belongs. With hopes that his going back will bring out his wife again, they escape and take the help of the person who created Inkheart in the first place, Felingo.
But that’s not the end. Things turn ugly yet again when they get captured again, and this time Capricorn doesn’t want money, he wants to have the beast from his world.
Even a year after Capricorn’s death, Dustfinger and his apprentice, Farid are still searching for a way to go into the Inkworld, Mortola and Basta still seek revenge and Meggie cannot stop thinking about the book. Things change for everyone when Orpheus sends Dustfinger back to his home but leaves Farid with the copy of Inkheart with him. Distraught, Farid goes to Meggie for help, and Meggie obliges, because she wants to see that world too and partly because she is falling in love with him.
After Mo, Resa and Elinor discover Meggie’s gone; they are desperate to get to their daughter. Soon, that’s exactly what happens when Mortola, Basta and Orpheus come to their house and Orpheus reads all of them into the book, only Elinor and Darius are left behind.
As soon as they reach the Inkworld, Mortola seeks revenge of her son’s death by shooting Mo and leaving him to die while Resa watches. They are saved by the Motley Folk, who assume that the wounded Mo is the robber, Bluejay. But they are not fully able to cure his wound as they don’t have guns in the Inkworld.
Meanwhile Meggie goes and searcher for Felingo, who got sucked into his story when Capricorn died, while Farid searches for Dustfinger, who is now living with his wife and stepson while his daughter works in the castle, against his wishes.
When Meggie discovers her father’s condition, she asks Felingo to help by writing something, so she read it aloud and save her father. While there are political tribulations raging in the Inkworld, Mo and Resa are captured by a king, believing Mo is the Bluejay. The Folk, Meggie, Dustfinger and Farid go on a rescue mission to save the prisoners when Meggie goes into captivity willingly.
A week after Dustfinger’s death, Meggie and Farid are trying to bring him back while the cruel Adderhead is ruling the Inkworld. Farid goes into Orpheus’s slavery when he promises to bring Dustfinger back. The whole Inkworld is in a bloddy chaos as Orpheus now controls the story, instead of Felingo. Determined to kill Mo, Orpheus agrees to send him to the White Women so that Dustfinger can come back to life. He is successful while Farid watches him, but doesn’t stop. Meggie is distraught and disgusted because Farid did not stop Orpheus. While the distance between these two continually increases, Meggie falls for Doria, a member of the Black Prince’s tribe.
Mo talks to death and death strikes a bargain; as long as Mo can finish what he started by giving Adderhead the book, he and Dustfinger can live, but if they fail, death will come for them. Meanwhile Adderhead’s cruelty is increasing as he kidnaps children and sends them to work in mines where he knows they will die.
Meanwhile in the world in which they really belong, Elinor has finally convened a hesitant Darius to read them in as well.
The Bluejay finds Adderhead’s decisions unacceptable and saves the children by Felingo’s help who is in control of his story again. Things get more and more complex as Bluejay and Dustfinger have a deal with Her Ugliness and now insane Mortola still seeks vengeance and tries to find a way to bring her dead son, Capricorn back to life.
Overall, I’d say this series is a must read. The Inkworld is beautiful while the adventures are fast paced and thrilling. Cornelia Funke has built a dense and dark world. She gave me some big surprises all along the series, like she always does. The mystery and adventure with the backdrop of dense forests and many fairy tale creatures I didn’t know existed is captivating and as you will follow Mo and Meggie through their exhilarating journey you will definitely fall for these amazing books.
The characters are complex and more about them is told as you will read. The villains are just pure bad heroes pure good, except for Dustfinger, who betrayed Mo a couple of times. You cannot help but feel somewhat sorry for him.
I will recommend this book for everyone; while it can seem to be a bit dragged at times, I cannot say that anything about this book is boring. Cornelia only explains everything in detail which maybe slows the book sometimes. But you need to read this enchanting and unique story and I hope you love it as much as I did.
Movie for the first part, Inkheart came out in 2008. It is very different from the book but if you liked the series then the movie is worth one watch.
Who is your favorite character?
I would love to hear from you:)