In the first book, Inkheart, we had twelve-year-old Meggie Folchart learn about her father’s amazing ability to read things out of books. Unfortunately one of these things was the evil Capricorn who captures her father in an attempt to force him to do his will. This story takes place entirely in the “real world.”
Next we had Inkspell, where Farid convinced Meggie to read them into the book “Inkheart” so that he could see Dustfinger again. Joining them shortly after is Mo and Teresa, who get there by means of Orpheus. They learn about The Adderhead and Mo is forced to make him immortal. This story takes place mostly in the “Inkworld.”
Now we have the conclusion to the Inkheart Trilogy. This tale takes place mostly in the “Inkworld,” but we jump back and forth to the “real world” to see what’s happening to Elinor and Darius.
Fenoglio may have stopped writing, but Orpheus has taken over where Fenoglio left off. However, the things Orpheus creates are less than ideal. The Folchart’s (Meggie, Mortimer & Teresa) are now living with the Black Prince and his gang of robbers, with Mo fulfilling the role of the Bluejay as the prince’s right-hand man. Farid on the other hand is working with Orpheus until the man can bring Dustfinger back from the dead.
Orpheus tricks Mo to call on The White Women and Mo finds himself making a deal with Death (who happens to be the same Death in all worlds) to kill The Adderhead whom he had made immortal. The price of failure is the death of him, his daughter, and Dustfinger whom was allowed to return to help with the task.
The Adderhead’s daughter, Violante helps Mo in an attempt to kill her tyrannical father. Things don’t work out as planned and it comes down to Fenoglio’s words verses Orpheus’s as they battle against each other from opposite sides of the kingdom.
Having liked Inkheart, and even more so Inkspell, I was very disappointed with this one. I think the story is OK, it is just extremely drawn out in long and boring scenes, tons of back story, and the reader is in and out of so many character heads that it is bound to make our own head spin. It wasn’t until Chapter 25 that I actually started to get into the story, and then a few chapters later it started to lose me again. Cornelia did to Inkdeath what Paolini did to Brisingr, however I was less bored with Brisingr. That said, I still recommend reading it if you have started the series. It had a satisfying ending and filled in most of the loose ends. Keep in mind that some of my distastes may be coming more from the author in me than the reader in me.
Things to consider:
This story is quite a bit on the darker side than the other two. I would age rate this a little higher than the others (making it Teens instead of Tweens,) partly because of the presence of sexual references (such as Orpheus and his maids,) but mostly because I think it would bore a younger audience. Among the typical cursing from the other books, there’s a lot more death; some of them in disturbing scenes where children are brutally killed.
Opportunities for discussion:
Of course the theme of playing God and the problems therein still stands from the other books, but I also came away with a strong sense of: life is pain. It can seem a little depressing at times, but keep in mind that this is a good time to talk to your teen about pain and life. In the story, there’s a great feeling that in death there is great peace. Life is pain, to die is gain. A Bible verse comes to mind: Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” This is a good time to talk to your kids about the afterlife, and what you believe is the right path. Also talk to them about life on earth; how they are living in a fallen world. Tell them that there will be times of joy and times of sorrow, and that it is our mission to work and live the life we’ve been given as best we can. However, our longings are not in vein, as we were made for something better and will one day be home. Another discussion point could be about identify, and that we are who we are regardless of what other’s make of us or try to make us into.
Past reviews in this series: