Cornelia Funke


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Inkspell Summary

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Inkspell by Cornelia Funke.

Cornelia Funke’s young adult novel Inkspell (2005) is the third novel in the Inkheart trilogy, preceded by Inkheart (2003) and followed by Inkdeath (2007). Inkspell received the 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Award in the Children’s Literature category, and in 2009, filming began on a movie trilogy starring Brendan Fraser and Sienna Guillory.

The story begins one year after the events of Inkheart. The main character of the trilogy, Meggie, now lives with her father, Mo, and mother, Resa, in the home of her great aunt, Elinor. Mo and Meggie have the power to bring things that they read to life.

Dustfinger, a fantasy character that Mo has read to life also lives with them, although he is ready to return to the story from which he came. After trying several times to be read back into the story, Dustfinger finally asks Orpheus to help him. However, Orpheus betrays Dustfinger, entrapping him in the book and handing the book over to Dustfinger’s enemy Basta.

Separated from his apprentice, Farid, who remains in the real world, Dustfinger seeks out his wife and daughter who have moved on with their lives since his disappearance. Meanwhile, Farid goes to Meggie for help returning to the book so that he can warn Dustfinger about Basta. Curious about the Inkworld inside the book, Meggie contrives a way to read herself into the story, a feat which was previously thought to be impossible.

After Meggie’s disappearance, Basta and his compatriots take Mo and his family hostage, demanding that Mo read them back into the book. Mo does so, accidentally sending himself and Resa into the book along with them. Mo and Resa escape the villains and hide with a band of Motley Folk.

Fenoglio, the author of the Inkheart book, has long since disappeared into his creation, though he did encounter Meggie in the previous novel in the series. In Inkspell, he is working as a scribe in the royal court when he encounters Meggie once more. He convinces her to use her powers to resurrect Cosimo, one of his characters. However, Cosimo returns with amnesia; unable to remember his wife, he begins an affair with Dustfinger’s daughter Brianna. His return also upsets local politics, since Cosimo is the heir of the neighboring Argenta nation, though he does not remember any of his own life.

Adderhead, the leader of the Argenta, sends troops into the neighboring kingdom. Mo and Resa are captured, and Meggie sets out to rescue them with the help of Dustfinger and Farid. They join with the Black Prince, the leader of the Motley Folk, and successfully rescue most of the prisoners. However, a wounded Mo is forced to stay behind and Resa chooses to stay with him.

Meggie goes to confront the Adderhead with a deal: Mo will create a book to make Adderhead immortal in exchange for his freedom and the freedom of the rest of the Motley Folk. What they have not told him is that Meggie has read into existence a loophole of her own design. If the book of immortality contains the words “spell,” “heart,” and “death,” the titles of the three books in the trilogy by Fengolio, the person who signs his name to them will not gain immortality but will instead instantly die.

Mo binds the booby-trapped book and Meggie gives it to Adderhead. However, Adderhead’s lieutenant Firefox does not believe that the book is magical and so Adderhead tells him to test it first. Firefox is first made immortal, surviving a battery of tests that should have killed him, but then he dies when Adderhead’s librarian writes the three magical words in the book.

Adderhead is satisfied that the book works so he erases the three magic words and signs the book himself. Meggie and her family members are shown out, and Mo takes Firefox’s sword with him. He is worried that he feels a sudden capacity towards violence and hatred and is worried that he is becoming a new person.

The prisoners are freed according to the deal Adderhead made with Meggie, but the Black Prince worries that he actually intends to sell all his prisoners into slavery. He and the rest of the Motley Folk mount a rescue operation and free the prisoners. Farid is killed by Basta during the raid, and Basta is in turn killed by Mo.

Dustfinger talks with Meggie who admits that she wants Farid back, and Dustfinger sacrifices himself to the White Women so that Farid can be resurrected. Dustfinger is led away by the White Women, and Meggie is determined to save him. She reads Orpheus into the book world so that he will resurrect Dustfinger. Farid becomes Orpheus’ apprentice in hopes of convincing him to bring Dustfinger back sooner.