The second book in a series always makes me nervous.
Especially if the first book is one of my favorites. The second book in a series is chancy. If the series as a whole is going to fail, the second book will be where it happens. Sometimes I just prefer to enjoy the first book, appreciate how amazing it was, and not move on for there. If the following books failed, the first one isn’t spoiled for me.
But sometimes, just sometimes, the sequel is as good—or, dare I say it—better than the first one.
That does not happen often.
And yet, Cornelia Funke, the author of Inkheart (my favorite book), managed it with her sequel in the series, Inkspell.
Inkheart is, of course, the brilliant and magical story of Meggie Folchart, whose father Mo has the unique ability to read characters right out of the pages of the books he picks up. But this time, it isn’t the character of another book that ends up in our world.
It’s Meggie that ends up in the world of Inkheart.
When Meggie reads herself into Inkheart to warn an old friend of the return of a mutual enemy, she finds that the Inkworld is far more dangerous—and beautiful—than she had ever imagined. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a slew of new characters, wandering the Wayless Wood and exploring the castle of Ombra. Surrounded by glassmen and fairies, water nymphs and the wonders of the Motley folk, Meggie finds herself enraptured by the magic of the Inkword.
But too soon, the enchantment is shattered when her father, Mo, follows her into the book and is nearly killed by an old rival. Meggie rushes to his aid, but before she can reach him, he runs afoul of the villain of the story, a powerful, sadistic prince called the Adderhead.
With her father in the dungeons of the Silver Prince, Meggie must enlist the help of old friendships, some of them less than stable. The words of the author of this story, now a tenant, are all the weapons Meggie has against this powerful enemy, combined with her remarkable voice. With Feneglio’s words, Meggie hatches a plan to bind Death between the covers of a book in exchange for her father’s life. But there are many players in this dangerous game, and the Inkworld itself does not like to offer the easy solution.
This second installment in the Inkworld series restored my faith in sequels. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth and mystic of this wonderful, enchanting world that Cornelia Funke created between the pages of this book. Once again, she was able to create a cast of characters that took my breath away, and I would highly recommend it to any fans of the original Inkheart.
The toadlike eyes looked at him, black and gold, and then the water-nymph sank and vanished as if she had been a mere illusion. But a few moments later, three of them appeared together in the dark water. Shoulders white as lily petals shimmered beneath the surface, fishtails with rainbows scales like the belly of a perch flickered, barely visible, in the water below.