Friday, January 25, 2013

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Inkworld, #2)

Words were useless. At times they might sound wonderful, but they let you down the moment you really needed them. You could never find the right words, never, and where would you look for them? The heart is silent as a fish, however much the tongue tries to give it a voice.

[Click here to see my review of book 1: Inkheart]

I bought all three books in the Inkheart trilogy, written by Cornelia Funke, for the sheer purpose of being able to read them consecutively. I didn't end up reading the second book immediately after I finished the first because it was nearing the end of the year and I wanted to try reading a few shorter books in hopes of reaching my goal of one hundred.

I'm going to have to put some space between reading this book and the final installment of the trilogy for a different reason. This one did quite the number on my heart and I'm not sure I can handle the third book just yet, no matter how desperately I want to crack open its pages. Besides, I don't want it to end. If I delay reading Inkdeath, I'll be able to feel like it's lasting that much longer.

Inkspell starts off about a year after the events of Inkheart. Meggie, Mo, Resa, and Darius have taken refuge with Elinor, making a once empty house feel like home for them all. They are doing their best to return to normal lives and forget the nightmare that was at once surreal and disturbingly real for them all. Meanwhile, Farid has been following Dustfinger around like he is the father he never had, helping him find his way back into his book. But when Dustfinger finally manages it, Farid is left in this world with Basta and Mortola suddenly snapping at his heels and threatening to go back into the book themselves after they kill Silvertongue and his daughter.

In despair, Farid runs to Meggie, the girl he's had eyes for since the moment he was read out of his book, seeking her help to get him inside the book so he can be reunited Dustfinger and warn him of the danger that will soon follow him back.Instead of simply sending him, Meggie joins him in the Inkworld, the one place she's dreamed solely about since her mother's return and Capricorn's defeat.

However, upon arriving they are quick to learn that much has changed in Dustfinger's time away and even Fenoglio, the old man who created it, can no longer control it. But the Inkworld is even more dangerous than Meggie could have imagined and when dangers from her own world come to hunt her here, there may be no escaping. Only her voice and Fenoglio's words can change anything in this turmoil. But with all that is hunting her and those she loves most, can she manage to make anything better or will she lose everyone she's ever cared about?

Inkspell was a treat from start to finish. I thought nothing could surpass the first book, but this one has managed to come out its equal. How Funke managed that is a complete mystery to me, but she managed it without a hitch. The stakes were higher, the danger more imminent, and the emotions more vulnerable. Funke has manage to create a cast of characters that mange to burrow themselves into the reader's heart and take up space there . . . which makes certain parts of the book leave that particular reader sobbing on her bed.

I'm speaking generally, of course.

The bonds between the characters is also something I deeply admire. If you've read past reviews, you'll notice that this is one of those things I find really important in general. Loyalty means a lot to me, so I can hardly help noticing it when it's particularly weak or particularly strong. And in Inkspell, they're particularly strong. The bonds between Farid and Dustfinger, Meggie and Mo, and (of course) Meggie and Farid are beautiful and realistic at the same time. Their devotion to one another is absolutely heartwarming and very likely one of my favorite things about this story. It is, after all, a tale about devotion and what one person would give to save the person they love most.

This book series is quickly becoming an absolute favorite of mine. That's right, it's up there with the Harry Potter series now. I mean, anyone who has read it can see why. Not only is it a superbly written fantasy with strong characters and danger around every corner, it's also a book essentially dedicated to books and the magic hidden in their words. How can a book junkie like myself manage to not fall in love with it?! (Particularly a book junkie who adores fantasy and YA Lit as much as I do.)

All in all, I will suggest this book and the series to which it belongs to anyone and everyone who will listen. If you haven't read it yet, you had better get on that.

~ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ~

[Click here to read my review of book 3: Inkdeath]

"They're all cruel," he said. "The world I come from, the world you come from, and this one, too. Maybe people don't see the cruelty in your world right away, it's better hidden, but it's there all the same."