Read Inkdeath Online

Authors: Cornelia Funke

Tags: #Fiction, #Juvenile Fiction, #Magic, #Fantasy & Magic, #Kidnapping, #Books & Libraries, #Law & Crime, #Characters in Literature, #Bookbinding, #Books and reading, #Literary Criticism, #Crafts & Hobbies, #Book Printing & Binding, #Characters and Characteristics in Literature, #Children's Literature


BOOK: Inkdeath
4.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


by Cornelia Funke

To Rolf, always--it was the best of things to be married to Dustfinger.

To Ileen, who knows all about loss and was always there to understand and ease the pain.

To Andrew, Angie, Antonia, Cam and James, Caroline, Elinor, and last hut for sure not least, Lionel and Oliver, who all brought so much light, warmth, and true friendship to dark days.

And to the City of Angels, which fed me with beauty and wilderness and with the feeling that I had found in Inkworld.


1 Nothing but a Dog and a Sheet of Paper

2 Only a Village

3 Written Silver

4 Ink-Clothes

5 Fenoglio Feels Sorry for Himself

6 Sad Ombra

7 A Dangerous Visit

8 Roxane’s Pain

9 A Giveaway

10 As If Nothing Had Happened

11 Sick with Longing

12 Back in the Service of Orpheus

13 A Knife through the Heart

14 News from Ombra

15 Loud Words Soft Words

16 The Piper’s Offer

17 The Wrong Fear

18 A Dangerous Ally

19 Soldiers’ Hands

20 A Sleepless Night

21 Sharp Words

22 Taking the Bait

23 The Graveyard of the Strolling Players

24 To Blame

25 The End and the Beginning

26 A Familiar Voice

27 Lost and Back Again

28 A New Song

29 A Visitor to Orpheus’s Cellar

30 Sootbird’s Fire

31 The Bluejay’s Answer

32 At Last

33 Herbs for Her Ugliness

34 Burnt Words

35 The Next Verse

36 A Surprising Visitor

37 Only a Magpie

38 A Greeting to the Piper

39 Stolen Children

40 A New Cage

41 Pictures from the Ashes

42 An Audience with the Adderhead

43 Four Berries

44 The Hand of Death

45 Written and Unwritten

46 The Castle in the Lake

47 The Role of Women

48 Waiting

49 Masters New and Old

50 Lazy Old Man

51 The Wrong Helpers

52 The Dead Men in the Forest

53 Human Nests

54 The White Whispering

55 The Wrong Time

56 Fire and Darkness

57 Too Late?

58 Help from Mountains Far Away

59 The Bluejay’s Angels

60 Mother and Son

61 Clothed and Unclothed

62 Black

63 Ah, Fenoglio!

64 Light

65 Made Visible

66 Love Disguised as Hate

67 The Other Name

68 Back

69 The Adderhead’s Bedchamber

70 Burning Words

71 The Bookbinder

72 So Many Tears

73 The Night-Mare

74 The Other Side

75 The Book

76 White Night

77 Over

78 Staked on the Wrong Card

79 Leaving

80 Ombra

81 Later

An A—Z of the Inkworld


Mortimer Folchart (Mo) a bookbinder, has such a beautiful voice that it can bring characters out of books when he reads aloud He discovered his dangerous gift by accident when he was reading a story called Inkheart to his wife, Resa, and daughter, Meggie Several characters, including the evil Capricorn and some of his followers, came out of the book and into our world while Resa vanished into the story. Meggie, only three at the time, can’t even remember her mother.

Nine years later, the fire-eater Dustfinger, one of the Inkheart characters and desperately homesick for his own world, visits Mo and Meggie (now twelve years old) to warn them that Capricorn is looking for all copies of the book to destroy them, so that no one can ever move between the two worlds again by reading from it.

He is after the copy that Mo still has, and healso wants to force Mo to read treasure out of books for him.

Capricorn and his criminal gang have made an Italian village their headquarters, and when Dustfinger treacherously tells them where to find Mo, he is kidnapped and taken there. Meggie, her great-aunt Elinor (a book collector with a fine library), and the repentant Dustfinger join forces to rescue Mo. But they no longer have the book that might help Dustfinger to get home and Mo to find his wife at last. With a new friend—Farid, a boy read accidentally out of the Arabian Nights by Mo — they track down the author of Inkheart, onl Fenoglio, but his own copies have also been stolen.

Although a single copy is left, it is in the hands of Capricorn andhis witchlike mother, Mortola. After many more perilous adventures, Fenoglio and Meggie end up as captives back in Capricorn’s village. Meggie, who has inherited her father’s unusual talent, is to be made to read Capricorn’s ally, a terrible creature known as the Shadow, out of the remaining copy of Inkheart. But with the help of Fenoglio, who writes new words to add to the story, Meggie and Mo turn the tables and Capricorn falls dead. Fenoglio himself disappears intothe Inkworld in exchange for the Shadow.

With Dustfinger’s help, Resa, who spent years in the Inkworld serving Capricorn and Mortola and lost her voice in passing between the two worlds, is found again.

Reunited, the Folcharts all go home to Elinor’s house.


At the end of Inkheart, Dustfinger goes away with the only existing copy of Fenoglio’s story — and with Farid, who wants to learn to be a fire-eater. Now, in Inkspefl, Dustfinger has finally found someone to read him back to his own world: a petty criminal calling himself Orpheus who has a wonder-working voice like Mo’s.

Orpheus wants the book for himself, and reads Dustfinger into the Inkworld, but not his devoted apprentice, Farid, who is left holding the book. Farid takes refuge with the Folcharts in Elinor’s house.

Meggie, longing to see the Inkworld, too, discovers that she can read herself and Farid there. It is a place of marvels — fairies, water-nymphs, brownies and when they meet a band of strolling players whose leader is known as the Black Prince, they are taken to the city of Ombra, capital of Lombrica, and find Fenoglio there. Ombra is in mourning for its ruling prince’s son, Cosimo the Fair, killed by a gang of fire-raisers led by Firefox, one of Capricorn’s men. And it is threatened by the ruler of the country of Argenta, known as the Adderhead, whose daughter, Violante, is Cosimo’s widow. Near Ombra, Dustfinger has been reunited with his wife, Roxane, once a minstrel woman and now wise in herbal- healing lore. But his daughter, Brianna, Violante’s maid, is hostile to him. Back in our own world, Orpheus has allies: Capricorn’s mother, Mortola, and his henchman Basta, who turn up at Elinor’s house. Orpheus is to read them — and Mo — into the Inkworld, where Mortola believes her son will still be alive. Inher fury at finding that he is dead there, too, she shoots and wounds Mo, to the horror of Resa, who grabs his hand at the last moment and goes into the Inkworld, too. Resa nurses her husband devotedly, keeping away the White Women who visit those close to death. They meet the strolling players, who take Mo for a famous robber known as the Bluejay. Left behind inr world, Elinor and her friend Darius, formerly reader to Capricorn, are still imprisoned in Elinor’s house, while Orpheus acts as if he were lord of Elinor's Library.

Once again, Fenoglio and Meggie combine their talents for writing and reading aloud, this time in order to bring Cosimo the Fair back to life. But Cosimo’s campaign against the Adderhead’s forces ends in a disastrous defeat and many deaths. Fenoglio has lost control of his story, which now seems to be telling itself.

Full of remorse, he vows never to write again. Mo and Resa have been captured and taken to the Castle of Night in Argenta, where Mo, with Meggie’s help, is forced to bind a magic book to keep the Adderhead alive forever. In return the Adderhead releases them, as agreed, but he sends soldiers after them and their friends: Dustfinger, the Black Prince, and his men. Basta kills Farid in the fighting, and is killed himself by Mo. Dustfinger bargains with the White Women, daughters of Death, to take Farid’s place and dies instead. Farid, alive again but distraught, persuades Fenoglio to write words for Meggie to read aloud that will bring Orpheus to the Inkworld, hoping that if he read Dustfinger home he can also read him back to life. And Orpheus arrives, clutching the single remaining copy of Inkheart. But was it safe to bring him here? And will Orpheus do what Farid wants. . .?

Inkspell ends on this note of suspense. Read on to find out what happens to all the characters next!

An A-Z of the Inkworld is at the back of the book.


Moonlight fell on Elinor’s bathrobe, her nightdress, her bare feet, and the dog lying in front of them. Orpheus’s dog. Oh, the way he looked at her with his eternally sad eyes! As if asking himself why, in the name of all the exciting smells in the world, she was sitting in her library in the middle of the night, surrounded by silent books, just staring into space.

"Why?" said Elinor in the silence. "Because I can’t sleep, you stupid animal." But she patted his head all the same. This is what you’ve come to, Elinor, she thought as she hauled herself out of her armchair. Spending your nights talking to a dog. You don’t even like dogs, least of all this one, with his heavy breathing that always reminds you of his appalling master!

Still, she had kept the dog in spite of the painful memories he brought back. She’d kept the chair, too, even though the Magpie had sat in it. Mortola . . . how often Elinor thought she heard the old woman’s voice when she went into the quiet library, how often she seemed to see Mortimer and Resa standing among the bookshelves, or Meggie sitting by the window with a book on her lap, face hidden behind her smooth, bright hair. . . .

Memories. They were all she had left. No more tangible than the pictures conjured up by books. But what would be left if she lost those memories, too? Then she’d be alone again forever with the silence and the emptiness in her heart. And an ugly dog.

Her feet looked so old in the pale moonlight. Moonlight! she thought, wiggling her toes in it. In many stories moonlight had magical powers. All lies. Her whole head was full of printed lies. She couldn’t even look at the moon with eyes unclouded by veils of letters. Couldn’t she wipe all those words out of her head and heart, and see the world through her own eyes again, at least once?

Heavens, Elinor, what a fabulous mood you’re in, she thought as she made her way over to the glass case where she kept everything that Orpheus had left behind, apart from his dog. Wallowing in self-pity, like that stupid dog rolling over in every puddle.

The sheet of paper that lay behind the glass looked like nothing special, just an ordinary piece of lined paper densely written in pale blue ink. Not to be compared with the magnificently illuminated books in the other display cases — even though the tracing of every letter showed how very impressed Orpheus was with himself. I hope the fire-elves have burned that self-satisfied smile off his lips, thought Elinor as she opened the glass case. I hope the men-at-arms have skewered him — or, even better, I hope he’s starved to death in the Wayless Wood, miserably and very, very slowly. It wasn’t the first time she had pictured to herself Orpheus’s wretched end in the Jnkworld. These images gave her lonely heart more pleasure than almost anything.

The sheet of paper was already yellowing. To add insult to injury, it was cheap stuff And the words on it really didn’t look as though they could have spirited their writer away to another world right before Elinor’s eyes. Three photographs lay beside the sheet of paper — one of Meggie and two of Resa a photo of her as a child and another taken only a few months ago, with Mortimer beside her, both of them smiling so happily! Hardly a night went by when Elinor didn’t look at those photographs. By now, at least, the tears had stopped running down her cheeks when she did so, but hey were still there in her heart. Bitter tears. Her heart was full to the brim with them, a horrible feeling.





Almost three months had passed since their disappearance. In fact, Meggie had even been gone a few days longer than her parents. . . .

The dog stretched and came trotting drowsily over to her. He pushed his nose into her bathrobe pocket, knowing there were always a few dog biscuits in it for him.

"Yes, all right, all right," she murmured, shoving one of the smelly little things into his broad muzzle. "Where’s your master, then?" She held the sheet of paper in front of his nose, and the stupid creature sniffed it as if he really could catch Orpheus’s scent behind the words on the page.

Elinor stared at the words, shaping them with her lips. In the streets of Ombra . . .

She’d stood here so often over the last few weeks, surrounded by books that meant nothing to her; now she was once again alone with them. They didn’t speak to her, just as if they knew that she’d have exchanged them all on the spot for the three people she had lost. Lost in a book.

"I will learn how, damn it!" Her voice sounded defiant, like a child’s. "I’ll learn how to read them so that they’ll swallow me up, too, I will, I will!"

BOOK: Inkdeath
4.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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