Reviews for Inkspell

Booklist Reviews 2005 October #1
/*Starred Review*/ Gr. 6-9. Readers who enjoyed Funke's Inkheart (2003) are in for a treat with this sequel, a stronger book than its predecessor. In the first volume of the trilogy, a few characters have the ability to "read" a character out of a book and into today's world. In this book the process is reversed, and most of the earlier characters are transported to the magical yet perilous and sometimes brutally violent land of the fictional book, also called Inkheart. Young Meggie has longed to visit that world, but once she travels there she realizes the consequences of her choice and the seeming impossibility of putting things right in either place. With the help of Fenoglio, the book's author, who now lives in the secondary world, she connives to turn events toward a good outcome. Though some readers will simply enjoy the adventure story, others will be intrigued by Fenoglio's reflections on the impossibility of controlling what he has created. As before, the book's focus shifts from one group of characters to another as the plot moves swiftly. An indispensable key to the numerous characters precedes the story. Readers will enjoy the many quotes at chapter headings from writers as diverse as Margaret Atwood, David Almond, Kate DiCamillo, Harper Lee, Pablo Neruda, Philip Pullman, J. K Rowling, and T. H. White. In short, a booklover's book. ((Reviewed October 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
The bibliophilic conceit of Inkheart is taken to new levels when this sequel’s unwieldy ensemble cast is transported into the world of the book. A final showdown in which Fenoglio pits the power of words against the power of death provides a compelling conclusion to a novel otherwise hindered by an overabundance of sneering, indistinct villains and underused heroes. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #1
In Funke's previous bibliophilic fantasy, Inkheart (rev. 1/04), bookbinder Mo discovered that words have power -- specifically, the power to bring storybook characters to life and literally transport readers into the world of the book. This sequel takes that conceit to new levels after early plot twists land Mo, Meggie, Resa, Dustfinger, and Farid in Inkworld as author Fenoglio, trapped inside his own story (i.e., Inkheart), struggles to direct it. Unfortunately, Funke can no longer rely on the innovation of her premise to sustain reader interest, and the novel stumbles under the weight of an unwieldy cast: Inkspell abounds with sneering, indistinct villains both old and new while Meggie, Mo, and the rest remain underused. "You always did like your villains best," Meggie admonishes Fenoglio, with unintentional irony. Even devotees might need to consult the extensive character roster to keep everybody straight. Still, Funke has a few surprises up her sleeve as the plot arches toward a showdown that pits the power of words against the power of death. Concluding catastrophes set Farid and Meggie on a new quest and force Fenoglio, in the most compelling subplot of the narrative, to realize that he is not entirely in control of his creation. One only wishes Funke could have had a tighter hold on hers. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 September #1
One year after the events of Inkheart (2003), one by one, the characters find themselves read from the real world into the Inkworld. Dustfinger is ecstatic to be back home after his long exile; Meggie is thrilled to explore the story that has seduced her with its beauty; Mo and Resa want only to bring their daughter Meggie back. The metaliterary musings begun in the previous title become grander here, as each character grapples with the possibility of challenging the fate that has been written. Fenoglio, the author of the fictional Inkheart, takes on a tragic role, as he sees his godlike idyll threatened when his words and characters take on lives of their own. Woven in and around the breakneck adventure is the provocative notion that words, and the meanings they carry, are plastic and ever susceptible to change. While the permeability of the membrane between imagination and reality may form the base of the novel, Funke delivers more than enough action, romance, tragedy, villainy and emotion to keep readers turning the pages-and waiting for the sequel the cliffhanger ending promises. (Fiction. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 October #3

In this spellbinding follow-up to Inkheart , Funke expertly mixes joy, pain, suspense and magic. In the opening chapter, Dustfinger returns to Inkheart , the fantastic novel (within Funke's novel of the same name) from which he was sprung, and his "devoted" apprentice, Farid, asks Meggie to use her magical reading powers to send him into the story. Meggie, lured by the "place of marvels and adventures," goes with him. Her parents soon follow. The omniscient narrator allows readers to jump from the "real" world to Inkworld, where a war is brewing between Ombra Castle and the evil Adderhead's Castle of Night. Worse, Meggie's father, Mo (aka Silvertongue), is mistaken for a Robin Hood-type figure known as the Bluejay and is to be executed. Readers will race along with Meggie and other Inkheart favorites as the characters try to create a "happy ending." Funke again cleverly plays with the power of words: Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart , now lives in the world he created and continues to write new story lines--which play out in often unintended ways (e.g. he bases the Bluejay character on Meggie's father, putting Mo in danger). This is a thick and dark book (the Magpie shoots Mo, nearly killing him, and Basta appears for a final showdown), as well as sophisticated--especially the romance blossoming between Farid and Meggie, and Dustfinger's complicated relationship with Meggie's mother. There is much left to explore; readers will eagerly await the last in the planned trilogy. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)

[Page 68]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 October

Gr 5 Up -This sequel begins a year after the conclusion of Funke's popular Inkheart (Scholastic, 2003). In this fantasy world, certain readers have the power to bring characters out of books-and send them back. Meggie and Farid, apprentices to the fire-eater Dustfinger, follow him to the Inkworld, the land of the book-within-a-book, Inkheart, after he has been read back into its story by a mysterious man named Orpheus. Orpheus uses his powers to read Mortola and Basta, some of the villains of the first volume, into the story, along with Meggie's parents. In Inkworld, Meggie enlists the help of Fenoglio, the original author of Inkheart , to help create a new future for her parents and herself as palace intrigues, war, and the Silver Prince threaten. The story moves along at a rapid pace, from Farid and Dustfinger's original meeting with Orpheus to Farid's warning of Mortola's return to the shift of action to the Inkworld and the heightening conflict in both worlds. Expanding on the ideas behind Inkheart , Funke explores what might happen if authors try to change the world they have created. Familiar characters and those new to this volume are clearly drawn. This is an involving story that will draw readers smoothly to its conclusion and leave them waiting for the final volume in this projected trilogy.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI

[Page 161]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2005 October
This continuation of the bestseller Inkheart (The Chicken House/Scholastic, 2003/VOYA December 2003) begins a year after the events in that novel. Dustfinger and Farid are desperately trying to return to the Inkworld. Lured into a trap, Dustfinger escapes into the Inkworld but leaves Farid behind. Pursued by Basta and Mortola, Farid reunites with Meggie, Mo, Resa, Elinor, and Darius. Soon Farid and Meggie catch up to Dustfinger, Mo is seriously wounded, and everyone is caught up in a deadly struggle as Mortola and Basta use the tyrannical Adderhead and his armies in an attempt to control the Inkworld A wonderfully embroidered, elaborate fairy tale, the book is a joy to read. The majority of the novel takes place in the medieval fantasy realm of the Inkworld, and Funke's detailed, vivid descriptions make it a living, breathing place. In addition, Funke skillfully weaves into an exceptional adventure story an exploration of the relationship between reader, author, and novel. In eloquent, lyric passages, Funke investigates how authors create worlds, how readers bring the worlds to life, and how these worlds often take on a life of their own. Unfortunately the book is obviously the middle novel in a three-volume series. Although the initial conflicts are resolved, others are introduced and remain unresolved, leading to a somewhat unsatisfying ending but ensuring that readers will eagerly pick up the next series entry.-Steven Kral 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.