This second installment of the Inkheart
trilogy is certainly a fine companion book to its predecessor. Dustfinger finds his way back home and to his love Roxane, but only to find things have changed—and not all for the better—during those lost years. Farid, desperately missing his best friend, gets Meggie to read him and herself into the Inkworld. Meggie is certainly enchanted by this medieval, feudalistic yet magical world filled with glass men, blue faeries, fire elves and brownies; but she’s also burdened by the guilt of leaving her family behind, especially her father, Mo. She eventually finds Fenoglio, the creator of this world, who wants to use Meggie’s ability to help restore order to the streets of Ombra, by rewriting the story to ensure a happy ending with the miraculous return of a lost king and the introduction of a gentleman robber called the Bluejay, who’s modeled after Mo. Yet these changes threaten to create more chaos and disorder as battle lines are drawn between the two rival kingdoms. Added to the chaos is the return of Mortola and Basta (who’s still intent on finishing his feud with Dustfinger) as well as Resa and Mo, who’s been injured by Mortola’s desire to avenge her son’s death.
In terms of the plot, there’s a lot of intrigue and suspense in this story. Also, Cornelia Funke’s writing allows the reader to glimpse into the minds of her characters to witness their inner conflicts: Is Mo losing his true identity to Fenoglio’s creation, the Bluejay? Can Dustfinger overcome his feelings guilt over those lost years and somehow make up for them? Yet beyond the story, the book does pose questions about the power to create things or events that go against or threaten the natural order of things, and the chaos and devastating effects than may ensue from such a power.
is a thoroughly engaging read.