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Inkworld #1


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Alternate cover edition: 9780439709101

From internationally acclaimed storyteller Cornelia Funke, this bestselling, magical epic is now out in paperback!

One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.

This is INKHEART--a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

563 pages, Paperback

First published September 23, 2003

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About the author

Cornelia Funke

384 books12.5k followers
Cornelia Funke is a multiple award-winning German illustrator and storyteller, who writes fantasy for all ages of readers. Amongst her best known books is the Inkheart trilogy. Many of Cornelia's titles are published all over the world and translated into more than 30 languages. She has two children, two birds and a very old dog and lives in Los Angeles, California.

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5 stars
143,745 (35%)
4 stars
135,932 (33%)
3 stars
91,813 (22%)
2 stars
28,265 (6%)
1 star
10,782 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 13,647 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
March 23, 2021
Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them.
Magic, this book is pure unadulterated magic.

Meggie and Mo (her father) are a pair. They're two peas in a pod, they're a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they're ice cream and sprinkles. No matter what - they are together.

Mo works as a book binder/restorer and Meggie is a full-time reader - she reads every single moment she's not in school.

When a mysterious man from Mo's past shows up on their doorstep, he packs up all of their things and whisks Maggie away to to her Aunt Elinor's house.

And, despite all their efforts, evil is circling ever closer to their little family and Maggie is at a complete loss at what to do.

She's read countless stories of heroines ... but to actually become one? That will take pure bravery and nerves of steel...

There is something inexplicable about the way Funke weaves magic into her novel. Even after all these years, as soon as I read this book, I check the garden for fairies and glassmen.

There's something so heartwarming and true regarding the dynamic between Maggie and her father, Mo.

Even the crankiness of Eleanor as she begrudgingly takes in Maggie is enough to set my eyes alight as I read, and reread this book.

Perhaps, it is because (for the first time) characters in a book loved reading as much as I do
When you open a book it's like going to the theater first you see the curtain then it is pulled aside and the show begins.
Honestly, every quote in this book just speaks to me:
Is there anything in the world better than words on the page?
Highly, highly recommended for kids (and adults) of all ages!

Audiobook Comments
Read by Lynn Redgrave - and she did a rather good job. Nice characterization!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Jessica.
391 reviews39 followers
July 8, 2008
I was very much looking forward to reading this, as it had very good word-of-mouth as a high-quality children's/YA fantasy that adults will also enjoy. And the premise, that characters can exist in the "real world" outside of books, or that real people can enter the world inside a book, is endlessly appealing. However, my local library is on the verge of opening a new wing with my overdue book fines on this, because I keep hanging onto it in the hope that eventually I will be able to finish reading it.

I think it's just not going to happen. First of all, there is something very stilted and anachronistic in the writing, and I can't tell whether that's just Cornelia Funke, or a result of the translation work. Also, the book is simply too long. It takes 150 pages for anything to begin to happen, and that's much too long, even for an adult book. I blame J.K. Rowling for this kind of bloating.

Finally, I'm extremely annoyed by people, whether real or fictional, who pat themselves on the back for loving books. People have loved books for as long as there have been books, and even before books, people loved storytelling and drama. You're not a special kind of intellect for loving books and wordplay. The people in Inkheart are paraded before us as people with an extra special super duper love of books that is so powerful that they can cause the boundary between books and reality to melt. But just carrying around favorite books in a little trunk and bragging you've loved books since you were a baby and could read before you could talk and so forth isn't particularly magical or distinctive or worthy of praise, and I got tired pretty quickly of Meggie and her father and aunt and their extreme reverence for books. Capping it off is Funke's annoying habit of using an epigram from other (mostly fantasy) books for each chapter. If she found those inspiring, fine, stick them on your bulletin board while writing. But they were yet more reason to jump out of the story, rather than having it propel along.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 16, 2021
Tintenherz = Inkheart (Inkworld, #1), Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is a 2003 young adult fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, and the first book of the Inkheart trilogy.

Meggie, a girl at the age of 12, sees a stranger staring at her outside her window and tells her father, Mortimer (or Mo, as Meggie calls him) about it.

Her father invites the stranger in, who introduces himself as Dustfinger. Mo and Dustfinger go to Mo's workshop, where Mo works as a bookbinder.

Meggie eavesdrops and hears them talking about unfamiliar people and places, such as a man named Capricorn.

The next morning, Mo unexpectedly announces that he and Meggie have to go to Meggie's Aunt Elinor's house where Mo has to fix some books.

They bring along their camper; eventually, they find Dustfinger on the road, who climbs onto the camper to journey with Meggie and Mo to Elinor's house. When they arrive, Elinor seems displeased, but lets them in.

Her house, like Mo and Meggie's, is full of books. Mo sets off to work, and Meggie talks much to Dustfinger, where she is introduced to Dustfinger's pet, Gwin, a marten with horns on top of his head. One day, he puts on a show for her at night, claiming to be an entertainer and a fire-eater.

A short while after, Mo is captured by people with unusual names, bringing along with him a book, Inkheart, that the previously mentioned Capricorn is desperate to get his hands on.

Meggie and Elinor tell the police, but the police just think they are out of their minds. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «قلب جوهری»؛ «سیاه دل»؛ «سیاه ق��ب»؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا کارولینه فونکه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و چهارم ماه ژانویه سال2010میلادی

عنوان: قلب جوهری - کتاب نخست از سه گانه؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا کارولینه فونکه؛ مترجم محمد نوراللهی؛ تهران، بهنام، سال1388؛ در607ص، مصور، این ترجمه از نسخه ی برگردان انگلیسی کتاب ترجمه شده است؛ شابک9789645668585؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آلمان - سده 21م

عنوان: سیاه دل - کتاب نخست از سه گانه؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا کارولینه فونکه؛ مترجم شقایق قندهاری؛ تهران، کانون پرورش فکری کودکان و نوجوانان، سال1388؛ در587ص، مصور، این ترجمه از نسخه ی انگلیسی کتاب ترجمه شده است؛ شابک9789643914103؛

عنوان: سیاه قلب - کتاب نخست از سه گانه؛ نویسنده: کورنلیا کارولینه فونکه؛ مترجم: ؛ تهران، افق، سال1391؛ در595ص، مصور، این ترجمه از نسخه ی انگلیسی کتاب ترجمه شده است؛ شابک9789643698553؛

سه گانه سیاه قلب: کتاب نخست: سیاه قلب (2003میلادی)؛ کتاب دوم: سیاه خون (2006میلادی)؛ کتاب سوم: سیاه مرگ (2008میلادی)؛ شخصیت داستان «مگی»، دختر شجاعی ست، او دوازده ساله است و شجاعت و قدرتش را از خوانش کتابها با صدای بلند آموخته، و میتواند با شخصیتهای داستانها همذات پنداری کند؛ بهتر است داستان را لو ندهم؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 24/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,073 followers
April 11, 2021
Reread - April 2021.

Still a 5 star read, but mainly for nostalgic purposes. If I read it for the first time now, it might be a 4 star. It’s interesting to see how my thoughts towards the characters have changed. As an adult I relate a lot to both Elinor and Dustfinger, but find Meggie a bit annoying at times.

Still a truly magical tale that will always hold a special place in my heart.


Original read 2016.

Honestly one of my favourite fantasy reads. I loved all the characters - even the villians! They were vivid, colourful, the world Cornelia Funke creates is absolutely extraordinary and if it were up to me I would live in the Inkworld for ever!
For anyone that likes a good dose of escapism, a book about books, a story that will make you laugh, cry and just generally never want to finish then this is for you!
5 stars!
Profile Image for Dana.
70 reviews6 followers
May 6, 2008
Oy... I really wanted to like this book. I had such high hopes for it. It was one of those books that whenever my students saw me reading it they said, "Oh, I really liked that book! It was so good." So, I thought it would be great. It just wasn't. The story was nice. In short (very short): Meggie's father repairs books. Her mother disappeared nine years ago. After a mysterious visitor shows up at their house, Meggie finds out that her father has a secret. He can read characters out of books. Nine years ago he was reading aloud and read a terrible villian out of the book and simultaneously read Meggie's mother into the book. The rest of the story is Meggie and her father trying to defeat the villian and maybe get her mother back.
Overall... it was a great idea for a book, it just wasn't particularly well excecuted. I can't exactly place my finger on what I didn't like, but it just didn't sit well with me. I think it was the lack of character development. I didn't feel like I really knew the characters. I also felt like I couldnt' quite picture what was happening. I wanted more description-strange for such a long novel. And overall, it was just too long. I felt like it really dragged. I wanted it to move more quickly and have a bit more action. Great premise, but I'm not super excited to read the next one.
Profile Image for Patricia.
210 reviews86 followers
August 4, 2007
This book is everything I ever wanted. It's a book about a book and lovers of books. It's very self-affirming for me. Now I don't feel like a COMPLETE goober for 1) smelling books 2) learning Elvish or 3) bringing at least 5 books with me everywhere I go.

Note: just because I don't FEEL like a complete goober, does not mean I am not one.

"Inkheart" is the first in a trilogy. "Inkspell" is already out, and "Inkdeath" will be out in 2008.

You may not love "Inkheart" in and of itself; however, if you are a lover of books, I find you will at least appreciate the characters and the sentiments within the pages if not like the story as a whole.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 90 books232k followers
December 30, 2014
Enjoyed it well enough. Interesting concept. Good execution. Struck me as a little grim for YA though.

By which I mean it's not something I'd read to my boy. (He's fiveish.) I might consider something like this for him when he hits 10 or so.
Profile Image for Luffy.
867 reviews720 followers
November 9, 2021
I must be insane to want to read the further installments of a book I rated a one just 5 seconds ago. This review is an attempt at understanding why I ended up disliking a book whose author has talent and passion for reading and inventing stories. Cornelia Funke has spun a good story but I still will not read Inkheart ever again in this lifetime.

This story should have clocked at 300 pages max. Instead the wordy tale maxed my patience and milked any kindness that might have been sloshing inside me. "Just end already, I can't bear another sentence anymore." This is the first time I've quoted myself in a review. Shows how desperate I was to end a book that I wasn't going to abandon reading. I don't do that anymore. Each sentence seemed to be lovingly glued to form a mushy work of art which left me puzzled and drained.

At first the lengthiness if the book puzzled me mighty fine. There weren't any flowery description. And though Mo is a "book doctor", there is no documentary like account of book binding and repairing. There isn't any lingering or focusing on any single thing for an inordinate amount of time. But then I discovered part of the reason for the boredom, it was because the names peopling Inkheart often moved like banal chess pieces on a board. Mo and Elinor get captured. They escaped. Meggie gets captured. At one point there's traveling towards danger, at other points the evading persons flee away. Just pieces of a board game getting captured then coming back from entrapment.

Inkheart is a book within a book. Just like Sophie's world. Unlike the latter however, this author doesn't big up or flatter its own work. Only fragments of the "real" Inkheart book is shown. The author shies away from praising her shadowy fiction. I found the characters of Capricorn and Basta et al terribly dull and frustrating. They don't do anything evil. They don't feel evil. They should have been even more pathetic in their native world, where magicians and faeries abound. How they came to get any sense of entitlement is a baffling mystery. They seem like losers. Like bullies. Capricorn dies like a fool.

The best part throughout is when Resa is introduced. From then you get the feeling that a showdown is preparing to be deployed. There's what people used to call a lost and found formula here. How Mo was going to rescue his family turned out to be a disappointment. Another dead end and a letdown. But the end makes me slightly curious for Inheart 2. I must be mental. I want to know what happens to Dustfinger and where Fenoglio went. It seemed bad when the book ended where it did. Did I say BAD? I meant good. Good like in good riddance.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kirsty.
475 reviews74 followers
August 20, 2008
Oof... it took me 12 days to finish this book. Not like me at all.

I liked the storyline. I love the fact that it is a book about books, and that is what initially made me want to read it. I read the blurb on the book and it sounded like a really fun read.

I was wrong.

The book was VERY long-winded. Whilst the plotline was good, and the characters were nicely built, the actual story dragged on most of the time. The best part of the book is the last few chapters, by which point I didn't care - I just wanted the book to end so I could move onto something more enjoyable.

I've given it 2 stars because the story is interesting, I just think that it could have been condensed into less pages. Either that or the writing could have had more cliffhangers - therefore making it more unputdownable. Maybe if I could read German, the original book may be more enticing. It's always possible with translations that the book doesn't end up coming across as the author intended it to. I guess I'll never know.

I have no desire whatsoever to read the other books. I think this generally works on its own as a standalone novel, but the thought of reading another 500 pages doesn't fill me with joy.
Profile Image for Ann.
510 reviews
March 11, 2008
What a great story!
This is quite the page-turner! I was driven to read more by both the action/adventure and the plot/conclusion. Both are excellently written! Funke’s style of writing (and indeed the translation made by Anthea Bell) makes for a smooth and beautiful read.
Wonderfully drawn and very detailed characters fill this book from cover to cover, each character being unique and complete. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, which adds another interesting dimension to the story and plot.
The book doesn’t contain many light-hearted chapters (as you would find in Harry Potter or Narnia) but the wonderful lead characters are such good people that the book is far from dark.
The whole idea of the story is beautiful and intriguing! And the quotes that begin each chapter are perfectly chosen.
I kept wondering if there were areas that Funke could have taken out to make the book shorter – but I couldn’t really find anything that wouldn’t mar the story in some way, and I was grateful there were as many pages to read as there were!
A wonderful read and an interesting story that I think has become a new favorite!

I've read through chapter 16 now, and things have begun to be explained. The book is so very dear, and so very addicting! I now am not at all concerned with finishing it by the movie's release date!:D
I plan to begin this book today. I've got so many others that I'm in the midst of reading right now, but the fact that I want to finish this before the movie comes out (eek!) I'd best hurry up and start it!!
Oh dear!! I'd totally blanked and forgotten that this was being made into a movie!! I saw in the paper today that it's being released in mid-March. While this is wonderful, it means that I'd better hurry up and read it!!!
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
536 reviews399 followers
November 12, 2017
Tolle fantasievolle Geschichte, die mir in jüngeren Jahren sicherlich besser gefallen hätte...
Die Aufmachung war - genau wie bei Reckless - liebevoll und detailverliebt. Ich fand die Idee mit den Zitaten aus berühmten Büchern zu Anfang jedes Kapitels klasse, genauso wie den Schreibstil. Allerdings fand ich die Story an sich etwas lahm und es ist gefühlt auch nicht allzu viel passiert... außerdem hatte ich das ein oder andere Problem mit der Logik, was ich aber nicht allzu schlimm fand. Cornelia Funkes Schreibstil hat mir wieder gut gefallen, vor allem wie sie Bücher und Menschen beschreibt, sehr märchenhaft. Ich denke ich werde dem nächsten Teil trotz allem noch eine Chance geben.
Profile Image for  Li'l Owl.
398 reviews231 followers
August 6, 2019
Ah! A book about a magical book!!
How delightful!

Twelve year old Meggie lives in a small farmhouse with her father, Mo, as Meggie calls him, who repairs and restores books. Meggie doesn't think that 'bookbinder' describes the care and love her father takes when he's fixing books and prefers to say that he's a "book doctor." He has a plaque on the bookshop door that reads:
Some books should be tasted
some devoured
but only a few
should be chewed and digested thoroughly.

One dark and rainy night, a stranger arrives at the door. Mo invites him in, saying he's a "friend" and sends Meggie roughly back to bed. Mo has never treated her that way but more than that, Meggie senses fear, like icy fingers around her heart, and a feeling of foreboding surrounding the visitor. And something else, a familiarity deep down that she can't explain. What kind of friend comes knocking in the middle of the night? Not easily dissuaded, Meggie creeps out of bed and listens through the door. She hears Mo call the visitor Dustfinger who then calls her father Silvertongue. Then the voices become only low murmurs, a hushed argument of sorts.

"don't underestimate him" she heard Dustfinger say.
"He'd do anything to get hold of it" .....
"And when I say 'anything,' I can assure you I mean anything."......
"I'll never let him have it."
That was Mo. ...
"Oh, yes? And for how much longer, do you think? What about your daughter?....

Meggie wonders what the strange names mean, including the other one Dustfinger said "Capricorn" and what could he want that Mo will never give up?

Very early the next morning Mo tells Meggie to pack quickly, that they're going to visit his aunt Elinor who needs some of her books repaired. Meggie is confused as she still has a week of school left but Mo, not in the mood to argue, has been unusually distressed since Dustfinger's arrival and is clearly in a hurry to leave.
And, as always, he reminds her to pack plenty of books to read. He's always says
"It's a good idea to have your own books with you when you're in a strange place."
They just reach the gate when Dustfinger suddenly appears in the road and says he's coming along. This seems to upset Mo even more and Meggie, still fearful, isn't at all happy, either.
As the journey lags on the discord between Mo and Dustfinger continues and Meggie knows something is being kept secret from her, something to do with a book she saw Mo hide in his suitcase, something that has Mo very anxious and worried.
Elinor's house is enormous with bookshelves full of books, floor to ceiling in every room. In addition, Elinor makes it very apparent that she doesn't care for children. Not at all.
Late that first night Meggie hears Mo and Elinor whispering about hiding the book so it can never be found. Only a little while later, that very night, men come and steal the book, taking Mo with them. The book was indeed kept safe and the men will soon discover that they have the wrong book. What will happen to Mo then?
Elinor dislikes and doesn't trust Dustfinger but he says he knows where Mo has been taken leaving Meggie and Elinor no choice but to trust him to take them to exchange the book for Mo. Elinor finds she was right not to trust Dustfinger as he's deceived them, leading them right into a trap. They've been taken by gun point and reunited with Mo but are now locked up, terrified, and at the complete mercy of Capricorn.
Mo has no choice but to tell Maggie the secret he's been hiding, why he's never read out loud to her, and about what really happened to her mother when Meggie was just three years old.
Mo explains to Meggie that he can literally read characters out of a book.
Mo was reading INKHART aloud to Meggie's mother when suddenly Capricorn appeared in their living room, along with a few of his men.
And her mother was gone. Vanished.
Mo managed to escape with Meggie, and the book and has been hiding from Capricorn ever since.

Now, Meggie and Elinor are beginning to understand why Capricorn won't let them go now that he has the book. He needs Mo to read aloud everything he wants out of the book including gold and treasure. Dustfinger, too, has his own selfish adjenda for getting his hands on the book as he, himself, was read from the pages of INKHEART, and he wants to go back. More than anything in this world.
Mo has refused to do what Capricorn wants thus far. And for good reason.
But now, thanks to Dustfinger, Capricorn finally has everything he needs to make Mo obey. He has his Daughter, Meggie.
And that's just the beginning.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a magical adventure that I found very hard to put down.
It was everything a great story should be. A believable story line with magic for added fun and adventure. Endearing characters in Mo, Meggie, and Elinor who have me looking forward to reading their further adventures in Inkspell. Characters who are merciless and evil, who have no quandary about deceit, ruthlessness, and murder. It all goes flat out which I found surprising as it's a 500+ page book. It's an exciting and original story with lots of uncertainty and anticipation throughout that never loses momentum and keeps you guessing from beginning to end. I was drawn straight in and I found myself captivated within the pages for hours on end, turning the pages as fast as could to see what might happen next. I got goose bumps on countless occasions!

Oh! What a sensational adventure!! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves books. Books to read, collect, and treasure.
Profile Image for Hirdesh.
399 reviews88 followers
February 16, 2017
The best fantasy novel, I'ver read.
I was too much curious while reading that.
I just loved it.
The way writer moves the story.
Specially,3 ratings for character making.
Thanks Cornelia Funke.
Profile Image for Cynnamon.
547 reviews99 followers
June 2, 2021
Edit 2.6.2021:
Now that I've been able to let this book sink in and have almost finished the second volume of the trilogy, I unfortunately have to revise my original assessment a little.
Apparently I tried to live up to the general reputation of this trilogy in my original review. In retrospect, however, I have to admit that I liked the book a lot less than I had figured out in my wishful thinking.
I found the story really too tenacious and the characters too unapproachable and too little comprehensible to be rated with more than 3 stars.


Edit 2.6.2021:
Nachdem ich dieses Buch nun sacken lassen konnte und den zweiten Band der Trilogie fast beendet habe, muss ich meine ursprüngliche Einschätzung leider etwas revidieren.
Ich habe offenbar versucht, in meiner urspünglichen Rezension, dem allgemeinen Ruf dieser Trilogie gerecht zu werden. Im Nachhinein muss ich allerdings zugeben, dass mir das Buch deutlich weniger gefallen hat, als ich mir das in meinem Wunschdenken zurecht gelegt hatte.
Ich fand die Geschichte wirklich zu zäh und die Charaktere zu wenig nahbar und nachvollziehbar, als dass ich mit mehr als 3 Sternen bewerten könnte.


Ink Heart starts off the Ink World trilogy and is a really nice fantasy novel for children and young teenagers. Although I don't see it in the all-age book category, grown-ups can read it and have fun while doing it. I'm very much grown up now and read the book for the first time and it entertained me pretty well.

The story itself is quite well known, so I won't go into it any further here.

I found the protagonist Meggie's behavior quite annoying at times, but maybe I've already forgotten how annoying 12-year-olds can be.

Linguistically, the book was very nice and the plot was appropriately exciting and proceeded at the right speed.

I am looking forward to the sequel volumes, as I feel that this first volume has a clear ending. But since I bought the trilogy as a set, I will soon find out how Cornelia Funke continues the story.

From my point of view it deserves 4 stars.
Tintenherz leitet die Tintenherz-Trilogie ein und ist ein wirklich schöner Fantasy-Roman für Kinder bzw. junge Teenager. Obwohl ich es nicht in der Kategorie der All Age-Bücher sehe, kann man es auch als Erwachsener gut lesen und Spaß dabei haben. Ich bin ja nun schon ziemlich erwachsen und habe das Buch erstmals gelesen und es hat mich wirklich gut unterhalten.

Die Geschichte selbst ist ja sehr bekannt und daher gehe ich hier nicht weiter darauf ein.

Ich fand die Protagonistin Meggie in ihrem Verhalten manchmal ziemlich nervig, aber vielleicht habe ich auch schon vergessen, wie nervig 12-jährige sein können.

Sprachlich war das Buch sehr schön und auch der Plot war angemessen spannend und ging in der richtigen Geschwindigkeit voran.

Ich bin gespannt auf die Fortsetzungsbände, da dieser erste Band für mein Empfinden einen klaren Abschluss hat. Da ich aber die Trilogie im Set gekauft habe, werde ich wohl bald herausfinden, wie Cornelia Funke die Geschichte fortführt.

Aus meiner Sicht verdiente 4 Sterne.
61 reviews
February 9, 2008
Okay, I'm at hundred pages, and I'm like: someone just kill that loser Capricorn, and then FedEx the rest of the gang home! PLEASE! I'll pay Preferred!
It goes like this: go here, go there, go back here, go back there, return to here, and so on...
Also, this story was kind of scary, which doesn't rate high in my book (pun intended).
The idea was excellent, but poorly executed.
Profile Image for Liz.
600 reviews504 followers
April 11, 2013
1. Don't watch the movie. Please, don't watch it, the movie is nothing compared with the books!

2. This series is a must-read for all book-lovers, if you ask me...

A father who can awake characters from books just by reading and a daughter with equal abilities.
A series about books and reading. A series that offeres exciting adventures, lots of reading, love and friendship, danger, amazing characters and sympathetic villians...

What more does a true book-lover need?!

This is one of the best series ever. Read it. And if you already did then re-read it once again! :)
Profile Image for Queezle.
231 reviews
December 7, 2008
I have no idea why people like this book. Where is the character developement, the intrigue, the plot? It's like a lump. After I read it, I thought back and couldn't even remember the storyline - it was too jumpy and mumbled. Not a good work of fiction.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,890 reviews1,920 followers
December 28, 2019
Rating: 2.5* of five

EDITED TO ADD the 2008 film is very pretty, but not a lot less tedious than the book.

A doorstop of a tome, it's way too long for the story. Meggie isn't interesting enough to make me want to follow her through the convolutions of discovery with Mo and Elinor. I can't believe this took over 500pp to tell!

And yet, and yet...it's aimed at a very different demographic than I am...young girls, it would seem, want long long long books about nothing much, like those hideous Stephenie Meyer warts on the Devil's buttcheeks. So for its target audience, it's a huge improvement over the otherwise available material.

What is it, BTW, that leads adolescent females down these primrose paths of tedium? My daughter loooved the Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" crapola, and I think she still reads them (I'm afraid to ask). If Inkheart had weighed in at 300pp or so, it would have been a much more exciting book. Is there some double-X-chromosome disorder that prevents y'all from liking excitement?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,221 reviews167 followers
September 28, 2022
“She whispered as she opened the book, “please get me out of here just for an hour or so, please take me far, far away” ”

While INKHEART is a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy tale that will suit lovers of the fantasy genre of all ages, there is no question that the style and the plot is aimed no higher than mature child or young adult reader. But the messages, if you care to pay attention are very adult and timeless. INKHEART, aside from being that typical story of good against evil, is also a blend of simultaneous riffs on a number of themes which it could be argued become more important with every passing day in the 21st century – the power of books and the written word; the joy of reading out loud to truly bring a book and its characters to life; the awesome responsibility of authors and the skills that are inherent in the execution of their craft; the importance of censorship and control of reading, learning and knowledge in the installation of totalitarian governments.

A typical example: Fenoglio, the author of the title book INKHEART, lectured Basta, one of his evil creations who had magically come to life to torment the modern world, “ … the magic of the written word … Nothing is more powerful for good or evil.” While the themes might be mature stuff for mature minds, the delivery is in-your-face and clearly intended to be easy to pick up for the younger reading audience. INKHEART is, after all, a young adult fantasy. But, once again, that bare-faced simplicity takes away nothing from the pleasure that an adult reader will derive from the reading.

Definitely recommended.

P.S. If you are a book hoarder (as I am) and proud of your library (as I am), you’ll get a special kick out of this brief little goodie that was used to introduce Chapter 5:

“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.
Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted.
Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution.
Let bookworms gnaw his entrails … and when at last he goeth to his last punishment, let the flames of hell consume him forever.”

Curse on book thieves, from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain.

I concur.

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,244 reviews
October 18, 2007
A wonderful, imaginative story. The characters are so vivid, the tale so engaging, the prose so poetic... A glorious tale for anyone who ever dreamed of being transported into the stories she reads, or of having friends from the tales brought into our world!

On her website, author Cornelia Funke says,
"I didn't suspect that this story would grow untill it could fill more than one book. I have dreamed for a long time of writing a story in which characters from a book come into our world. Which book addict doesn’t know the feeling that the characters in a book can seem more real than the people around us? And there is of course a simple reason for that. For which real person would permit us to look into their hearts as deeply as a storyteller permits us to look into his characters’? Into the deepest regions of their souls we may spy, see all their fears, all their love and all their dreams."
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
April 30, 2009
As much as I hate to say it, but this book is really boring. I love children's books and read Harry Potter and His Dark Materials several times. Inkheart disappointed me. I never stop reading a book until I read at least 100 pages, to give an author a chance to develop a story. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading this book after page 150. It is extremely slowpaced and uneventful. It is surprising to know that kids actually have enough patience to finish and thoroughly enjoy this book. Maybe it's just not my cup of tea...
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,967 followers
September 17, 2021
I admit I'm a fan of unabashed book-loving books in general. I am a pretty big reader and imagination is a lot of my world, so as I got into this YA novel, smirked and nodded along with all the "my daddy REALLY loves books" and all the book doctor references. It never turned sour when I knew it would get magical and reading aloud from books often brought characters right out of the books, themselves.

It had SO much promise. And indeed, I was liking this book much more than the other Cornelia Funke series I had already read.

But then something happened. Either the execution just went into meh territory or it was just me, but the promise just wasn't enough. From everything I've heard, however, it's truly excellent in its original language, so I might have to give it some benefit of the doubt. I actually wish I could have read it in German. There's probably a lot of subtlety I missed in the English.

As it is, it came across as milk toast. Not bad, but not glorious.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
April 12, 2016
This is certainly for children and children who like fantasies and adventures and books and who are patient enough to read so many pages that sometimes you'd think you're just going in circles. The story is interesting enough to make me finish the first book but not enough to make me read its sequels.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 2 books152 followers
February 24, 2009
My reading soul was battered and bruised, and a friend offered this book to me to help soothe the hurt. A lovely fantasy tale, with just enough villains and heroic folks to keep it balanced. You root for a happy ending and keep reading. Each chapter starts with a quote from a beloved children's classic, so you get to visit old friends on the journey through the story.

A few passages helped assure me how much the author really does love books and all they represent. Meggie, tired and distressed at one point, wearily "took out a book and tried to make herself a nice nest in its familiar words." Any book lover should be able to identify with that! Or later, Elinor, when trying to get comfortable in the ruins of a deserted cottage, ponders, "Why are adventures so much more fun when you read about them?"

But perhaps my favorite is:
Only in books could you find pity, comfort, happiness--and love. Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn't ask anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.
Love, truth, beauty, wisdom and consolation against death. Who said that? Someone else who loved books:..."
Profile Image for Elena.
720 reviews224 followers
April 6, 2023
"Manche Bücher müssen gekostet werden,
Manche verschlingt man,
und nur einige wenige kaut man
und verdaut sie ganz."

- Cornelia Funke, "Tintenherz"

Meggie und ihr Vater Mortimer leben auf einem einsamen Hof, einige Kilometer entfernt von der nächsten Stadt. Ihr Haus ist bevölkert von Büchern, denn nichts lieben die Beiden so sehr wie die Bücher und das Lesen. In einer stürmischen Nacht entdeckt Meggie einen unheimlichen Fremden vor dem Fenster - doch Mo scheint diesen Mann, den er Staubfinger nennt, zu kennen. Staubfinger warnt ihren Vater vor einem Mann namens Capricorn und überstürzt fliehen sie früh am nächsten Morgen zu Tante Elinor Richtung Süden. Doch vor Capricorn und seinen Männern sind sie auch dort nicht sicher...

Keine Buchreihe habe ich als Kind und Jugendliche so sehr geliebt, wie Cornelia Funkes Tintenwelt-Trilogie. Als ich letztes Jahr erfahren habe, dass die Trilogie im Herbst 2023 um einen vierten Band erweitert wird, war für mich sofort klar, dass ich "Tintenherz", "Tintenblut" und "Tintentod" vorher unbedingt noch einmal lesen muss - und das war die absolut richtige Entscheidung! Es war wunderschön, wieder in die Geschichte rund um Meggie, Mo und Staubfinger einzutauchen, mit "Tintenherz" einen ersten Vorgeschmack auf die Wesen zu bekommen, die die Tintenwelt bevölkern und mich in diese wohligen Kindheitserinnerungen einzumummeln.

Obwohl ich die Reihe gut kenne und sie auch schon mehr als einmal gelesen habe, habe ich doch einiges von diesem ersten Band vergessen - zum Beispiel, dass er komplett in "unserer" Welt spielt und eigentlich auch in sich abgeschlossen gewesen wäre. Zum Glück hat Cornelia Funke nach "Tintenherz" nicht aufgehört, sondern uns die Möglichkeit gegeben, uns mit den Folgebänden selbst in diese magische Welt, von der Staubfinger und Resa sprechen, hineinzulesen.

"Tintenherz" ist eine Hommage an die Liebe zu Büchern und das Vorlesen, ein Liebesbrief an das Lesen und steckt voller Spannung und Magie. Ich wurde auch als Erwachsene zutiefst verzaubert und kann es kaum abwarten, demnächst den zweiten und dritten Band der Reihe - und letztlich im Herbst eine ganze neue Geschichte! - zu lesen. Diese Bücher sind wahre Gefährten, da würde mir Meggie wohl beipflichten 📖❤️
Profile Image for Helene Jeppesen.
685 reviews3,641 followers
November 25, 2015
Attention: I read this book as a library book and I only just realised that the book I have is only part 1! So this review is going to be of the first half of "Inkheart".
This was a truly magical story that I know I would've absolutely adored as a child. It's about a love for books, and it's about how we - as readers - step into a fictional world, and how this fictional world can sometimes come true. I loved this story; especially the first 150 pages where the characters and setting are introduced.
That being said, it did take me some effort to get through the last part (of this first part) of the book. As I said, I think I would've loved this book as a child, but reading it now as an adult made me a bit bored at this big escape that the characters are going on. I think I would've been perfectly happy if Meggie and her father Mo could've just stayed at home with their books and each other, because while the beginning of the big adventure was interesting, it did drag on for a bit too long in my opinion.
Knowing that the second part of this book will probably just pick up from where part one ended, I'm not sure I'm going to pick it up anytime soon. Now, I know what the story and the characters are like, and I don't feel an urgent need to read the rest of it. BUT I still think that this is a magical story that will take you on quite a fictional adventure, and I'm happy that I got to know Meggie and Mo and their love for books.
Profile Image for Patricija - aparecium_libri.
515 reviews92 followers
April 3, 2019
First read: 2009 approx.
Second read: 2019.

When I first read this, I was 12. My English teacher recommended it to me. I am 22 now, as I am rereading this. I loved it so much. From the characters, the plot, the old fashioned writing. I'm reading the sequel now, as a part of my O.W.L.s and I love the sequel even more.

full RTC.

Profile Image for Yani.
414 reviews179 followers
February 6, 2019
Hablar de este libro será como mostrar el corazón. No sería la primera vez. Siempre me emociona encontrar una nueva saga favorita (o un libro autoconclusivo favorito), de esas que no me abandonan cuando las termino y puedo seguir recomendando durante toda la vida. Y si bien apenas voy por el inicio de Mundo de Tinta (planeo leer el segundo este mes), sé que ya tiene un lugar especial. Había visto la película del 2008 y me quedó pendiente leer la saga. Recién el año pasado, por esas casualidades de la vida, encontré el primer libro entre los usados de una librería a buen precio y me lo llevé. Así que el destino me dio un empujoncito para conocer el fascinante mundo creado por la autora alemana Cornelia Funke.

Corazón de tinta se trata de Meggie y de Mo, hija y padre, respectivamente. Mo es encuadernador de libros. Meggie tiene 12 años y es una lectora voraz, igual que su padre y que su madre, Resa. Pero Resa no está, y Mo es bastante críptico sobre su ausencia. Un día aparece un hombre llamado Dedo Polvoriento y la paz de Meggie se corta de cuajo. Mo decide huir con su hija porque el malvado Capricornio quiere recuperar un libro especial que él (Mo) tiene en su poder, y es peligroso que el otro lo obtenga. Así que se iniciará una seguidilla de persecuciones y aventuras que duran 606 páginas que se pasan volando.

Lo primero que pude notar al leer este libro es que está dedicado a los lectores y a los escritores. Pocos, muy pocos, pueden comprender el amor que hay detrás de cada acto de lectura, de cada libro obtenido, leído y devorado. Por eso varias frases de Corazón de tinta suenan como si nos estuvieran interpelando directamente sobre un tema que ya conocemos de antemano. Meggie, Mo y Elinor (tía de Resa) son los grandes lectores de esta historia y cada uno tiene una concepción distinta sobre la misma y el cuidado de los libros. Son caras que se contraponen pero que se solapan, porque cuando intentaba descifrar a estos personajes me di cuenta de que compartía rasgos con todos. También hay un escritor (cuyo nombre no diré, para evitar spoilers) y ahí se completa el circuito de la lectura. Porque lo que se enseña en Corazón de tinta es que el escritor puede crear y cambiar las historias, pero no son nada más que palabras en papel si no hay ningún lector que las disfrute.

Después de la pequeña digresión, toca meterse en el libro de lleno. Si vieron la película o leyeron la sinopsis sabrán que Mo tiene un poder por el cual lo llaman Lengua de Brujo, y que consiste en nada más ni nada menos que darles vida a los personajes cuando lee en voz alta, no sin ciertos daños colaterales. Es por eso que no le lee nada a Meggie desde que era pequeña. Y aquí es donde hay una puesta en abismo, porque el libro de donde provienen Dedo Polvoriento, Capricornio y sus secuaces se llama “Corazón de tinta”. Así que Funke pone a los lectores frente a un libro que se trata de un libro homónimo que tiene a los mismos personajes dentro. Espectacular. Dato analítico innecesario aparte, añado que la tensión en la historia está provocada por aquellos personajes que desean volver a su mundo y aquellos que prefieren quedarse en el “real” haciendo de las suyas.

Siguiendo con los personajes, temía que no pudiera conectarme con ellos como me pasó con la adaptación cinematográfica. Mi preferido era Dedo Polvoriento (interpretado por el genial Paul Bettany) y fue una linda experiencia comprobar que tanto en la película como en el libro lograba la misma empatía. Se puede acusar a los personajes buenos de “inocentes”, como he leído en varias reseñas, pero no estoy de acuerdo en condenarlos por eso y bajarle el puntaje al libro. Corazón de tinta es un libro infantil- juvenil y los adultos actúan y hablan de una forma sencilla que esconde un gran trasfondo para cada uno de ellos, como es el caso de Elinor. Así que no me parece que se comporten como niños de doce años, sino todo lo contrario: responden al género que les concierne y se nota que tienen matices. Cabe destacar también que los villanos, como Capricornio, Basta y Mortola, me parecieron muy crueles. Desde hacía mucho que no encontraba antagonistas tan despreciables en esta clase de libros.

En cuanto a la escritura, no me puedo quejar. Me parece que la narración está perfecta y se adecúa a lo que está contando: una bella historia sobre personas que aman tanto la lectura que personifican lo ficticio. No encontré ninguna dificultad en el estilo de Funke. Hay frases hermosas que requieren post its, subrayado o lo que sea como prueba de que no hace falta usar todo un diccionario para expresarse. Me gusta también el detalle de los epígrafes al principio de cada capítulo (aumentan la lista de libros por leer, se los aseguro) y las ilustraciones hechas por la mismísima Funke. Lo único que critico es la circularidad de los hechos: los personajes pasan demasiado tiempo secuestrados por los maleantes y eso retrasa la acción. Le da paso a momentos de reflexión, sí, pero en cierto punto se vuelve cansador porque todo termina en el plan de rescate o escape. Y, por supuesto, el final es abierto porque hay continuaciones.

Como consejo, no lean el glosario de personajes que viene al final del libro. Son spoilers, e incluso hay personajes que aparecen en los libros siguientes (leí uno por arriba y tuve que huir). Termino la reseña diciendo que estoy muy feliz de haber hallado esta saga y que ya quiero empezar mi 2019 con los libros que le siguen, porque intuyo que se va a poner mejor. Les recomiendo Corazón de tinta si están pasando por un bloqueo, quieren volver a enamorarse de la lectura y disfrutar una historia bien armada, con personajes entrañables que nos ponen en aprietos para elegir un favorito. Por más que el tamaño del libro parezca intimidante, lo que hay adentro es puro amor.

Reseña en Clásico Desorden
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,124 reviews104 followers
April 7, 2021
So yes, I honestly have truly tried to appreciate and even enjoy Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart (Anthea Bell’s English translation, that is, as I do not own a personal copy of Tintenherz). However, after now having tried at least three times to unsuccessfully peruse (and complete) Inkheart, I am permanently giving up (and no, I will also more than likely not be bothering with the two sequels either).

And even though at first I was kind of wondering whether it might be Anthea Bell’s translation with which I was having issues, I now actually do not think this to be the case with Inkheart, I absolutely do not think that Inkheart is just a mediocre translation of Cornelia Funke’s original German language text. For indeed, I do happen to consider the late Anthea Bell as one of the best German to English translators of especially children’s and young adult literature I have encountered to date and thus I for one cannot imagine that my negative reaction to the general writing style and modes of expression encountered in Inkheart is somehow primarily due to how Anthea Bell has rendered Tintenherz into English (especially since trusted Goodread friends who have indeed read Tintenherz, who have read the German original have pointed out in their own reviews that it does definitely display the same dull and unimaginative writing, with a tendency to meander around aimlessly that I have found so frustrating and annoying with Inkheart).

But as much as I have therefore found the writing style Cornelia Funke uses in Inkheart dragging and uninspired, I probably would still have decided to continue reading (and to have rated Inkheart with two stars or perhaps even with a low three stars) if the thematics and contents of the presented narrative, if the basic storyline of Inkheart were not so not at all to my reading tastes and desires. Because in my humble opinion, theme and textual content wise, Inkheart is also incredibly, horribly preachy in general tone and in particular with regard to the importance of books and reading (a message that is of course important and essential and one with which I very much happen to agree, but is verbally presented by Cornelia Funke almost like a religious sermon, and yes, I for one do very much despise being evsngelised), not to mention that the division of the novel’s cardboard thin characters into stereotypical good or evil entities has certainly both majorly rubbed me the wrong proverbial way and has equally very quickly caused me lose any kind of interest with either completing Inkheart or even remotely considering continuing with the trilogy.
Profile Image for Dan Lutts.
Author 3 books96 followers
June 6, 2020
I've noticed Cornelia Funke'sInkheart in bookstores for the past several years but the blurb on the back cover never interested me enough to read it. Then last fall, while I was home recuperating from surgery with plenty of time on my hands and my eyes were bothering me from reading, I watched the 2008 movie version of Inkheart on Netflix. I found the story delightful and bought the book – which is just as delightful.

Meggie, who's twelve, lives in Italy with her father, Mortimer, who she calls Mo. She had a mother who left so many years ago that she doesn't remember anything about her. Mo, has a unique gift: when he reads a book out loud, he can read random characters or things out the book into this world. Unfortunately, one problem with his gift is that someone or something from this world goes into the book's world. Turns out, when Mo was reading Inkheart years ago, the book's villain, Capricorn, showed up in Mo's living room. Now Dustfinger tells Mo that Capricorn is looking for him.

In a panic, Mo sweeps Meggie off to her eccentric book-collector Aunt Elinor to hide. But no one is safe from Capricorn and his henchmen, who capture Mo and take him to Capricorn's hideout that's way off the beaten track. Meggie, Elinor, Dustfinger, who's an unreliable ally, and Gwin set off to rescue him. That's when the action starts and Meggie discovers that she, too, has a unique gift. But will she be able to use her gift in time to save Mo from certain death?

Five stars for a delightful book and also for the movie. There are two more novels in the series, Inkspell and Inkdeath, which I'll be reading soon.
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