See updates at end of post.
Inkspell is the second book in the Inheart trilogy, I managed to get a signed harcover and it’s a good looking book. Inkheart is a great read, I’m not remotly shocked that it’s become popular and the film rights sold.
Inkspell is almost as good, but not quite. It’s darker, much more downbeat, and to my mind the characters do some things that don’t make sense, or have an obvious alternative that would get them out of a troublesome situation.
Despite that slight, this is better than most fantasy, it paints a serious alternate reality in deep detail, enough to make Tolkien blink and rub his eyes. In the Inkworld even the smallest fairies are dangerous.
Get Inkheart, get Inkspell, then be patient and await the third book …
Just a few chapters into Inkspell, Mo (a.k.a. “Silvertongue”) sagely says to his daughter, “Stories never really end, Meggie, even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don’t end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” A fitting meta-observation for this, the unplanned second installment in Cornelia Funke’s beloved now-trilogy.
Of course, it’s that sort of earnest, almost gushing veneration of books and book-loving that made the absorbing suspense-fantasy Inkheart so wonderful in the first place, with that lit-affection getting woven integrally into the plot (Inkheart being both Funke’s first book in the series, and the fictitious book within that book, authored by the frustrated Fenoglio, now trapped within the book, er, within the book. Fenoglio, perhaps not surprisingly, self-referentially wishes in Inkspell that he had written a sequel to Inkheart.) Inkspell should serve as a special treat for fans of the first book, as characters from Inkheart who have found themselves in the “real world” (if there is such a thing) find themselves read back into their own mythic, word-spun world–along with some of our favorite “real-world” characters. As with the previous book, Funke’s greatest accomplishment here is telling such a rich and involving (and fun!) story, while still managing sweet, subtle commentary on the nature of words and meaning. Expect a tantalizing finale, too–as Funke says, “No reader will forgive me the ending, though, without a part three.”
Update: Inkdeath, part 3, is expected out in English in October 2008.
Barnes and Noble has a summary:
The masterful conclusion to the epic, award-winning, bestselling INKHEART trilogy by internationally acclaimed author Cornelia Funke.
The Adderhead–his immortality bound in a book by Meggie’s father, Mo–has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants’ only defense is a band of outlaws led by Bluejay–Mo’s fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unraveling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrenders. First Dustfinger, now Mo, Can anyone save this cursed story?
Cornelia Funke said on her website, “Inkdeath” will start only a few weeks after the second part of the trilogy has ended – near Ombra – and you will meet again almost all characters from “Inkspell”, joined by two new glass men and some more robbers. Some characters are going to play a more decisive role, such as Violante, Resa, and primarily Orpheus. This time, starting from Ombra, the story will move north, not south, and … well, I should not give away much more so far.