Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Inkheart is the first book in a trilogy. While this book has the appearance and feel of a children’s book, the age of the protagonist and some of the later events in the novel (and its following books) make this a young adult piece. This was one of my favorite books when I was ten, and I have read it many, many times since, because this is one of those books that is worth reading over and over again, well past the age of its designated target audience. To be honest, all of Cornelia Funke’s books are well worth the read, but Inkheart is among her best. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her and have her sign all of my books, and she is a wonderful person and cares greatly for her readers. Funke also does all of her own illustrations. The German versions have more illustrations than the American release (I think is what Funke said), because in American publishing houses, too many illustrations in a chapter book are looked down on, unfortunately.
This story follows 12-year-old Meggie and her father, Mo, who both love and adore books. When a stranger appears, Meggie tells her father, and a whole new world of reading becomes real. When Mo was reading aloud from a book called Inkheart, three characters came out, while living things from their surroundings traded places into the world of the book. One of those things was Mo’s wife, Meggie’s mother. Ever since then, Mo has not read aloud and has not wanted Meggie to read aloud either, but now the fire-breather from the Inkworld, Dustfinger, needs help with the evil Capricorn, who wants Mo’s silvertongue power to bring out more things from the world of ink and print.
Of course, these characters from the inkworld have a bit of a wake-up call when they are told they are fake, just made up of words on a page. But they have physical forms in the real world, sow hat’s to say these characters aren’t real? Capricorn has burned the only copy of Inkheart, and now Mo and Meggie must seek out the author, Fenoglio, for another copy to read the villain and his followers back into the book. Dustfinger, understanding that he is a fictional character, just wants to be read back into his own world with his martin, Gwin.
Capricorn, the villain from he book, is seeking to raise the Shadow from the inkworld and must be stopped. When Mo refuses to read, Capricorn tests out Meggie’s skills. As it turns out, Meggie is a silvertongue too, and Capricorn wishes to utilize her for his evil doings.
This book is a MUST READ for all ages. It is exciting and perfect for any lover of books. The illustrations add to the inkworld, and it is worthy of being read many times over. The writing is fantastic and the world is illustriously painted, making it a great fantasy piece come-to-life. Inkheart is followed by Inkspell and Inkdeath.