Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Title: Inkdeath
By: Cornelia Funke
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 683
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
(Age range says 8 to 12; I disagree.)
Series #: 3 of 3
Date Started: May 21, 2009
Date Finished: June 1, 2009

Rating: A+

Description (from Barnes & Noble): The Adderhead--his immortality bound in a book by Meggie's father, Mo--has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants' only defense is a band of outlaws led by the Bluejay--Mo's fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unraveling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrends. First Dustfinger, now Mo: Can anyone save this cursed story?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OMG! What an amazing final book! I loved the first two books, so when I started reading this one, I purposefully paced myself and kept myself from pulling an all-nighter to finish it. I so desperately didn't want the story to be over. Finishing this book was like saying goodbye to a group of friends. The Black Prince, Mo & Meggie, Dustfinger, the Adderhead, Fenoglio, Elinor-- I will miss them and their adventures in the Inkworld.

Cornelia Funke really outdid herself with Inkdeath. Like most trilogies, the first book, Inkheart, was great, with complex characters and an exciting story, and made you thirsty for more. The next book was good, although not as good as the first or third. This series' second book, Inkspell, was different from most middle books though, because unlike those others that are merely stepping stones from the first to the third book, Inkspell held enough adventure and character development and had such an intricate plot that it was more than just a bridge between books. New characters and worlds and deaths- Inkspell stands on its own. But like the typical trilogy, the final book, Inkdeath, was the best of the series. Every loose end is tied up. Every character is given a chance to blossom and grow. Every chapter leaves you hanging. And the very end is left a little open, as if someday Funke might write more... or maybe because, as she has said through Mo, "Stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page."

Funke's writing is beautifully descriptive in this book. Every creature comes to life, and the settings are so real, I feel like I could step into them. Her style definitely improved in this book, and she has a real flair for color.

"Blue as the evening sky, blue as cranesbill flowers, blue as the lips of drowned men and the heart of a blaze burning with too hot a flame. Yes, sometimes it was hot in this world, too. Hot and cold, light and dark, terrible and beautiful, it was everything all at once. It wasn't true that you felt nothing in the land of Death. You felt and heard and smelled and saw, but your heart remained strangely calm, as if it were resting before the dance began again.

Peace. Was that the word?"

I also loved the little things thrown into the background. Hints at possible romances, secondary storylines, short-lived but memorable creatures- they all worked together with the main storyline and the main characters to present a fascinating story. And with so many twists and turns and characters and storylines, this book could have been a very jumbled and confusing mess. But Funke handled the multiple stories very well, jumping from one character in one chapter to another character in the next without completely losing you along the way. I was a little sad about one particular storyline; it just didn't end up the way I had hoped it would. I won't say which story, but here's a hint:

"'I wish you luck,' she said, kissing him on the cheek. He still had the most beautiful eyes of any boy she'd ever seen. But now her heart beat so much faster for someone else."

*Sigh* Nevertheless, this book was worth staying up so late last night to finish. If I hadn't held myself back from finishing it too soon, I probably would have read it all in a day. But then the story would have been over, and I never would have experienced the suspense I felt each time I put the book down. I think if I'd rushed this story I would have missed out on all those little moments hidden in the background of the main story; I would have become lost in the complexity of a plot involving so many characters. This book was even better because it was read slowly with breaks that allowed me to think and imagine the possibilities ahead. Well done, Ms. Funke. A+

"Some books should be tasted,
some devoured,
but only a few
should be chewed and digested thoroughly."
~ Francis Bacon, quoted in Inkheart

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