The second book in Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy, Inkspell is a long, slow journey through the "inkworld" that we are introduced to in the first book. I didn't get as caught up in this one as I did in the first but it was still an example of good storytelling.
I don't want to spoil what happens at the end of the first book for those who haven't read it so I will be purposefully vague here. Dustfinger, the fire juggler, and Farid, the young boy mistakenly read into our world by Mo, have been traveling and Dustfinger has found another "reader" who says he can return him to his story. Farid is devoted to Dustfinger and wants to follow but is tricked into staying behind at the last minute. The only person who he believes can help him is Meggie, the talented reader, and, not coincidentally, the girl he fancies. When Farid tells Meggie what he wants her to do, she decides that she will try and read herself into the Inkworld as well. As you can probably assume, this leads to some harrowing situations and the lives of many of the characters we have come to like or even love are jeopardized.
The first thing I noticed about this book was that it is paced differently than the first one. In Inkheart, all of the action takes place in our own world so there isn't much need for description past the types of buildings and vegetation there. However, in this book, we are taken into the Inkworld which is quite different. Therefore, there's much more time in the prose dedicated to description. There's nothing wrong with the writing -- it's just not as quick a read. Also, this book seems to have a lot of waiting around in it. This is necessary because our heroes aren't working on their own timeline but it becomes a bit dull in a few parts. But overall, this is a strong second book in the series and I will definitely need to read the third book, Inkdeath, to learn the fates of many of the characters. This one ended on a bit of a sad note so I'm counting on a turn for the better.
Happy in this world of my own,
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