Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkworld #1. Chicken House (June 2004) Library
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.


I don't think I've ever read of a book like Inkheart before. I've heard of books where lucky children stumble onto some magic and get themselves transported into a book but I don't think I've ever heard of or read of characters literally coming out of books and wreaking havoc just by someone reading their story aloud. Mo, nicknamed Silvertongue for his power to persuade characters and objects out of a story, lives in a house full of books with his daughter Meggie who loves books just as much as her father. She hears books calling for her and feels a deep connection with stories and their characters. One night she looks outside into the rainy dark and discovers a man right outside their home. Unbeknownst to her this man, Dustfinger, would soon open up her world to new possibilities and have her and her father embark on a journey of adventure and treachery because a book isn't just focused on heroes and knights with shining armor. There are villains who would make your blood curl if you've ever met them in real life and she's about to meet one of the most nefarious one's around.

This book was huge! It took me hours and hours and I enjoyed every minute of it. The way this book spoke to me as a lover of books was mesmerizing. I couldn't wait to see how everything would unfold. And it's characters? Each one of them better than the last. Inkheart even has me contemplating writing a book just for myself it's so good. It provides such an ode to authors that I could see a lot of potential writers finding inspiration from its pages. I loved all the quotes from a range of books in the beginning of each chapter. They were all perfectly placed to describe the chapter I was about to read. There is so much detail in this book. You could tell the author immersed herself in her book and made sure readers were able to see the book come to life in their eyes. 

The main plot of this story is that a villain named Capricorn is after a book that Mo has. He doesn't just want the book but Mo as well because of his ability. So you can imagine where Capricorn came from and what he'll do to get his hands on the book and Silvertongue. This is very much an adventure story. Maybe not exactly slaying dragons and saving a damsel in distress but it's still a great adventure set in the real world. It's also a story with a fantastic cast of characters that I felt an arrange of emotions for especially the most misguided ones. If you think about it the characters that came out of the book were created to be the way they are or they have motivations or back stories that drive their actions and personalities. The story building and characters easily make this a must read. Or better yet a book about story characters coming to life feels like it would enchant any reader at any age. 

10 comments:

  1. I read this after my oldest (then a teen) demanded I do so, she was so excited by this book, and I must admit I adored it and found it magical. Wonderful review, I think this is good for any age reader.

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    1. Ha! Your daughter has some spunk. Good thing you felt it was well worth it.

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  2. Now this is something else. Like you I have read books where kids stumble upon some wardrobe or get into some new words but this is something new. I'd love to read this one. Great review! :)

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    1. Awesome! I've actually been thinking about Narnia for a little while. I might tackle that series again.

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  3. I liked this book a lot too. Some parts dragged too long, but overall, it was a lot of fun. I haven't read the rest of the series though. Will you be reading them? Have you seen the movie?

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    1. I'll be reading the rest of the series but not anytime soon. It's just too much books for me right now. I haven't seen the movie but I heard it wasn't worth it :/

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  4. That was hilarious when you said this book is huge! I had forgotten about that from when I read it. Do you plan on finishing the series? Also... skip the movie. It wasn't that great even though I really wanted it to be.

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    1. I do plan on finishing the series... eventually. It takes so much of your time I'm planning to wait a little whole. Advice noted. I've heard the same about the movie from others.

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  5. I read this one and enjoyed it too! As a book lover I found all the bookish aspects fantastic! The characters felt so real to me and the story really drew me in. I also thought about how hard it would be for the characters I love to join the world around me! I haven't read the rest of the series yet- but I plan to soon! Thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. You have a good point about how hard it would be for characters to join our world which probably would be the same in reverse.

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