Note:This review assumes you have already read the first two books in the series.
This book starts off almost immediately where Inkspell ends. Farid, Dustfinger’s faithful friend is searching for a way to bring him back from the land of the dead. Mo, Reza, and Meggie are struggling to live in a world where the Adderhead is living an immortal life, but is still after Mo. Mo is becoming more and more like the Bluejay, the heroic character who has to save Inkworld from the Adderhead’s excesses, and undo the damage that he has done in Inkspell by making the Adderhead immortal. Orpheus is the greedy guz who is using his powers to write himself into a powerful life in Inkworld.
Sounds like too many plot threads? well, Cornelia Funke juggles them all quite skilllfully, I must say. The book does start off slow (just like the rest of the books in this series), but then builds up into quite an exciting middle and satisfying finale.
That said, the book still disappointed me on a couple of fronts. I hated that character sketches fell completely by the wayside here. Farid, Meggie, and some other key characters such as the Black Prince were strangely insipid. I didn’t mind too much about Meggie who I always disliked thoroughly. But, I did not expect the Black Prince to be reduced to little more than a bystander in the finale of the novel. And Brianna is nothing more than a beautiful pawn.
The story focusses almost entirely on Mo and Dustfinger’s heroics, and while they are entertaining all right, I would have liked the focus to be on others as well. I did love Reza in this book though.
Some other things that grated on me:
- I hated Mo’s name. I mean, what kind of a name is that for a hero? Cornelia, there was a reason why Walt Disney considered and eventually discarded the name “Mortimer” for his iconic Mickey Mouse character. The frequent “Oh Mo(s)” uttered by Meggie added to my irritation.
- I hated the numerous nicknames used in this book. At times, it really confused me. Mo is also called Silvertongue, Blue Jay, and Jay. Dustfinger also has a couple of nicknames. It was a bit of a trial keeping up with who was named what.
Apart from these minor annoyances, I quite liked the book. It was an apt ending for the series.
Final thoughts: this is a good (but not great) Fantasy series. I enjoyed reading these books, but it is unlikely that these books will linger too much in my memory.