The Fairytale Rhythms of Inkheart

Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart is a fairytale tribute to the magical qualities that stories possess. Young Maggie resides with her father, a well-traveled bookbinder she has always called Mo, in a humble farmhouse where books crowd every available nook in piles and stacks. They lead quiet but pleasant lives dominated by a love of reading, until one rainy night when a mysterious character, Dustfinger, warns Mo that a villain named Capricorn and his gang are hunting for him and his copy of a certain rare novel.

                The novel at issue is none other than Inkheart, a complete fictional story within the one we, as readers, discover one page at a time—and almost every major character gets defined by their relationship to it. Maggie has never opened its pages, and so we learn about the in-text version of Inkheart and its implications right alongside her. Dustfinger hints from his first appearance to having history with the story, a certain desperation concerning it, and a debt he feels Mo (whom he calls “Silvertongue”) owes to him. However, Mo has such a deep connection to the book he refuses to simply hand it over to Capricorn, opting instead to flee with Maggie to her Great-Aunt Elinor’s manor house (although it is pretty much a private library) near a lake in Northern Italy.

                As the plot progresses, Mo eventually reveals he possesses such a magical voice that he can read objects and characters out of the books in which they reside. Furthermore, many years before the events in the main story, he accidentally pulled Dustfinger, Capricorn, and one of Capricorn’s henchmen from Inkheart, but then lost Maggie’s mother somewhere among those same printed pages. Dealing with the fictional characters from Inkheart, such as Dustifinger (who just wants to go home), to the malicious Capricorn and all his nasty schemes, soon takes center stage.

Along the way, Maggie and Mo reflect on the worlds which might continue to exist beyond the printed text in books, seek out the author of Inkheart, and experience a literary adventure that becomes fast-paced and more action-packed as the pages blur past. Every chapter begins with a quotation focused on the importance of stories, many of which come from children’s literature. There are also numerous references to characters from classic tales, including Peter Pan and 1,001 Arabian Nights, done with heartfelt reverence.

The other two books in the trilogy, Inkspell and Inkdeath, add to the fantastical world Funke has introduced in Inkheart and are intriguing reads.

Have you read one of all these stories? Please feel free to comment on your experiences with them, or perhaps even recommend similar stories below!

4 thoughts on “The Fairytale Rhythms of Inkheart

  1. Ohh, nice choice for a first review 🙂
    I loved the Inkheart trilogy and Cornelia Funke was one of my favourite authors when I was a kid!
    Plus you did a wonderful job in summarizing, yet leaving enough “cliffhangers” to get someone interested in reading the book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Cornelia Funke is an incredible author, and I think her Inkheart series helped to encourage a lot of children to read. There is just so much creativity packed into those books! Have you read any of her other works, such as The Thief Lord? That’s another great one.

      I’m so happy that I did a good job in reviewing it! Yay!


  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that
    you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but
    other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read.
    I will certainly be back.

    Liked by 1 person

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