Dear Cornelia Funke and Anthea Bell,

InkdeathInkdeath – Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell

As the lines between fiction and reality continue to blur, problems in the Inkworld grow more dangerous.  Fenoglio and Orpheus re-write events by turns, trying to cancel each other out.  The Adderhead’s immortality is secured in the book Mo bound, but his body is rotting away along with the pages, and he’ll do anything, including raiding villages and enslaving children, to get Mo back.  It’s up to the Bluejay, Dustfinger and Meggie to set things right once and for all–if they can make it through alive.

You’ve once again demonstrated that you have a fantastic ability to make the plot more and more complicated, and more and more dangerous.  Inkdeath was almost painful to read–hope was dangled just within reach and then jerked away again by turns.  I also think you really captured the difficulties of life in a world without cell phones and internet–with no way to communicate, good guys and villains in different places were mostly acting blind.  The tension that disconnectedness caused in me was both excrutiating and thrilling.

I did, unfortunately, have one issue with this final installment in the trilogy.  Though Inkheart started off very well, with brave young Meggie triumphing over evil, you slowly moved away from Meggie and the other female characters.  In this book they sank further and further into the background, relegated to positions of caregiving, worrying about or feeling jilted by their various men, being held as hostages, and other roels of general powerlessness.  Don’t get me wrong–I loved Dustfinger in this book as much as I did in the others, and I loved the Bluejay too–but part of the appeal fo the whole series was Meggie’s spirit and courage.  Even Violante, who did her part to save the day, was also lovestruck and cowed before her father.  Inkdeath fell more deeply than the first two books into the classic patriarchal fantasy novel trap, which disappointed me after all the beautiful writing and fascinating plot twists.

Still, there’s no denying you managed to surprise, frighten, thrill and delight me in spite of my feminist misgivings.  You get four stars for this one, but they’re four very bright and forceful stars.

Love,

apple

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