A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, while the fantasy violence isn't especially graphic, there is lots of it, and references to all kinds of gruesome ways to torture and kill. Booklovers will continue to find much to enchant them, and all readers will enjoy puzzling over questions of fate: Do we have to live the story as it is written?
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this conclusion to the Inkheart Trilogy, Mo, having taken on the role of a Robin Hood-like character called the Bluejay, makes a deal with Death and allies with Violante to try to kill her father, Adderhead, whom he previously made immortal. Meanwhile Orpheus tries to gain wealth and power by allying with Adderhead, and the Milksop and the Piper kidnap all the children in Ombra to force Mo to sacrifice himself. Includes summaries of the first two books, glossary, and bibliography for the chapter-head quotes.
Is it any good?
As with the previous books, there's not much narrative discipline, and the editing is flabby, but readers who have made it this far won't care about that, and some may even prefer it that way.
Also, don't even think of trying to read this without having read the first two books in the trilogy. Even for those who have read them, and even with the summaries and glossary provided, it can be confusing, what with a hundred or so named characters and numerous criss-crossing plot lines. While fans of Meggie may be disappointed that she is no longer at the center of the action, which has mostly shifted to the adults, series fans will find the same virtues (and vices) here: a big fat book with lots of action and gritty violence (though it's not as dark as Inkspell), skipping around among characters and plotlines, and plenty of imagination and description.
Book lovers will continue to find much to enchant them here, including chapter-head quotes from classic and modern prose and poetry for children and adults, with a helpful bibliography in the back for those who'd like to read further. And although this is the end of the trilogy, Funke has left enough plotlines open to continue the series, if she chooses. Inkwar, anyone?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between authors and the worlds they create. Do they really create the worlds, or are they just describing something that exists in some way independent of the author?
When an author writes about something, does it become more real? Can authors change their creations at will, or are they in some way bound to its rules?
This book is fantasy but does feature some evil villains and gritty violence. Is it easier to read about dark and disturbing things if it's in a work of fantasy rather than in a realistic story?
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