Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
This concluding volume in Funke's bestselling trilogy picks up where Inkspell left off, but sputters for a hundred pages filling in backstory. (Even then, an addendum is needed to identify a cast of 114 characters.) The Inkworld, full of dark magic, is under siege; the savagery of the Adderhead and his minions now extends to taking all the peasants' children until somebody delivers, as ransom, the Bluejay, a Robin Hood-style character whose identity has been assumed by Mo, Meggie's father (it was Mo who started all the trouble by reading several villains right out of the book-within-a-book, Inkheart--don't even consider reading this series out of order). The Inkheart author, Fenoglio, now living in Inkworld himself, has turned to drink; the odious Orpheus, when he's not under a maid's skirt, rewrites Fenoglio's work (editors!) to benefit himself. The interesting metafictional questions--can we alter destiny? shape our own fate?--are overwhelmed by the breakneck action, yet the villains aren't fully realized. More disappointingly, the formerly feisty Meggie, barely into her teens, has little to do but choose between two suitors. Funke seems to have forgotten her original installment was published for children. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-Cornelia Funke brings her popular fantasy trilogy to a close with this final story (Chicken House, 2008). Meggie, the heroine from the first two books, remains in the Inkworld with her mother and her father, Mo. The kingdom is in chaos: the immortal Adderhead sits on the throne, plunders villages, and steals children to work to death in the silver mines. Mo has appointed himself guardian of these innocents and assumes the identity of the Bluejay as he works to spite the Adderhead at every turn. Dustfinger returns from the dead and teams up with Mo to bring peace to the Inkworld. Narrator Allan Corduner impressively brings the story to life and keeps each of the dozens of characters recognizable. His transition from one voice to another is smooth, and the pacing is good. But at close to 20 hours, this novel is not for everyone. Fans of the series will be disappointed in Meggie's minor role, but will enjoy the series' satisfying conclusion. Library collections where the first two audiobooks are popular should consider this an essential purchase.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Funke completes the trilogy that began with Inkheart (2003) in this long, eventful novel. Although the scene frequently shifts from one set of characters to another, there is rarely any relief from the sense of encroaching menace that takes many different forms. The unusually large cast is helpfully identified for readers in the appended eight-page, cross-referenced list of characters and places in the trilogy. Though some of the violent scenes are not for the fainthearted, readers who loved the detailed world building and the adventure in the earlier books will probably enjoy this one as well. Still, others will find it less satisfying than its predecessors. From the initial premise of a bookbinder who reads aloud so beautifully that he can draw a story's characters out of the pages and into his own world, the earlier volumes were booklovers' books. This one seems more plot driven, or perhaps driven by the necessity of bringing so many intertwined stories to a satisfying conclusion.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2008 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A monumental third installment brings the Inkheart trilogy to a grueling, blood-spattered, mortality-obsessed close. The Inkworld is in disarray: Its author, Fenoglio, has lost his ability to write and, therefore, shape events; the odious Orpheus, however, has taken to recycling Fenoglio's words to control the narrative/world himself. The evil Adderhead, whose immortality was bound into the White Book by bookbinder-turned-people's champion Mo/the Bluejay, finds his body decomposing and demands a new Book; can Mo use the opportunity to end the villain's life altogether? Can Dustfinger come back from the dead? Will Resa's baby be born into peace or violence? Is Meggie falling out of love with Farid? (Thank goodness there's an A to Z of Names and Places!) Where the first volume was thoroughly young Meggie's story, this narrative alternates among a dizzying array of characters, most of whom are adults who betray distinctly adult concerns. While Funke's storytelling is as compelling as ever, the natural audience for this brooding saga seems, sadly, to be teens and up and not the children who so eagerly responded to Inkheart. (Fantasy. 13 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.