Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

“Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane. A dog barked somewhere in the darkness, and however often she tossed and turned Meggie couldn’t get to sleep”
12 year-old Meggie is a complete bookworm, so is her father, but Meggie can never remember him telling her a single story, not since her mother mysteriously disappeared when Meggie was only three. Then a strange man turns up, in the pouring rain, in the middle of the night. He has a message for her father and the next day her Father packs them up and tries to get away. However Dustfinger knows her father all too well and he’s waiting at the bottom of the driveway.
This is just the start of a dangerous, yet wonderful journey where Meggie discovers her father’s secret and what he has been hiding from for all these years.

What can I say… other than why the hell haven’t I read this before now!? Inkheart has been sat on my tbr for months. And before that it was high on my radar because of the things I’d heard about it. I’d never seen the movie and to be honest it looked pretty bad from the trailer so I was actually put off reading the book for quite a while. But I knew I had to, I knew I would love it… and love it I did.
I don’t even know where to start. Please don’t expect this to be a comprehensive review because to be honest my brain at the minute goes something like “Inkheart *squee* Fairies *squee* fire *squee* stories* squee *fairy tales *squee*” that’s about as comprehensive as I get when my mind is blown by a book!
The story was just amazing. I hadn’t read the blurb on the book, I love doing that, I always try and forget exactly what the blurb says and then I get an awesome surprise as I’m reading… I’m strange like that! But yeah this story was so unique that this worked really well, I had ideas about where it was going and everything but I wasn’t certain until quite a way into the book.
The way Inkheart is written is very classical way… it reminded me of all the older books like Peter Pan, The Secret Garden and Treasure Island, many of the books that are mentioned within it really and the passages taken from other books like these and The Princess Bride and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, only added to this. I loved the way it was written and my eyes flew over the words so seamlessly. I’m just annoyed that I don’t read faster and this type of writing means that I can’t skim read like I usually do so it took me ages to read!!
I usually have a characters section in my reviews and it’s usually pretty long. To be honest if I went into every character and my feelings on them this review would be stupidly long and I reckon you’d all just turn off and not bother reading… so I’m just gunna cover a few. First of all Meggie and Mo, I loved them and their little close knit family. I also loved it when Elinor was introduced and it was like she was an additional member of this family even though she hadn’t seen Meggie for years. My only niggle with any character was with Meggie, she seemed a bit young for 12. I know kids around that age and the book is actually kinda set in modern times (I’m guessing it’s around 2001-3 when the book was published – which means I would have been around 12-14 myself) and I just think she acts too young. Maybe if the book was set in the older times of Peter Pan and stuff then she would be more appropriate… don’t get me wrong she’s not juvenile or anything, just a bit young ad a bit too daddy’s girl-ish in a younger way… I really grew to love her as I got further into the book though and by the end of it this didn’t matter. Elinor was a brilliant character and I couldn’t help but think of her in a loving way even though at the start she’s very distant from everyone, preferring her books than other peoples company.
Then we have Dustfinger, Gwin, Farid and Fenoglio. I’m not going into detail but I loved these characters. Much like Meggie, I wanted to trust Dustfinger at the beginning even though I could clearly see that he had don’t a very unkind thing, there was just something about him. There will always be something about Dustfinger and Gwin and Farid. They are amazing characters and they all deserve happiness. I loved that the three of them all became like a family in my head too, like I can’t think of one of them without the others. And Fenoglio… wow. If I met an author who had dreamt up a story like Inkheart, Fenoglio is exactly who I’d want to meet… his personality just seeps out of the book!
I think that that is quite possibly what I thought the best thing about Inkheart was; the characters all just seemed to have so much depth, all of them, even Flatnose and Fenoglio’s grandchildren who are in like three scenes. I loved how much thought and development has obviously gone into this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book in this trilogy! Just have to wait until my book buying ban is over *eyes calendar and begs the next month and a half to go faster*
I really would recommend this book to anyone. Its big, it’s heavy and honestly, don’t drag it to work with you for three days because your back actually starts hurting! But yeah, you won’t regret starting such a huge book at all. I promise!
Inkspell was released by Chicken House in 2003, following translation from the Author’s native language, German. My copy was purchased in a charity shop.


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