I had been reading Inkdeath until late last night and I finally finished it before lunch today. Normally I start another book as soon as I finish one but I just cannot get this book out of my mind. That sort of thing happens with an especially nice book and it is not new for me but I don’t like being hung-over. I could just pick a new book from the shelf, which has promised me an everlasting supply of interesting books since I keep replenishing it even though I may not have finished reading my current book. I could flip through its pages, choose the coziest of corners, and placing down my bottom prepare myself to read. And I would read (no one can stop me there) but I wouldn’t register a thing. I would end up musing about the Inkworld and wondering how the story could go on.
Wait, my dear reader, if you assume as you read that this will be a blatant review of the Inkheart series. You got me wrong there. Turn around while you can. I am not going give you the reasons for the absolute necessity of reading it- I am not an advertising agent. Nor am I heartless critic who will convince you of the vagueness and utter uselessness of these books.
Personally, I hate review, especially if I am asked to write one. Of course, I do read them before buying books but surely, they can’t define my choices. Now, however popular the Mortal Instruments might have been among people my age, I couldn’t get past the third book. That is how it is and I can’t help it.
So… yes the Inkworld – sorry I strayed of topic. If I had to describe it in one line, I would call it a summation of the joys, plights and apprehensions of a reader. It is the embodiment of any booklover’s desires- the wish to meet the character they love, to be transported to world they had always dreamt of and the desire to live the tale.
The books are like a long, blissfull fairy tale describing a realm which mixes darkness and despair with light-heartedness and a carefree life. People may say that those books are meant for children yet I love them. That is the same reason why I loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia last year when I was halfway through my fifteenth year in this mundane world. It is probably the child in me which clings to these things, refusing even now to pass into teenage.
These books seem to shout reminiscence in every line that describes Meggie and Mo’s bondage.When Meggie describes how Mo would tell her stories, how they would play robbers and how they would travel to different places to repair books.When she would decribe her father, a bookbinder who told lovely tales and didn’t care if she missed her school just because he had to heal some books. When everyone would have read so many books that they could relate each event in their life with an episode or line from their favourite books and then smile to themselves. When you live in a house full of books and regularly go to book auctions. When you go to sleep with a pile of books on your lap and continue reading from where you had left when you wake up in the morning without any worries of school or work.
I read all these books aloud, more so after I read about the powers that Meggie and Mo possessed. I would try to feel the words on my tongue, form them on my lips and speak them out loud in the hopes of reading the characters to life- a ridiculous wish, I agree, but hope is a powerful thing.
I could identify with most of the characters, even Orpheus, because a part of me was reflected in them. Meggie reminded me of my past self who wouldn’t sleep until my father would tell me a story full of demons and parrots and lions, with me playing the hero in each case, and I still wonder how he made them all up for he never reads( is that because he can read like Mo too?) In Darius I saw my uncertainty about things, in Farid my love for a particular mentor and in Orpheus my love for particular characters. And Elinor? In her is reflected my future self: a cranky old lady who shies away from human presence and lives alone in a huge house with only her books for company.
The only thing in which I would would readily agree with Orpheus is his love for Dustfinger. How I love that distant look in his eyes, that wistful longing on his face, that enignatic smile playing on his face! That love for Resa, that friendship with the Black Prince whom I admire just as much! And I call myself dustfinger each time I light a match without burning my fingers or dropping it in alarm( I am like Elinor even in my fear of fire)😆.
I loved the parts about Fenoglio too: his pride over his creations and hostility towards critics like Elinor. And when he loses his ability to write, that senile man’s lack of confidence and reluctance to write so very much match with mine. My inhibitions while writing remind me of him. And when he finally reprised his role as the narrator of the story, it gave me hope for I had never expected him to write again. If he can, then I could too.
Inkworld never fails to fascinate me with its glass-men, blue coloured fairies, river nymphs, the daughters of death and the moss women. I simply love the Motley folk for I have never been to a circus but twice. I almost cried when dustfinger died and couldn’t resist flipping the pages until the end in hopes of catching sight of his name, which I luckily did( what relief!) And the villains? There were just so many of them: Basta, Mortola, Capricorn, the Adderhead, and Orpheus(of course) who supassed them all! How could anyone want to improve this wonderful world? Hadn’t he created enough trouble with his seemingly sweet voice that he had to bring rainbow coloured fairies and ill-fitting unicorns into this world? I felt like marrying him off to Umbridge and then sending them both to Azkaban( although I can’t exactly explain my motives for getting them married in the first place).
And the bluejay with his feathery mask and the recently acquired sword resembled Robinhood. How his two personalities would try to surface and subdue each other from time to time! But in the end it was the Bookbinder who rendered Orpheus’ words useless( go go Mortimer !) And there was this question of Meggie’s relationship dilemma. I still can’t decide whether I like Farid or Doria more. It just broke my heart, really, that Meggie chose Doria. I am happy for them but then oh! my Farid .The only cosolation is that his heart would now only belong to Dustfinger but then Dustfinger’s love is divided among so many people( double😭).
The story was supposed to be narrated by Fenoglio at first until Orpheus emerged on the scene. Luckily, even his dictation did not last long and the story narrated itself and sorted everything in the end. That reminds me of something that was said in the books but I won’t quote because I didn’t memorise it and I have forgotten where I had read it- The story doesn’t begin on the first page nor does it end with the last one.
What I am most grateful for is its oddity, its wonderland-ishness and its resemblance to Luna Lovegood because it made me wonder at the sensibility and ( so called) sanity of our own world.
P.S. I don’t seem to be able to do anything about the changing sizes of the font.