If you haven't read Inkheart yet, but want to, I'd HIGHLY recommend it. You can read my review here. Inkheart is the first book in the trilogy and you won't understand anything that's going on in Inkspell if you haven't read it. :) Also, if you'd like to read some quotes from Inkspell, you can read them: here and here.
Meggie longs for the Inkworld. Her mother's stories have formed the world so perfectly in her mind that she cannot help but desire to go there. But how is that possible? How could she when she doesn't even have the book? And is it possible to read yourself into a story? What Meggie doesn't know is that a man named Orpheus has read Dustfinger back into his story, leaving Farid with nowhere to go. But when Farid shows up at their door with the fateful paper that sent Dustfinger home, and the news that Basta is still alive and on his trail, Meggie must make a decision. Should she follow her heart - and Farid, who is set on seeing Dustfinger again - into the Inkworld, or will she do the safe thing, and stay with Mo and Resa and Elinor and Darius? It is up to her, and what she does may affect the lives of the living - and even the dead.
Dustfinger Dustfinger Dustfinger Dustfinger Dustfinger Dustfinger.
I would love to just write a review that is ALL about Dustfinger, but I shall refrain. I shall refrain because it would probably bore most of you. Seriously. It would be like "I love him, I love him, he's the best, he's the greatest, I want to meet him, he's wonderful..." and a lot of other stuff that is not very important...
But I'm fortunate: the whole book is amazing to write about, so I'm not in a bad way at all.
To begin - this is my third time reading this book. It felt like the first. The door was closed, and it slowly opened, letting it the scent of the Inkworld, the sights, sounds, and people. It opened up and, suddenly, I was there, like Meggie, and I was a part of the story. It was happening to me. It chose me, made me its own, and swept me off my feet. This has happened every single time, and it feels new and wonderful every single time.
Seriously, this book is phenomenal. It has the feel and story of a classic fairytale, like what you'd read in a Grimm Brother's story, and it has the easy flowing writing of an extremely well-written children's or YA novel. I think the reasons are these. For one, Cornelia Funke is German. She has the heritage, the old-fashioned love for fairytales. And then there's the translator, Anthea Bell, who translates books from both German and French, and possibly even more languages, into English. (She translated another really great book, The_Princetta, from French.) She has a way of working words that adds to Cornelia's German talent.
Favorite character: Hehe...yah. Dustfinger. The man who is human. I think that's what makes me love him so much. He's just so regular, despite his abilities to breathe and speak to fire. He's talented, yes, and those who knew of him wrote songs and ballads about him to keep his legacy alive. But he doesn't think once about the fame. He only loves the fire, the crackling flames that bend to his will. And he loves Roxanne. He loves her so much, and she loves him, too. I always say that if I could trade places with a character from any book, it would be Roxanne, so I could be married to Dustfinger. He's just...wow. You love him in spite of his mistakes, his personal struggles. In fact, these things make you love him even more. And he does in the end of Inkspell makes me cry every time I read it, and I've read it maybe 10 times. This, and everything else he does, makes him one of my top three favorite characters in all of literature.
But while Dustfinger is my absolute favorite, each other character is so well-developed that I could easily write a whole characterization paper about each one. They are all equally defined, from Fenoglio, to Mo, to Meggie, Resa, the Piper, Firefox, the Adderhead... I could go on, really. Even the most minor characters have their own personalities and characteristics that make them individuals. It's truly amazing.
Favorite aspect: There are just about a million things I could put down here...so pretty much the whole book...but I think my third time around I was really struck by Fenoglio's plan at the end. His words for Meggie to read - to bring to life. It really is genius. So intricate and wonderful...
Summing it up with one word: 'tis an impossible thing to do, when I consider every facet of the story. One of the many descriptions I can think of is devastatingly beautiful. Need I say more?
For the parents: a bit of language, d**n, son of a *****, and ba***rd. References to a 15-year-old girl who's fallen in love with a prince, and who is said to spend her nights with him. A bit of kissing. Recommended for 13 and older, because of the things mentioned above and the intensity of the story.