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My novel is good. Live without me. You’ll get over it.

Inkspell, by Cornelia Funke

Sequel to: Inkheart

Inkheart is a young adult novel. It was recommended to me by a former student, Mayra. Knowing how much I love fantasy novels, she came to her younger sister’s parent teacher conference and said, “Miss, you’ve got to read this book!” And she told me about a character called Silvertongue (really a mild-mannered book-binder named Mortimer) who, when he read aloud, could read the characters right out of books and into life. Unfortunately, he could not predict which character it would be, so he brought a horrible villain into his own world. Worse, whenever he read a character out of a book, something living of his own world went into the book. When the villain came out, Silvertongue lost his beloved wife to the story.

Throughout Inkheart we meet characters from both worlds, and an assortment of people who all share Silvertongue’s ability to one degree or another. Several of the other readers able to bring characters to life have helped Capricorn assemble his gang in modern day England, but Capricorn needs the power of Silvertongue to bring his greatest weapon to this world, so he kidnaps Silvertongue’s daughter. Within the pages of the story we also meet, Fenoglio, the author of the novel which spawned the villain. Fenoglio is both thrilled and appalled to find his book characters come to life.

Inkspell, the sequel, which I am reading now, is Meggie’s adventure in storyland. Despite knowing some of the more horrible and cruel aspects of the land, Meggie deliberately sends herself into the same book her father accidentally sent her mother into. With Meggie goes a character from yet another story. When they arrive in the book they learn that several of their friends — and several of their enemies — have also traveled to the land. Indeed, Fengolio is there, trying to rewrite his own story, even as he lives it ….

Cornelia Funke’s mind is a very interesting playground. Her characters are very real and share a compelling mix of both good and bad. None of her heroes are wholly good, and none of her villains are without some virtue. I have also read two of her other books, The Thief Lord, a story of surprising twists, and The Dragon Rider, which contains an insidious evil that can only be defeated by one little boy and a very special dragon. This book sounds predictable, but it is not.

If you are looking for a book for a young person in your life, give them one of these! As for you, be a good role model. Let them see you read. Grab a book, curl up some place comfy and transport yourself into the story (please do not send any evil villains to my house).

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. These books sound wonderful, I will have to see if I can find them. Thankyou for the prayer that everything would turn out well at the doctors. I’ve posted twice today and in first one spoke of the trip to the doctor.

    A wonderful weekend is wished for you.

  2. Now I call THIS an epidemic…. TWO of my regular readers are reading the SAME books! This is just amazing! I’m going to have to check these out! (of the library…)

  3. Angela – you and M can read them together — a mother-daughter book club.

    Bill — I am enjoying them. I think they’ve calculated the reading ages wrong, but I could be off because I’ve worked with second language learners so long. The books are a bit advanced for my 5th graders.

    Melli — check them out and get lost in the story. Just don’t turn your back on Mortola.

  4. Quilly, you write a really nice review, but I STILL just can’t get into ‘fantasy’. I read ‘murder and mayhem’ daily, though – wonder what that says about me! 🙂

  5. I’m backing you up on the importance of reading in front of your children Quilly. My grandgirls told me they hated to read when they first moved in. Two months down the road, they are putting themselves to bed early to hear another chapter of The Bone Collector’s Son, and happily join me in the library instead of in front of the TV in the afternoon. Most kids say they don’t like to read, when what they mean is I don’t know how.
    Stephen King rocks…look past the gruesome to his character development and be amazed.

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