Reviews for Inkdeath

Booklist Reviews 2008 November #1
Funke completes the trilogy that began with Inkheart (2003) in this long, eventful novel. Although the scene frequently shifts from one set of characters to another, there is rarely any relief from the sense of encroaching menace that takes many different forms. The unusually large cast is helpfully identified for readers in the appended eight-page, cross-referenced list of characters and places in the trilogy. Though some of the violent scenes are not for the fainthearted, readers who loved the detailed world building and the adventure in the earlier books will probably enjoy this one as well. Still, others will find it less satisfying than its predecessors. From the initial premise of a bookbinder who reads aloud so beautifully that he can draw a story s characters out of the pages and into his own world, the earlier volumes were booklovers books. This one seems more plot driven, or perhaps driven by the necessity of bringing so many intertwined stories to a satisfying conclusion. Copyright Booklist Reviews 2008.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
An enormous cast of characters parades in and out of this final installment of the trilogy, halting the pacing and complicating the plot, and also relegating Meggie's story line to a mere subplot. Nevertheless, the metafictional nature of the novel, coupled with its thematic exploration of mortality and its celebration of bookishness, should provide fans of the series with both comfort and closure. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #1
Chaos reigns in the Inkworld, a fantasy world read to life by bookbinder Mo in the first book of Funke's popular trilogy (Inkheart, rev. 1/04; Inkspell, rev. 1/06). While author Fenoglio has lost control of his creation, uninspired imitator Orpheus has bent it to his will. Mo becomes involved (too involved, his family fears) in playing the role of the "legendary robber" Bluejay, while his daughter Meggie is torn romantically between Arabian Nights transplant Farid and new character Doria; self-sacrificing fire-eater Dustfinger is resurrected; and the tyrannical Adderhead plunders villages and steals children in an effort to force the Bluejay's hand. If all this sounds like too much to follow, that's because it is. An enormous cast of characters parades in and out of this final installment of the trilogy, halting the pacing (particularly in the beginning) and complicating the plot, but also relegating Meggie's story line to a mere subplot. Nevertheless, the metafictional nature of the story, coupled with its thematic exploration of mortality and its celebration of bookishness (highlighted by several dozen epigraphs drawn from an array of literary sources), should provide ardent fans of the series with both comfort and closure. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 September #1
A monumental third installment brings the Inkheart trilogy to a grueling, blood-spattered, mortality-obsessed close. The Inkworld is in disarray: Its author, Fenoglio, has lost his ability to write and, therefore, shape events; the odious Orpheus, however, has taken to recycling Fenoglio's words to control the narrative/world himself. The evil Adderhead, whose immortality was bound into the White Book by bookbinder-turned-people's champion Mo/the Bluejay, finds his body decomposing and demands a new Book; can Mo use the opportunity to end the villain's life altogether? Can Dustfinger come back from the dead? Will Resa's baby be born into peace or violence? Is Meggie falling out of love with Farid? (Thank goodness there's an A to Z of Names and Places!) Where the first volume was thoroughly young Meggie's story, this narrative alternates among a dizzying array of characters, most of whom are adults who betray distinctly adult concerns. While Funke's storytelling is as compelling as ever, the natural audience for this brooding saga seems, sadly, to be teens and up and not the children who so eagerly responded to Inkheart. (Fantasy. 13 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 September #4

This concluding volume in Funke's bestselling trilogy picks up where Inkspell left off, but sputters for a hundred pages filling in backstory. (Even then, an addendum is needed to identify a cast of 114 characters.) The Inkworld, full of dark magic, is under siege; the savagery of the Adderhead and his minions now extends to taking all the peasants' children until somebody delivers, as ransom, the Bluejay, a Robin Hood-style character whose identity has been assumed by Mo, Meggie's father (it was Mo who started all the trouble by reading several villains right out of the book-within-a-book, Inkheart-- don't even consider reading this series out of order). The Inkheart author, Fenoglio, now living in Inkworld himself, has turned to drink; the odious Orpheus, when he's not under a maid's skirt, rewrites Fenoglio's work (editors!) to benefit himself. The interesting metafictional questions--can we alter destiny? shape our own fate?--are overwhelmed by the breakneck action, yet the villains aren't fully realized. More disappointingly, the formerly feisty Meggie, barely into her teens, has little to do but choose between two suitors. Funke seems to have forgotten her original installment was published for children. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 February

Gr 5-8--Cornelia Funke brings her popular fantasy trilogy to a close with this final story (Chicken House, 2008). Meggie, the heroine from the first two books, remains in the Inkworld with her mother and her father, Mo. The kingdom is in chaos: the immortal Adderhead sits on the throne, plunders villages, and steals children to work to death in the silver mines. Mo has appointed himself guardian of these innocents and assumes the identity of the Bluejay as he works to spite the Adderhead at every turn. Dustfinger returns from the dead and teams up with Mo to bring peace to the Inkworld. Narrator Allan Corduner impressively brings the story to life and keeps each of the dozens of characters recognizable. His transition from one voice to another is smooth, and the pacing is good. But at close to 20 hours, this novel is not for everyone. Fans of the series will be disappointed in Meggie's minor role, but will enjoy the series' satisfying conclusion. Library collections where the first two audiobooks are popular should consider this an essential purchase.--Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 December

Gr 5-9--This final volume in the trilogy returns readers to Inkworld and its wide cast of characters. Under the rule of the evil Adderhead, it is a bleak and dangerous place. General gloominess bogs down the pace initially, as several characters agonize, sometimes tiresomely, over past regrets and the dire uncertainty of the future. Meggie, despite her gift of magical reading, remains a disappointingly dull protagonist, but other characters are quite compelling. Her bookbinding father, for instance, emerges as a swashbuckling outlaw, and, when he brings the fire-dancer Dustfinger back from the dead, things get really interesting. The assortment of villains is vivid and frightening, especially Mortola, who can change shape, and the immortal Adderhead. Even more intriguing is Mo, who evolves into a powerful and complex scoundrel as he explores the evil potential of his unique ability to make up stories, then read them into reality. The finale includes a thoroughly engrossing climax as the Adderhead and Mo meet their doom, though a subplot involving Meggie and her companions is less exciting. Despite occasional weaknesses in plotting and characterization, Funke successfully explores ideas of fate, free will, and the power of story in a multilayered tale with many dramatic moments, bringing the series to a satisfying conclusion. Summaries of the first two books and a list of names and places are provided for those new to the series, but this last installment will be appreciated most by readers who start with the first title.--Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

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