||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
First English translation edition cover
|Cover artist||Carol Lawson & Ian Butterworth|
|Country||Germany and USA|
|Language||German and English|
|Publisher||Germany Cecilie Dressler
UK Chicken House
|Publication date||September 23, 2003|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 1-904442-09-9 (1st English translation)|
Inkheart (original title: Tintenherz) is a young adult-child fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, and the first book of the Inkworld trilogy. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."
12 year-old Meggie lives with her father, Mortimer (called Mo), a bookbinder. Mo never reads stories aloud to Meggie because he has a special gift: when he reads a book aloud, the characters come out of the book and into the real world. One night, when Meggie was a small child, Mortimer was reading aloud from a book named Inkheart when an evil villain named Capricorn, his aide Basta, and a fire-eater named Dustfinger escape from the book and into their living room. At the same time, Mo's wife Resa gets trapped within the book .
Twelve years later, Capricorn is on a hunt to find and destroy all copies of Inkheart and use Mo's abilities to gain more power for himself in the real world. Meggie discovers her father's secret and, along with the help of Dustfinger and Meggie's eccentric aunt Elinor, fights to free her father and destroy Capricorn.
Chapter 1: A Stranger in the Night 
Meggie looks out her bedroom window and notices that there is a man standing on the lawn. She goes to her father and tells him. The man has come to see Mo. Mo goes to the door and calls out for Dustfinger (Meggie thinks "what kind of name is that?"). Meggie listens as Mo talks with Dustfinger and hears talk about a man named Capricorn. When Meggie later asks her father about Capricorn, he tells her that he is no one she would want to meet.
Chapter 2: Secrets 
The next morning Mo tells her they are going on a trip, and she should take plenty to read. Later, when Meggie enters Mo’s workshop she sees him covering a book in brown paper, and Mo is acting strange like he is hiding something. As they are leaving, Dustfinger suddenly appears at the gate. They go to Meggie's great aunt Elinor's and Mo tells her that he has to bind books together but it is a lie. He gave the book to Elinor and she ends up reading it. Dustfinger came along with them and sleeps in the attic.
Chapter 3: Going South 
Dustfinger calls Mo Silvertongue as he asks where they are going in such a hurry. Mo states they are going south and Dustfinger confirms that Capricorn is still in the North. Mo agrees to let Dustfinger join them, much to the irritation of Meggie. When Mo will not tell her who Capricorn is, she jumps out of the van. Dustfinger tells her that if he had a child he would not tell her about bad people either, saying that Capricorn has many bad men that have been with him since they were children, and they would do anything for Capricorn. As Mo is putting Dustfinger’s bags in the back, Dustfinger takes Gwin, a marten with horns, out of his bag and introduces her to Meggie. The horns are explained as being glued on. 50 kilometers into the trip Meggie asks Mo what Capricorn wants from Mo: a book.
Chapter 4: House Full of Books 
Meggie wakes up when they stop in from of a gate to the mansion that is the home of Elinor and her books. The house is bigger than Meggie’s school. Mo tells Elinor that he had a library commission that was suddenly postponed. He did not have time to contact her, and that this suddenness meant that he could not find any place for Meggie to stay. It was obvious that she is happy to see Mo, but not Meggie, or Dustfinger. Mo asks if she could put him up for the night. Elinor states that all her bedrooms are filled with books. This impress Meggie, who asks how many books she has.
After dinner Mo leaves the dinner table, and Meggie asks about the bathroom. She then secretly follows Mo and sees him with the book in brown paper that she was not allowed to see. After Mo enters the library. Then Dustfinger puts his hand over her mouth to stifle her cry of alarm with his sudden arrival. Dustfinger asks if Mo is going to give Elinor the book. He is obviously also interested in the book. He warns her that Capricorn will kill Mo to get the book.
Chapter 5: Only a Picture 
Meggie comes into the library as Mo and Elinor are investigating the book that had been wrapped in brown paper. Elinor exclaims that she did not think there was a single copy left having heard of so many copies being stolen. Mo expresses surprise at the books being stolen, but Meggie can tell Mo is not surprised at all. Mo wants to leave the book with her because he believes it will be safe here. He also asks that she tell nobody. Elinor tells how she misses her niece, Mo’s wife. Mo tells her that Meggie hardly remembers her. They then notice Meggie. She verbally attacks Mo for showing the book to Elinor but not to her since she knows it is better to attack. Meggie finds it is strange that the book is valuable since it is not particularly old. They allow her look at the book so she pages through it looking at the few illustrations. Before she can do much reading, Elinor closes the book and says she will put is someplace safe. Mo then escorts her to her bedroom telling her to forget the book. Meggie asks where Elinor will put the book but Mo changes the subject, telling her hiding places should be secret as secrets should be. She wonders where Dustfinger is so she can ask him questions. She searches for Dustfinger but cannot find him, so goes to bed. She cannot get the book out of her mind.
The next morning she finds Mo and Elinor in the kitchen, but no Dustfinger. Elinor had met Gwin earlier when she found Dustfinger in the kitchen with the marten on table. Elinor was not happy. Leaving the kitchen, she finds Dustfinger in the garden juggling an amazing number of balls. He tells her that this is how he earns a living. Meggie confirms that Mo is leaving the book (Inkheart)with Elinor. She then tells him that she saw Gwin in the book. She asks if he really glued the horns on Gwin, why an animal that looks like Gwin is in the book and what he knows about the book. Dustfinger then tells Meggie to ask her father why he does not read to her and that he will perform for her that night.
She joins Mo in the room that will be serving as his workshop. She asks him about why he does not read aloud. Mo is upset at the question and asks her what Dustfinger has told her. She lies and tells him he has told her nothing. Mo tells her he has to be working, and she should go away. She then asks if it is possible that Dustfinger did not glue the horns on Gwin, and Mo exclaims that of course he did. Before leaving Meggie tells Mo that Dustfinger says Capricorn will kill him for the book. This also gets Mo upset.
Chapter 6: Fire and Stars 
In the afternoon Elinor serves them a meal of spaghetti. During the meal Elinor tells them that no candles are allow in her house. Meggie thinks this is because of the candle she has by her bed, but Elinor is looking at Dustfinger. Dustfinger responds by lighting a match and putting is out in his mouth. Elinor tells Dustfinger that she will be turning on the alarm at 9. Then Dustfinger tells Elinor that he is going to be doing a demonstration at 11 pm. Mo tells Elinor she should watch the demonstration, but she does not seem interested. Elinor agrees to turn off the alarm so that Dustfinger can do his show.
Meggie knocks on Elinor’s door just before 11. They go down and Elinor disables the alarm. She then tells Meggie not to sneak into the library to get a book; she would hear it since her bedroom is next door. Elinor then shoos her out the front door, closing the door behind her. She finds Dustfinger, and can see Elinor at the window above. Dustfinger does all sorts of amazing acts with fire. Something distracts her, and she could hear men’s voices music above Dustfinger’s music. They both rush through the open door to the house and up to the open door to the library. Elinor catches her before she can enter the library, dragging her into her room. They can hear that the men are searching for a book. Mo agrees to give them the book if he can have it afterward, and his daughter has to stay here. The men leave with the book and Mo. Elinor lets Meggie go and she runs to the library, but they are gone. She then runs all the way to the gate, but Mo was gone.
Chapter 7: What the Night Hides 
Dustfinger is hiding behind a tree and watches Meggie stare past the gate where her father disappeared. She stands there for a very long time before returning to the house. Dustfinger feels really bad about betraying Mo to Capricorn. After Meggie disappears into the house, Dustfinger picks up his bags and walks through the still open gate.
Chapter 8: Alone 
Elinor is waiting in the door of the house as Meggie returns from the gate. Meggie is upset that Elinor held her back even though there was nothing either could do. Meggie then goes to where Dustfinger had performed to find him gone: she thinks that maybe he followed the kidnappers. Elinor had called the police, and they asked many questions, but obviously not convinced about the kidnapping.
Chapter 9: A Poor Exchange 
Meggie sleeps in Mo’s room that night. Finally, crying after looking at the picture of her mother, she goes to sleep. Just before dawn she wakes, and decides she should look for Mo and get going before anyone woke. She goes to her room to pack and writes a letter to Elinor. She cannot get the letter under the door Elinor’s room, so enters. She spies the book in Elinor’s sleeping arms, grabs the book, and starts yelling at a sleeping Elinor in rage, blaming her for Mo’s abduction. Elinor explains that she had replaced the book before Mo was taken so she could take a look at it. As Elinor is talking to her, Meggie is looking through the book she notes that does not have a title page or and title on the spine, which is very strange for a new book. Meggie wants to call the police again, but Elinor explains that the police would not believe the story. As she is dressing, Elinor starts talking about the book, how it seems to be pretty good. She is surprised that almost nobody remembers or read has it, that there are no library copies. She thinks that the stories about it being stolen are fabricated. She also tells Meggie the author is still alive and is surprised that he has not written anything else or had it reprinted. Meggie thinks there is more to the story. Meggie points out that there is no reason for them also taking Mo, and Elinor cannot explain that. Then Elinor finds Meggie’s note saying she was going to search for Mo. Elinor explains that Meggie does not even know where to look (which Meggie had already figured out). Elinor announces that she will search for Mo with Meggie.
Chapter 10: The Lion’s Den 
Meggie is where she last saw Dustfinger. She wants to start reading Inkheart since it is the only place she can find clues on where they took Mo. Then she hears Dustfinger talking to her behind her. Dustfinger states he saw Mo being taken, and chased the car (he borrowed a moped to give chase), but failed. He tells her they probably took Mo to Capricorn’s village about 300 miles to the south off the coast. Dustfinger quickly realizes that Meggie had Inkheart. He tells Meggie that Capricorn will not be pleased when he learns his men did not take the right book, and may take it out on Mo. Meggie responds that Mo did not know it was not the right book since Elinor had taken the book. Then Elinor arrives. Meggie tells Elinor that Dustfinger knows where Mo is. As Meggie is talking to Elinor, Dustfinger has taken the book, but Elinor sees, and tells him to put it down. When Meggie turns, she sees Dustfinger putting the book back down. Dustfinger tells Meggie he will take her but wants to leave Elinor. Elinor has guessed this and tells them that she will come.
Chapter 11: A Coward 
Dustfinger has stolen to Meggie’s bedroom locked door. Dustfinger thinks it is locked because Meggie does not trust Dustfinger; a door with such a simple lock is not much of a barrier to Dustfinger. Once by Meggie’s bed, he first searches the box that Mo had made Meggie for her books, finding Inkheart. He cannot take the book, nor read his future.
Chapter 12: Going Further South 
In the morning Elinor has Dustfinger point out the location of the village on a map, which he tells her has no name. Elinor than asks Dustfinger what Capricorn does and Dustfinger replies that they come from the same place but that is all they have in common. Then Meggie remembers Dustfinger making another statement and accusingly tells Dustfinger that he had told Mo that Capricorn was in the North. Dustfinger makes up excuses which makes Meggie suspicious. Dustfinger tells them that he had warned Mo, and which Meggie can confirm. Then Elinor asks why Capricorn wants the book. Dustfinger tells them that Capricorn usually gets what he wants within a couple of days. Elinor states they will leave within the hour. They take Elinor’s car (Dustfinger would have preferred Mo’s camper van, but Elinor states she plans to be back by the next morning).
Chapter 13: Capricorn’s Village 
On the trip down Meggie finds it hard to read. Well into the trip Elinor tells the others the history and stories of the buildings they pass. Dustfinger notes that she was born in the wrong story, and she should get along well with Capricorn because they both like dark stories. Dustfinger instructs Elinor to turn off the main road leading away from the coast, a long dark road that makes Elinor nervous and worried about having enough gas. Finally come to a metal barrier which Dustfinger drags off the road; Dustfinger states that the barrier and various stories keep people away. The stories say that no bullets can kill the men of the village, the boys are kidnapped and Capricorn teaches them to steal and kill. He continues to tell that those in the village of the damn have the evil eye; after a glance on is dead within 3 days. Meggie remarks to Dustfinger that he probably does not want Capricorn to know he led them to the village, and Dustfinger agrees. Then Dustfinger tells them in answer to Elinor’s questions that only Capricorn’s men and a few cleaning women live in the village. As Meggie is about to get out of the car, Basta appears behind a glaring flashlight with a shotgun. He is not friendly, telling them that they trespassed onto private property, but he recognizes Dustfinger. Dustfinger gets out of the car, and starts talking with Basta where Elinor and Meggie cannot hear. Elinor chastises Basta on his rude behavior; that they brought something Capricorn wants. Meggie then asks about Mo, saying they want to exchange the book for her father. As they follow Basta, Elinor tells Meggie not to hand over the book until they let them see her father. The village consists of old houses of grey roughhewn in disrepair stone along narrow allies, many appearing empty. They come to a small well-lit square with a church and a large two-story house that is not derelict.
Chapter 14: A Mission Accomplished 
When they finally are brought in front of Capricorn in a large room, Capricorn asks where it is. Dustfinger replies that it is in the bag and that Meggie’s father really did not know where the book was. Capricorn makes Meggie feel like a coward under his eyes, a feeling that is strange to her. Elinor tells Capricorn that they will not give him the book until they have Mo safe in her car. Capricorn asks why Dustfinger brought the woman; he was only supposed to bring the girl and the book. Elinor then speaks out again that Capricorn must be the craziest book collector she had ever met, and then asks where his books are. The bag containing book is snatched from Meggie before she knows it. When given to Capricorn, Capricorn’s face does not show any of the reverence towards the book that her father or Elinor would have shown. Capricorn orders that Meggie and Elinor be locked up overnight. Meggie yells for her father, asking what Capricorn wants from him; Capricorn wants to keep him because of his special talent. She is told Mo has not been cooperative, but would be now. Meggie, notices Dustfinger, and can see that he apparently not feeling good about what he did, but he had to, and wants forgiveness.
Chapter 15: Good Luck and Bad Luck 
Before that are both shoved into a windowless room; Elinor apparently still does not appreciate the situation and exclaims to Basta that people no longer just lock up people in the 21st century. Mo, who is in the cell, speaks up after he recognizes Elinor’s voice and then Meggie’s. Mo is not happy with Elinor letting this happen to Meggie. Mo learns that Capricorn now has the book, how Elinor had exchanged the books, and how Dustfinger lead them to the village. After Meggies asks what this is all about, Mo agrees to tell them.
Chapter 16: Once Upon a Time 
Mo proceeds to tell Meggie about the event that occurred when she was just 3 years old. Mo had recently picked up a new batch of used books one of which was Inkheart. That night Meggie’s mother chose Inkheart for Mo to read that because she liked books that took her to another place. When reading the 7th chapter Basta, Dustfinger and Capricorn appear—Mo’s voice had brought them slipping out of the book. The three men did not understand what was happening. Dustfinger claims that it was because the situation was confusing and to Capricorn and Basta and they were week that they survived. Mo picks up the sword that Basta had dropped. Capricorn commands that Mo, who he thinks is a magician, to send him back. Mo tries to read them back, but nothing happens. Then Mo manages to drive Basta and Capricorn out of the room with the sword. Suddenly the front door was thrown open and they both disappeared into the night. When Mo returns, Dustfinger is standing there with the martin on his shoulder. The martin then scrambles to Meggie. It is then that Mo realizes Meggie’s mother is gone, and he cannot find her in the house. Elinor is flabbergasted when she hears the truth; Mo tells her that he had to make up some story since the truth would not be believed. In addition to Meggie’s mother, their two cats had also disappeared. Dustfinger and the martin had vanished when he returned to the room. The following days he kept reading the book hoping that he could get his wife back. All that happened was a glass man appeared and the mailman had disappeared from the sidewalk. Four days later Dustfinger appears at night as Mo was packing to leave the house in fear of Capricorn and Basta. Dustfinger pleas to be sent back, the world is too fast for him. Over the next few years he appears every so often. Finally Mo moved them away without telling Dustfinger; it had been five years since he had last seen Dustfinger. Then Mo tells them that Basta had told him that they had somebody else to read people out of books. Meggie asks if her mother would like it there, and Mo states yes with all the fairies and goblins, but she would not like the evil. Since then he has read the book many times and Capricorn is still in the book. Maybe things have has changed in that world, and the story is just an image of the world, and Inkheart world is developing and changing. Mo gives Meggie his place to sleep telling her that they will keep watch as she sleeps. She finally sleeps despite thinking she would not.
When Meggie wakes Mo tells how when he was young he liked to read out loud. He first read a dead cat out of the Tom Sawyer. Over the years he had read items out of books, but not when he was intending to. Mo has now sworn never to read out loud again for fear of what he might read out of a book. Then Elinor asks Mo about Capricorn, but Mo refuses to say anything more about him, saying the less she knows about him the better.
Chapter 17: The Betrayer Betrayed 
Flatnose and another take them to the church with dawn. They see few women as they walk through town that has no flowers like other Italian villages Meggie had seen. The bearded man tells them “Welcome to the Devil’s House” when they arrive. Flatnose is obviously superstitious since he is not happy with the statement. Everything in the church is red. Meggie sees Dustfinger sitting close to Capricorn’s chair, avoiding Meggie’s eyes. She can only think of the hate for the lies he had told her. When Basta arrives, Dustfinger makes some comments about Basta being in fear of fire. Then Capricorn arrives dressed in red and black. Capricorn tells Mo that he was so kind to reunite him with his father. Mo tells Capricorn that if he lets his daughter go, he will do anything Capricorn wants, including reading him back in the book. Capricorn tells Mo that he does not want to go back; he hates so much about the Inkheart world. A box of books is brought in, and Capricorn tells them that these are all the copies of Inkheart. Capricorn has all the books put into a brazier; Capricorn had told Dustfinger that there was only one copy. Dustfinger reminds Capricorn that he had promised him to return him to the book. Capricorn tells Dustfinger that he was happy to tell Dustfinger any promises, promises he would not keep. Capricorn throws in final copy, the copy that Meggie had brought, and sets fire to the books. Dustfinger escapes Flatnose and starts trying to pick out a book that is not burning. Flatnose is soon back on Dustfinger. After Capricorn sends Dustfinger away to have his hands tended, he calls to Cockerell to get the reader; Capricorn had found this reader about 5 years ago. The reader, Darius, was not very good: he brings the characters from the book with all sorts of maladies. With the reader not being very good, he had finds his men as young boys, and trains them. Now he wants Silvertongue (Mo) to read treasures out of books. The reader arrives with a pile of books that he says are books with treasure in them. Mo warns that he may not succeed, and Capricorn has Basta put Meggie in a headlock; Capricorn tells Mo that from now on Basta will Meggie’s personal shadow. So Mo starts to read.
Chapter 18: Treasure Island 
Meggie hears Mo read aloud for the first time in 9 years, “Treasure Island.” She is memorized as is everyone else in the room but Capricorn. Soon the room with filled with all sorts of coins. There is even a lizard that arrives which Meggie saves from Basta’s thrown knife by her exclamation. Darius exclaims his amazement to Mo, and Mo gives him back the book. Elinor states she was petrified (Long John Silver), but was also impressed. Mo states he does not like to push his luck. Capricorn tells his men, who have been grabbing up the coins, to leave the rest, and for Mo to start with the next book. Next is a “Thousand and One Nights.” This time Mo’s words only bring a terrified boy 3 or 4 years older than Meggie. When Capricorn sees the boy he commands Mo to stop. It is then that Fulvio’s disappearance is discovered. Capricorn demands Mo bring Fulvio back, but Mo pleads with Capricorn to believe him that he cannot bring people back, and he cannot control what is brought out of the book. Capricorn wants Mo to continue, but Basta speaks out that he does not want to end up in a desert. This does not move Capricorn, but Mo refuses telling Capricorn that he has enough money, and he only wants to go home. Capricorn tells Mo that tomorrow he will read again, and picks up a copy of Inkheart out of a box. Mo will read him back a friend. Capricorn orders them to be put back in their quarters. The thought of ending back in the same hole cause Elinor to speak out about illegal abduction. Capricorn asks if there is any reason to keep the woman around, and Meggie speaks up that she knows so much about books.
Chapter 19: Gloomy Prospects 
They were fed much better, but it is boring in the room. They talk, Elinor stating how she had always thought herself stronger before the meeting these villains, Mo apologies for dragging them in and losing the book. Basta and an old woman arrive with tea sweetened with honey. The woman is not happy about feeding the prisoners. Mo asks about the boy, and is told his fate is not decided, but will be tested. Later Dustfinger sneaks into the room. He tells them he is going to escape and take the reader he brought with him since Capricorn burned all the books. Elinor will be taken only because they need her car. Mo demands that the boy be taken also, so Dustfinger takes them to where the boy is imprisoned, and uses his lock picking skills to open the cell door. Mo sends Meggie into the cell to bring the boy out. He rushes for the door, but runs into Mo. He then tells them they are devils and demons. Mo points to a man standing watch in the church tower and tells the boy that if he sees them they will kill them. This convinces the boy. They pass many empty houses. As Elinor unlocks the car, Dustfinger disappears to slit the tires of the other cars, not telling the others what he was doing. It is a very long time, but finally returns closing a knife which was Basta’s. There was a sleepy man that gets out of a delivery van, and sees them, shoots his shotgun at their car. They flee. Finally, Mo turns to explain to the boy his situation. His name was Farid. The boy thinks he is in a dream. As they continue, head lights appear behind them.
Chapter 20: Snakes and Thorns 
The headlights get closer as they proceed and they know it has to be Capricon’s Men since they have passed no other villages. A tire blows out and the car continues out of control. They attempt to push the car off the road, but are only able get it a little off the road. Elinor is not happy about abandoning the car, but Dustfinger mentions Basta and his knife. Their luggage is gone. They go upslope, and the car passes below them. However, the car only goes a little distance before returning, and finding the Elinor’s car. There are two men: Basta and Flatnose. The two start searching down the slope. Dustfinger starts guiding them. As they proceed Elinor tells them that when they come to civilization she will get the best hotel room, she has hidden a credit card—men were not very interested in searching fat old ladies. Meggie exclaims that she is not so fat or old. Dustfinger had put Gwen on a leash, which the martin does not like. As they walk, Farid was quick to help the martin when its leash got caught. Martin does not seem to take to Farid very, but Farid seems not to mind. Mo starts to carry Meggie when she starts having a hard time keeping up. Meggie falls asleep on Mo’s back.
Chapter 21: Basta 
At a dilapidated house they stop to rest. Mo goes out as Elinor and Meggie lie down inside. Elinor tries to make light of the situation before falling to sleep. Meggie cannot sleep so slips outside to join Mo as dawn breaks. When Mo shakes her awake with his hand over her mouth, she can hear the dogs and then men’s voices. Finally the men can be heard clearly: Basta complaining that Dustfinger has been feeding the dogs cheese to ruin their noses and THIS is why the dogs like him. Further talk between the men determines that it is not definite that Dustfinger helped the prisoners escape. Dustfinger springs out from a tree and seizes Basta and Basta orders the dogs to attack. Dustfinger grabs their collars and they lick him. During this, Flatnose has gone into a daze. When Flatnose finally responds, Farid downs Flatnose with a stone. The dogs are on Mo. They finally get the dogs off Mo, but not before Mo gets a nasty bit on his upper arm. Then Basta orders the dogs to attack again, and when they do not, he lifts his gun. Elinor had grabbed Flatnose’s gun and now orders Basta to drop his gun. They tie the two up (Farid asks why they are not going to kill them since they would not hesitate to kill). Dustfinger approaches Basta with a knife, and everyone thinks he is going to cut Basta like he was cut. Instead he takes Basta’s luck, which is hung his neck. They proceed onward, deciding not to try and return to Basta and Flatnose’s car since it was further than the nearest village, and there might be others. Before long a truck passes them, and then they start to pass houses, and then can see the sea.
Chapter 22: In Safety 
They are all dirty and disheveled. After going into a bathroom to clean up, Elinor returns with the credit card, and they have breakfast. After her experience, the world looks a lot more dangerous to Meggie. As Elinor pays for hotel rooms, Dustfinger and Farid disappear. Meggie can see sadness in Mo’s eyes, and fears he may go back. Elinor gets everyone new cloths and a doctor for Mo’s arm. On the third day over breakfast Elinor announces she is going back home. She gives Mo the address of the author of Inkheart (he lives about an hour away). Mo states that they will join Elinor the day after tomorrow at the latest—Mo has to visit the author. Meggie tells her father she does not want to stay, but Mo will not be swayed. Mo explains that this man wrote the book, and that he might have copies of the book, being that people forget it is authors that write books, and that they could still be alive.
Chapter 23: A Night Full of Words 
Mo leaves Meggie in the hotel to pick up a rental car. Elinor knocks at the door with a book of poems for her. Elinor tells her that she thought that it was a book that Mo could safely read to her. She also has another book, at thick book, which pleases Meggie. After a meal with Mo, they are out walking and they find Dustfinger performing. Farid goes around the collecting money in new cloths that make him look older. The crowd disperses, and only the 4 are left. Mo suspects that Dustfinger will go after the book, but Dustfinger states he is a coward. Mo reveals that he is going to meet someone that may have a copy. Dustfinger states that Capricorn would not have missed a book. Mo tells him that it is not a book seller by the man that wrote Inkheart. Dustfinger states he wants to come with Mo, and that Farid is happy to be in this world. Dustfinger, however, reminisces how he misses so much from his world, including the fairies. Dustfinger instructs Mo that he does not want Mo to reveal him to the author. Mo and Meggie go back to their room and both start reading books. Meggie goes to sleep, and when she wakes, Mo is still awake. He tells her that the injury from the dogs is bothering him. Meggie asks that Mo read the book aloud to her—Elinor had stated it should be safe. After paging through the book, Mo relents and starts reading aloud. The next morning a bird lands on her bed. Then it flies into the window, bumping its head on the glass until Mo open’s the window. When Mo goes down to pay the bill, Meggies starts whispering the words of the last poem Mo read; no moonbird appeared, and she had to be imagining the smell of peppermint.
Chapter 24: Fenoglio 
They take the coastal road for an hour to a narrow road to a small village high over the sea. After parking the car, Dustfinger tells Mo he does not need to lock the car since he will keep an eye on it. The author, Fenoglio, is in the house with his grandchildren (one is boy about 5). He is initially unfriendly; Mo tells him that he is looking to buy a copy Inkheart. Fenoglio asks if Mo is one of those idiots that collect books just because they are rare. Mo tells him no, that he just wants to read it, so Fenoglio asks them in. In the middle of all this Fenoglio is dealing with various issues with his two grandchildren. Finally Fenoglio reveals that every one of his copies was stolen. Mo states that he is not surprised, making Fenoglio suspicious, but then Mo tells him that his copy was also stolen. Mo tells how he repairs books and had bought a copy to repair and then resell, but he liked it so much he kept it. Fenoglio is sure there is more to the story, and states he would believe the story even though Mo tells him he would not. Mo reveals that he had promised not to tell Fenoglio about a character in the story, Dustfinger. This is a character that was one of Fenoglio’s favorite, but killed him off in the last chapter. Meggie is horrified, and finds out that her father knew. Fenoglio then tells with pride of the evil characters he created: Capricorn, Basta… Mo finally tells Meggie that Dustfinger is killed by unnamed character while he is protecting Gwen. Then she is told that Capricorn is not killed in the book, and Meggie is disgusted. Fenoglio then tells Meggie that he wanted Capricorn and Basta for a next book if he wrote it. Then Mo asks Fenoglio if he would like to meet Dustfinger.
Chapter 25: The Wrong Ending 
Fenoglio reveals he really wants to see Dustfinger. When Fenoglio leaves to deal with his rambunctious grandchildren, Meggie tells Mo he has to tell Dustfinger. Then Meggie begs Mo to promise he will not go back to the village. When Fenoglio returns with his grandchildren, Mo tells him that he will take him to Dustfinger in hopes that he can convince Dustfinger that he cannot go back. Fenoglio will take his grandchildren with him so as to blend in better.
Chapter 26: Shivers down the Spine and a Foreboding 
Dustfinger is sitting at the village war memorial in a deep foreboding. Farid being so happy irritates Dustfinger, so he says something the takes away his happiness. He sees Mo and Meggie and notices that Mo is strained. When the two arrive they confirm that there are no copies. When he asks why Meggie is looking at him the way she is, he figures out that Meggie knows something about his death. He thinks it is Basta that kills him so he is safe if he goes back. Dustfinger then notices an old man with some children, and he thinks Mo has given a signal to the old man. Then the old man approaches, and talks to Dustfinger about maybe seeing tricks as his children had said he did. Dustfinger tells Farid to get his pack, and he attempts to leave but the old man grabs him. Dustfinger threatens the old man with Basta’s knife and runs. Farid follows Dustfinger, and will not leave when Dustfinger asks him to leave. Then Dustfinger tells Farid he is going to return to the village, and realizes it is true, and Farid should go away; this is what Farid thought. Farid then tells Dustfinger that there are many things that are different in this world, such as the beautiful flowers around them, but men are the same. He wants to learn more about fire before they return to the village.
Chapter 27: A Good Place to Stay 
Mo tells Meggie that want to delay going for another day because he wants to talk to Fenoglio; Meggie is worried that Mo will go back to the village, especially since Mo broke his word to Dustfinger. Meggie then tells Mo she is worried that Capricorn would find them, but Mo is positive he will not. They tell Fenoglio that they want to stay another day. Fenoglio is pleased, and offers to provide a place to stay. Fenoglio and Mo spend much time talking. That night they walk to the place Fenoglio is providing them. Meggie cannot get Mo to tell her what he wants talk to Fenoglio about, so Meggie will ask Fenoglio, and if he will not tell, she will get one of the Grandchildren to spy for her.
Chapter 28: Going Home 
Elinor gets home just before midnight; she was not all that excited about going back to her hermit life. When she enters the house and is finally able to get the lights on she sees her bookshelves empty, with the books strewn and trampled on the floor. The Library with her most valuable books is empty except for a hanging dead rooster. She follows a black arrow in the window sill to see the pile of ashes in the garden.
Chapter 29: Only an Idea 
Fenoglio’s apartment was two streets away. Mo buys some bookbinder’s tools to work on Fenoglio’s books. Mo was disgusted at the condition of the books which were in the attic. With Mo working, Meggie starts reading the books Elinor had bought her out loud, first making sure Mo would not catch her. She and Fenoglio’s children then walk through the village. This goes on for two days. The second night Meggie asks Mo when they will be going to Elinor’s, and Mo states it will be soon. Then she asks if Mo misses his wife, and he says sometimes, but corrects to day most all the time. He then tells Meggie about her mother. Meggie then asks about where Dustfinger is and whether Dustfinger likes Farid. Mo reveals that if it was not for Meggie, he would go back to the village like Dustfinger.
Chapter 30: Talkative Pippo 
The next morning Elinor calls Fenoglio’s with the news about her books and that she will be flying into the nearest airport to set the police on Capricorn. Then Mo fills in the details with Fenoglio and Meggie. Fenoglio states that Elinor is lucky she is still alive. Mo does not think the police will accomplish anything. Mo leaves immediately for the airport. Meggie finds a homeless cat and takes it with her when she returns to the apartment to feed it some milk. One of the grandchildren is at the door and Meggie answers to find the child with Basta and Flatnose. The two had found them by searching for Dustfinger, who was easy to find. It still took a long time for them to search the villages before obtaining more news about Dustfinger. The child had apparently told them about his grandfather and how Mo was interested in a book, so proceed to Fenoglio’s in the heavy rain. When they get there, Fenoglio opens the door and chastised the two children for being in the rain. Then Basta and Flatnose appear and invite themselves in. Fenoglio only recognizes the two after Meggie tells him that “he” should know them. After Flatnose leaves to search for the book after ordered, Basta asks Meggie how they found this man. Fenoglio volunteers that he is the author. Basta does not believe this since books were written ages ago and all authors are dead. Then Fenoglio tells him about why he wears long sleeves and is afraid of fire. The knife under Fenoglio’s chin does not seen to scare him, and Fenoglio keeps telling Basta about himself, and his relationship with Capricorn. This angers Basta who is about to kill Fenoglio but Meggie interrupts with a lie that if Fenoglio dies, then everyone from the book will die also. Basta decides to let Capricorn decide, and will take Fenoglio with them. Then he tells Fenoglio that they were sent to find Silvertongue. Flatnose finally returns with a pile of books; Basta can tell that none are right. Meggie realizes she has to get away, but can see no opening. Then the question of whether they will take the children comes up, and Basta asks Fenoglio what he would do. It is easy to see Fenoglio is not comfortable. Basta decides not to take the children. They are taken to the apartment where Basta carves his name into the dresser as a message to Mo.
Chapter 31: In the Hills 
Dustfinger uses a house that had belonged to an old woman that Capricorn had sent his men to chase away. The men burned the house and killed the animals. Basta had ordered Flatnose to shut the woman up, and she had fallen dead as Flatnose kept his hand over her mouth. Basta avoided the place for fear of ghosts. From here they can watch the village. Farid also fears the ghost of the old woman (ghosts are about the only thing Farid fears) but Dustfinger believes there are no ghosts in this world unless they are invisible. Farid keeps playing with fire, which amuses Dustfinger, but sometimes admonishes him for not being careful enough, telling him that fire is not his friend. Farid tells Dustfinger that fire is his friend, but Dustfinger knows that fire does not obey him in this world like in the Inkheart world. Dustfinger remembers about how Capricorn had forced him to teach him about fire. Capricorn is gone from the village, which is often the case, driven to one of his other locations. A truck arrives with goats and Dustfinger tells how another farmer had lost his goats, and how a dead rooster had probably been left for the farmer as a calling card. Capricorn has added floodlight and additional guards, probably because of the treasure stored in his house (money he just hordes and does not spend). Dustfinger is going to meet a contact in Capricorn’s house, a maid. Farid begs to go with Dustfinger, telling Dustfinger he would only follow, so Dustfinger agrees to allow Farid to come along—Dustfinger thinks he should get rid of the boy but does not know how.
Chapter 32: Back Again 
The village does not look as foreboding as she remembered. Fenoglio is amazed at how the village looks like a setting he thought up for Inkheart—Inkheart is set in a period similar to medieval times. Fenoglio also states he knows the village and it has had a sad history. They are escorted to the church where they find a woman Meggie thinks of as a magpie with 2 men moving a new chair into position for Capricorn. Basta seems to somewhat fear the magpie. The magpie admonished Basta for not bringing Silvertongue, and Basta attempts to explain that Silvertongue will come for his daughter. Magpie tells Basta that he has failed: letting Dustfinger steal his keys, loses the dogs, and a search party had to be sent for him when he and Flatnose were tied up. She demands his keys which angers Basta. Basta locks them in the shed Farid had been locked in. In the shed Fenoglio reveals that the magpie is exactly how he imagined Capricorn’s mother. Then Fenoglio asks what Capricorn wants from Mo, and she tells him that Capricorn wants Mo to read out a friend. As they huddle that night hungry and cold, Fenoglio asks Meggie to confirm is if Basta is still superstitious. She confirms this and he seems pleased, but says no more.
Chapter 33: Capricorn’s Maid 
Dustfinger and Farid sneak into the village. When Farid suggests using the roofs, Dustfinger sees the benefits of this idea. They sneak into Capricorn’s house’s garden. Dustfinger notes with relief that there are no dogs which means that the dogs had smartly not come back, and they had not been replaced. Dustfinger makes the sound of a bird and a woman appears in a window, and a door behind a grating opens and Resa is there. Dustfinger asks and she tells him she does not know where the book is, but will look for it. Resa cannot speak—she taught Dustfinger how to read—so she has to write to communicate. She asks who Silvertongue is, but Dustfinger only provides limited information. When they return to the house, Farid asks if Resa had always been mute; Dustfinger says she has been mute ever since he knew her. She has been Capricorn’s maid for 5 years, and had a couple of failed escapes, the last one ending when she got a snake bite. Farid tells Dustfinger that Resa looks like Meggie, but Dustfinger dismisses this.
Chapter 34: Capricorn’s Secrets 
Capricorn is in a pale yellow suit instead of red in the church when Fenoglio and Meggie are brought to him. Capricorn is obviously unhappy with Basta not bringing Silvertongue, and tells Basta he is slipping. Fenoglio is obviously impressed with himself for his creation, and how Capricorn matches what he imagined. When Capricorn asks what was the title of the book Fenoglio wrote and he answers Inkheart and continues with it being about “a man whose wicked heart is as black as ink filled with darkness and evil.” Capricorn states this is obviously a lie, and Basta is at fault. Fenoglio is amused, and asks if he should tell Capricorn about his parents. Capricorn tells Fenoglio he can tell what he wants, but if he values his life say it so no one can hear. Fenoglio wants to give Capricorn information about the characters that is not in the book, such as that Basta was a very unhappy boy until he met Capricorn; he had found a god for himself. Now he tells Capricorn that he has gone by that name since he was 15, and his mother is not of noble birth, nor his father is an armorer. Meggie can see the anger smoldering in Capricorn’s eyes. He tells how his father was an ordinary blacksmith, and would beat Capricorn, and his mother is the magpie, a mere servant. Capricorn then tells Fenoglio that he is amused by the story, and he is a born liar. Fenoglio is then told he will be kept in the village, which upsets Fenoglio. Fenoglio is then told his grandchildren will be hostage to his good behavior. Capricorn tells how even police have family that can be used against them, and Meggie’s father will come for the same reason. Capricorn tells Basta to take Fenoglio to be shut up in a room in the house, and Fenoglio then asks that Meggie stay with him in the room, and Capricorn agrees.
Chapter 35: Different Aims 
Farid sees a car coming and goes to Dustfinger to tell him that he thinks it is Silvertongue. Dustfinger rushes to the bridge to stop Silvertongue. Mo gets out of the car furious with Dustfinger for telling Capricorn about them, and Dustfinger denies it. Mo is somewhat convinced, but Elinor is still sure that Dustfinger gave them away. Elinor, raging, then tells how the police were in admiration with the damage to her books, try to console her by telling her that at least house and garden were not significantly damaged. Dustfinger can see the similarity between himself and Elinor, and tells her that she should have expected Capricorn would get revenge. Apparently Elinor wanted to call the police after discovering Meggie had been taken, but Mo would not let her—Dustfinger tells Elinor Mo was right. Dustfinger then tries to convince Mo not to rush in since all that will happen is that Mo will also be taken. When this does not work, Dustfinger threatens Mo with Basta’s knife. Elinor and Mo are tied to a tree near the dilapidated house. Dustfinger leaves Farid with the prisoners and leaves for the village to get the book.
Chapter 36: In Capricorn’s House 
The room was furnished with bunk beds and a few other pieces of furniture. Meggie tells Fenoglio that she is going to try to escape. He tells her it is too dangerous and that they will think of something. On her bunk she wonders why Mo has not arrived.
Chapter 37: Carelessness 
Dustfinger approaches Capricorn’s house through part of the village that is seldom visited by Capricorn’s men because of the unstable walls from a long ago earthquake. He imitates Gwen’s chattering, and a hand waves from Resa’s room. When the door opens it is not Resa, but a girl. It is a trap; Basta, Mortola, and Flatnose are there. He learns from Basta that Resa is also in trouble, which is somewhat of a relief to Dustfinger who thought Resa had given him away.
Chapter 38: A Quiet Voice 
Meggie attempts to escape by asking the guard to let her go to the bathroom, and runs once she is out of the room. It fails. Meggie is very upset, cries, and states she does not even have any books. Fenoglio tells her that he found some books hidden by Darius. Fenoglio goes to sleep but Meggie cannot, so Meggie starts to read. Meggie starts reading Peter Pan out loud hoping to be taken away from here, and imagines being the fairy. She notices that there is a brightness that flies around the room, Tinkerbell. She wakes Fenoglio. Fenoglio hears footsteps and tells Meggie to hide the fairy. She tries to catch the fairy, but fails. They hear steps. It is Basta to get Meggie for Capricorn, who has somebody he wants Meggie to see. Basta immediately sees the fairy when he opens the door. He uses his jacket to catch the fairy. Basta asks where the fairy came from and Meggie’s eyes fall on the book which has a picture of the fairy on the cover.
Chapter 39: The Punishment for Traitors 
Capricorn and the magpie are in the church. Capricorn asks what kept Basta, who explains that the jailer could not get the right key, and that he had to capture something. Then Basta shows Capricorn the fairy that he captured in his jacket; Capricorn does not recognize the type of fairy. Then Basta explains that Meggie read it out of the book “Peter Pan.” Capricorn has the magpie leave of the room to do something. Shortly she can see two people lowered in nets hanging from the ceiling, one of which is Dustfinger. Dustfinger tells Meggie that he is to give her love from her father and that he will come soon. Then Capricorn tells Dustfinger that he has a special plan for a traitor: he will have Meggie read somebody out of Inkheart for him. The magpie then asks what Capricorn will do to punish the other traitor, Resa. Capricorn then tells how disappointed he is with Resa since he really liked her. Meggie looks up at the woman and she wonders about her. The magpie tells Capricorn that it will take two days to bring in the men from the other bases to witness the execution. Capricorn then tells the magpie that he wants another test before then. Meggie says she will not read anything out for her, but Capricorn seems unperturbed. Basta keeps the fairy since he believes that they bring luck. Meggie will read the Shadow out in two days.
Chapter 40: The Black Horse of the Night 
When Meggie is returns to the room, Fenoglio is anxious to know what happened. She tells him they caught Dustfinger and a woman she thinks is her mother. She tells him that Capricorn is going to read someone out of the book to execute the two prisoners. Fenoglio wants to tell her tomorrow about the being that Capricorn wants her to read out, but Meggie is insistent. Then he tells her about the Shadow. He then tells her that her father had an idea, and that he will have to think about it. Fenoglio thinks the woman is not her mother. It takes till dawn for her to fall asleep, and then she had numerous nightmares. In the morning Fenoglio wakes her and does not look like he got any sleep.
Chapter 41: Farid 
Farid waits for Dustfinger all night. Mo and Elinor attempts to get Farid to untie them, saying they have to go to the village and determine what happened. Farid tells them that it would be better if he went alone since he is good at that (who would fear a skinny boy); he used to do this for the thieves, who would beat him if he failed. Mo tells him that he is probably right, but asks if he would untie them first; a snake could appear. Then Farid asks if Elinor is Mo’s mother, which Elinor is not sure she is happy about. Then Farid asks about Meggie’s mother. Farid leaves taking the martin since the martin may be useful. Mo’s gives Farid a note to get Meggie if he has an opportunity. He uses a code that he and Meggie used to exchange notes.
Chapter 42: A Furry Face on the Window Sill 
Flatnose brings a much better breakfast for them, and Meggie does not like the look on his face; Flatnose is looking forward to the execution. When Darius arrives, he excitedly goes for the apricots. He tells how when he did not read out items alright, which was most of the time; they would only serve him stale bread and how he would look at pictures of food, apricots. They stopped trying to get him to read out better with fear since it just made him read worse. He tells how he had only learned of his talent when he read a bird out of a book with Basta in the area; if it had not been for Basta he would not have known. Later Basta takes him prisoner when he went to his home. First he had to read out gold, then Mortola (Mortola says he made her older and rickety), then three serving women; he felt sorry for the women. He then tells Meggie that he had to choose a book to test Meggie’s skill; there were few books available, and decided on the Tin Soldier; she will read for Mortola. Fenoglio tells her to ask to keep the Tin Soldier, and to also ask for paper. Then Mortola appears in the doorway. Meggie reads the Tin Soldier out, and when Mortola leaves, she takes the soldier with her. Meggie asks to keep the Tin Soldier, and Mortola says she can have the soldier back after Capricorn sees it. When Mortola leaves, Meggie sees a fury face in the Window, Gwen. She sees the note on Gwen’s collar, and takes it. This is the first time Fenoglio has seen Gwen, and looks at Gwen in amazement. She writes a letter for Mo about what has happened (but nothing about Resa). When Gwen leaves, chasing a piece of bread that Meggie throws out the window, Fenoglio starts mumbling about how he can play on Basta’s superstitions (muttering how it is good he gave him this weakness).
Chapter 43: A Dark Place 
Dustfinger and Resa only spent a night in the nets, and they are to be locked in the crypts in the church. Dustfinger is relieved—Capricorn thought it would be amusing for the condemned to sleep on crypts. Basta is the one to take them to the crypts, and Dustfinger plays on Basta fears, including fear of the White Women (creatures in Inkheart that take the living). Basta rushes out of the crypts. Resa appears unafraid of being in the crypts, but Dustfinger can feel the death, which makes it hard for him to breath. Dustfinger apologizes for not looking for the book on his own—she tells him she did not even find the book. It is now revealed that Dustfinger had always known who Resa was. Dustfinger now asks for a story—she often tells him stories by writing (Dustfinger often guesses the rest of a sentence before she completes it making it faster). Resa does not want to read, and asks about the girl. Dustfinger tells her that she is Silvertongue’s daughter. Then she asks about Silvertongue, and he tells a little about what he looks like. Then she starts to write a story.
Chapter 44: Farid’s Report 
Elinor is asleep when Farid returns—Silvertongue had been worried since he had heard shots. Farid could tell that Silvertongue really is concerned—Farid has never had anybody really care about him. Farid informs Silvertongue that he could not read, so could not have read the note, which he could not have read anyway since it was in elfish. In the note Silvertongue sees the news that Meggie can do the reading also—Capricorn will never let her go. Farid is curious about whom Meggie will read out of Inkheart, and Silvertongue tells her it is not a man, which puts fear into Farid. Then Farid tells Silvertongue that there is a dumb woman that will be executed with Dustfinger, and he thinks Dustfinger loves her, and there is a picture of her in his pack. Farid had no difficulty in roaming around the village, and had picked up a black suit for Silvertongue and a dress for Elinor. Then Silvertongue asks for any ideas on how to rescue everybody. After some thought Farid recommends that they use fire. Mo does not like the idea.
Chapter 45: Telling Lies to Basta 
Fenoglio manages to get the guard to fetch Basta, who brings the tin soldier—Basta states he would have thrown the soldier on the fire if he had his way. Fenoglio tells Basta that he can get him the keys back if he gets some paper to write a magic charm that will keep Mortola in bed for weeks giving him an opportunity to prove his worth to Capricorn. Basta spits three times, and Fenoglio makes fun of that particular superstition. Basta agrees, but warns him he will get a serving woman to read it, and Fenoglio states he will not fool him. Basta returns with typing and Fenoglio writes some words on nine pieces of paper and tells Basta to hide the pieces where Mortola sleeps, eats, and works and give it three days. After shooing Basta out, Fenoglio goes to work filling pages with his writing.
Chapter 46: Woken in the Dead of Night 
That night Fenoglio works on his words. Meggie takes the Tin Soldier by her pillow when she finally goes to bed, telling him that he is better off than the fairy, and that when they get out she will make him a ballerina just like in his story; the magpie had taken all the books away. Fenoglio wakes her telling her he is finished, and that they were going to try an experiment sending the Toy Soldier back. Meggie protests that he will be just sent back to die. Fenoglio tells her that he has written a good ending for the Toy Soldier; this was Mo’s idea. It succeeds. Fenoglio is now excited, stating it will be like Capricorn never existed. Fenoglio then tells a story (the Flower Maiden) about a magician that made a woman out of flowers for his nephew who could not touch a woman without dying due to a curse by his mother. The flower woman falls in love with another, and they kill the nephew. The magician turns the woman into an owl. Later they hear shots, and then there is a menacing silence.
Chapter 47: Alone 
The shots scare Elinor, who fears that Mo and Farid were shot, and she can hardly see anything in the dark. Mo tells her she was not allowed to come because there are never any women in the streets at night. The shooting of the two makes her somewhat self-satisfied because she had told them, and they should have listened to her and let her go to the police. She thinks of brave plans to rescue poor Meggie, but realizes they are beyond her. She stumbles towards the car park. Before she can get too close, Mo surprises her with a hand on her mouth; Mo had been looking for her a long time. He tells Elinor that Capricorn’s men are pretty poor shots, and only ricochet caught Farid. Then Elinor tells Mo they should have gone to the police. Then he tells Elinor that he is planning to use fire (Farid) on Capricorn’s house to maintain the attention of Capricorn’s men; he does not like the idea but is running out of options. After Mo leaves, she leaves Mo a note that she is going for the police, and Mo should do nothing in the meantime. She finds her hidden car.
Chapter 48: The Magpie 
It is early when Basta arrives to take Meggie to the magpie. Neither Meggie nor Fenoglio eat any of the breakfast, and Meggie could not get any information from the maid. She asks Basta about her father, and he tells after they leave the room, telling her that her father got away, but when Cockerll shoots at cats they are often found dead later. Meggie kicks Basta, and fails in an attempt to get away from him. The magpie’s room if filled with pictures of and one poorly done picture a younger Capricorn. The magpie shows Meggie a box with a couple of snakes, and under the snakes is the book. The magpie tells Meggie that Resa never got close to finding the box containing the book. The magpie states how it is a fine room for a servant, and Meggie makes the mistake of mentioning that Capricorn is keeping his mother in the basement; Meggie immediately realizes it was mistake. Basta fortunately had not heard. The magpie warns Meggie not to tell anyone about this secret. Meggie finds the turned down corner on the book Inkheart indicating where she is to start. Meggie stares at the magpie’s bandages legs, which angers the magpie. Meggie cannot concentrate because she is worried about Mo and the shots, so only pretends to be reading to herself—the magpie does not want to see the Shadow in her room. Meggie warns the magpie that she will not read the book because they shot at her father. The magpie tells her that the shots miss. Then Meggie asks to see Dustfinger (so she might be able to see her mother) so she can tell him she is sorry. If she is not allowed to see Dustfinger she will bite her tongue so she cannot read. Then the magpie tells her that the faces and houses in the photographs are dead or burned. If she does well she will be allowed to be with her father. She is not to stammer like Darius, otherwise her picture will also be in the magpie’s room.
Chapter 49: Basta’s Pride and Dustfinger’s Cunning 
Basta takes Meggie down to the crypts in the church. Basta is not happy with the assignment. In the crypt she gets to see Resa and she looks like her mother. She tells Dustfinger that she is sorry. Basta tries to get Meggie to leave, but she refuses. Then she tells Dustfinger that she read out the Tin Soldier. Meggie sees her mother transfer a note to Dustfinger, and then, when Dustfinger misdirects Basta, Dustfinger gives the note to Meggie, but Basta sees. He takes the note from Meggie and she read him the note. Dustfinger lies that it is to ask Meggie to get wine. The note tells how Resa missed Meggie over the 9 years. Before Basta can responds she grabs the note and crumples it. She is able to get it back to Dustfinger, and he then tells Basta that he would prefer to threaten a little girl, rather than face Dustfinger, who is unarmed (Basta has his knife). Basta gets his keys and enters the cage. Meggie could hear that Dustfinger is afraid as he warns Basta that Capricorn will not be happy if Dustfinger is not alive to be executed. Dustfinger apparently correctly guesses that Basta hid a body in the coffin, and states how Dustfinger is placing a curse on Basta. Basta screams for the note. Dustfinger is nimble enough to avoid Basta’s blade until finally cornered, but then a stone thrown by Resa hits Basta in the face. Dustfinger gets Basta’s knife. Dustfinger tells Resa that they cannot take Meggie with them since Silvertongue would not be happy if Meggie is shot. Dustfinger seems to indicate he is going to kill Basta, but does not, and only takes the keys, and locks Basta in the crypt. Resa refuses to leave without Meggie. As Basta screams, Dustfinger runs away. Flatnose appears to Meggie out of the darkness. Flatnose refuses to let Basta out, and makes fun of Basta being outwitted by Dustfinger again. Flatnose is not worried about Basta telling Capricorn Flatnose let Dustfinger go. Flatnose ignores the threats and finally tells Basta that he can’t release him since Dustfinger has the keys, along with Basta’s knife (again). Flatnose takes Meggie with him out of the crypt, telling one of the boys to put Resa in one of the cells.
Chapter 50: No Luck for Elinor 
It takes an hour for Elinor to get to a village with a police station. Elinor tells most of the story to the two officers inside. One of the officers seems to take the story seriously, the other laughing at her. The one officer drives her to Capricorn’s village. She is congratulating herself as they drive, but then she starts to worry that only one policeman will not be adequate, and tells the policeman that he should request backup, which he seems to do. When they get there, the policeman hands her over to Capricorn and gives his report. After the policeman leaves, Cockerell mentions how the policeman has three children, who they had threatened. Capricorn states that they will give her to the shadow. As what seems like an afterthought, Capricorn asks about Silvertongue, and she tells him that Silvertongue and the boy were both shot dead. Cockerell takes her down to the crypt where she finds Basta locked up, and Cockerell tells her that Basta is going to be executed because he let both Silvertongue and Dustfinger escape. Elinor joins Resa in the crypt. She recognizes Resa as her niece.
Chapter 51: A Narrow Escape 
Farid cuts Mo’s hair, and prepares the torches. They hear voices, and Farid takes them to where they can hide where there is a skeleton. As they are hiding, all their stuff is taken.
Chapter 52: A Fragile Little Thing 
Dustfinger hides in Basta’s place, which is close to Capricorn’s house, but far from anybody else (Basta has no friends). Dustfinger hears a tinkling, and finds the fairy lying in a glass jug, a fairy that is not the blue of the fairies of Inkheart, but pale. He feeds her milk, and she recovers. Dustfinger thinks of going to Capricorn’s festivities but decides not to, leaving Resa to her execution. Dustfinger will find the book afterwards, not willing to leave without it.
Chapter 53: The Right Words 
Fenoglio continues to work on the story and it is getting late; he is worried about dealing with all the consequences, including keeping the shadow from killing one of them and dealing with Capricorn’s men. Meggie says he should kill all of Capricorn’s men, but Fenoglio states he is not a murderer. She can hear the muttering by Capricorn’s men through the door. Only those men that had come out of Inkheart had ever seen the Shadow; all sorts of stories about the Shadow and the way it kills are circulating. Just before the magpie appears with Meggie’s meal that Fenoglio announces he is finished. A maid with a white dress for Meggie (Meggie tells the magpie she does not like White and is told she will be dressed if she does not dress herself) also arrives. The magpie tells her to wash herself up.
Chapter 54: Fire 
Mo and Farid leave Gwen behind. They cannot figure out where Dustfinger is. They see the magpie, Meggie and Flatnose leave Capricorn’s house, and there is only a single guard left at the house. They openly approach the guard, and when close enough Mo grabs his gun and knocks him out. Farid cannot find the matches in Dustfinger’s pack, so Mo tells Farid to prepare torches while he searches the backpack, finding the matches. Then he finds the little book, and finds the picture of Resa. Farid recognizes her as the woman that was captured with Dustfinger, and states that he thinks Dustfinger is in love with her. Mo puts the photograph in his pocket and throws a burning torch through a window into a room full of paper. After Silvertongue runs away to do his tasks, Farid starts shouting the alarm once the fire has had adequate time to catch. Farid sees the guard in the church tower see the fire and when he disappears, throws torch onto the church porch once he disappears. Farid can hear the guard start ringing the bell.
Chapter 55 
Elinor can get few answers from Resa who has only a couple of crumpled papers to write on. Instead, Resa asks Elinor about her family, Elinor whispers the answers into Resa’s ear so Basta cannot hear. When in the church, Elinor admonishes Basta, who had been watching Capricorn as he passed with a pleading look, with not having any indignation about his situation. When Meggie sees that Elinor is also among the captives, Elinor tells her that she is only there to hear Meggie read. Elinor gets to see Inkheart’s author for the first time. Capricorn proceeds in telling that the crowd that the reason for the meeting being execution of three for treachery, loose talk, and stupidity. The bell warning the fire can be heard, and Capricorn tells everyone that it is nothing, a fire, that’s all. Then he shows the blood soaked clothing, and tells the crowd that the others that should be up for execution are dead. Elinor can see that both Resa and Meggie believe in the blood soaked cloth tell of Mo’s death. Elinor wishes she could tell them that Mo is still alive, but wants the lie to be believed for a while longer, and admonishes Capricorn for his evil.
Chapter 56: The Shadow 
Capricorn tells the crowd that not only are they going to punish the traitors, but celebrate a reunion with an old friend. Cockerell, among others, appear not to be looking forward to the reunion. At Capricorn’s instruction Darius brings the box with the book and snakes to the magpie, who takes out the book and gives the book to Meggie, warning Meggie that if she fails, the magpie will give the word to Cockerell to kill Fenoglio. It is then that somebody comes up to Capricorn and whispers to him. Capricorn orders a group of men under Flatnose to look for the fire raiser. Meggie can briefly see the fire climbing up the church tower. There is a rumbling in the crowd, and Capricorn tells them that Dustfinger is dead, and Meggie then speaks out the Dustfinger is in the book for any to read. Meggie can hear a ticking and remembers that Mo used that noise. The Magpie slaps Meggie to take her out of inattention and tells her to start reading. Meggie calls out that nobody should disturb her hoping that Mo would hear and let her continue. Meggie gives Fenoglio the sign to create a disturbance so she has a chance to remove the pages from her sleeve and slip into the book without anybody noticing. As she speaks the words, the shadow rises. As she speaks the new words, the Magpie recognizes the change and grabs for Meggie, who avoids her. Then Darius wraps his arms around the magpie so she cannot interfere. Meggie sees the words “Capricorn fell down on his face and his blackheart stops beating,” and has a hard time killing, but Mo is behind her to continue to the end. The words continue with words that those who burning and murdering disappear.
Chapter 57: A Deserted Village 
Half the men disappear (including Flatnose & Cockerell), the rest running away except the shadow and the magpie. Farid goes to the cage to release Elinor and Resa. Then Meggie tells Mo that the rest of the words need to be read, the ones on the other side. Now Mo notices Fenoglio is gone. Meggie reads the disintegration of the Shadow, replaced by those that were killed to make the Shadow. There are now a lot of people and creatures populating the village. Finally Farid opens the lock, and Basta jumps up from a dark corner and grabs Resa saying he heard what Elinor and Resa were saying to each other, and that Resa is Meggie’s mother. Mo tells Basta to let Resa go, and Elinor stands up to Basta. Basta pushes Resa into Elinor and Mo, knocking the down, and rushes out of the cage and disappears. The Magpie also disappears with Basta.
They go to the parking lot, but all the vehicles are gone, so they spend the night in the village that seems to be enchanted.
Chapter 58: Home Sickness 
Dustfinger watched from a distance, close enough to see, looking forward to seeing Basta die. He contemplates his situation, and how he had thrust Resa out of his heart when she refused to leave her daughter. He still wants to get the book that Dustfinger put in his jacket. The fairy had been following, Dustfinger, and he thinks of how vain she is. Dustfinger tells the fairy that he cannot help her but the man and girl below can, and the fairy flies away. Dustfinger approaches the group as most sleep, Farid meets him, surprised he is not dead. He asks Farid about Gwen and is told that the martin had disappeared. Now Dustfinger takes the book from under Mo’s jacket, and Farid tells him that it is not his. Dustfinger replies that it is. Farid asks Dustfinger to take him with him. Farid follows as Dustfinger leaves. Dustfinger tells the boy that he is going to find somebody to read him in the book and be gone. They find Gwen in the house and walk south from the village to the sea, Farid following.
Chapter 59: Going Home 
Meggie initially thinks that Basta took the book, but Mo thinks not and notes that Farid is also gone. When Meggie asks about Fenoglio, Mo tells her that he is not a writer who can read him out. Meggie tells how she is sorry for Fenoglio, but her mother writes that she should not be sorry; it is not such a bad world. Then Meggie asks about Capricorn and Resa tells her that there were only stories of Capricorn in the world when she was there, but there were other bad men. Elinor and Meggie search for a phone, none are found. Elinor had had a phone when she arrived, and it should be in Capricorn’s house. Elinor goes into the house alone because Meggie refuses to go back—only the ground floor was badly damaged by the fire. Elinor finds her phone and calls a taxi. Elinor offers to let the people from the Shadow join them at her house, but they mostly decide to stay. 43 fairies, 4 trolls, 13 glass men and women, and Darius decide to return with them for Elinor’s house.
Back at Elinor’s the books are soon back on the shelves: Mo repairs some books, but the library is empty. Elinor and Darius are soon searching bookshops to fill the library. The fairies and glass men make homes in the garden. The family somehow never leaves Elinor’s. Meggie starts to write, hoping to learn to make up stories like Fenoglio.
Meggie: 12-year-old girl, avid reader, daughter of Mortimer "Silvertongue" Folchart, ambitious and troublesome. She also has the ability to read things out of books like her father.
Dustfinger: A character from a book called Inkheart. Dustfinger was read out of the book by Mortimer. Dustfinger is a skilled performer who uses fire, otherwise known as a fire-eater. He has a marten with horns called Gwin as his companion. He is described as having three faint scars on his face from being cut by Basta and sandy-colored hair. Throughout Inkheart, he searches only for the book, which is the only way back to his world. Although he betrayed Mortimer and sold him out to Capricorn, he only did so because Capricorn had promised that he would be sent back home. He protects Meggie on a few occasions, and is not truly evil. He does not fit into the world he was read into, and cares only for returning home to his family, which is the reason for many of his seemingly cruel deeds.
Capricorn: Another character from Inkheart, he was also read out of the book by Mortimer. He is a mob boss. Capricorn is a very tall, gaunt man, pale as parchment, with short bristly hair, and very pale bright eyes.
Gwin: Dustfinger's pet marten with horns who lives in Dustfingr's backpack. He is not trained,for he usually bites Dustfinger.
Elinor: Aunt of Mo’s wife who disappeared. Elinor is a recluse who is proud of her collection of books.
Basta: Character from book Inkheart. Thin angular face with close set eyes, not tall with narrow shoulders. There is a note of fury about him, and he is extremely superstitious. Unlike other of Capricorn’s men who wear all black, Basta wears a white shirt. Basta is very fond of the knife he carries.
Flatnose: Read out of Inkheart by Darius with a new disfigurement of pushed in face. Tall beanpole whose face appears as if a giant had pushed in his face with a thumb. He is very tall and broad.
Cockerell: Read out of Inkheart by Darius.
Darius: a nervous, small, thin man no older than Mortimer. Darius is described having a badly bent back and wears glasses. Capricorn had discovered that he can also read characters out of books, but does this poorly, with the characters having various deformities.
Farid: A young boy read out from the book "Arabian Nights". Farid becomes a companion of Dustfinger.
Fenoglio: author of Inkheart.
Mortola (the Magpie): Read out of Inkheart by Darius. She has a vulture like face. Her eyes set close together and her jaw juts forward. Her legs are swelled, and wrapped in bandages.
The Shadow: In Inkheart only appears when Capricorn calls him, leaping from the ground like fire.
Film adaptation 
A movie based on the book was released in the US and Canada on January 23, 2009. Eliza Bennett and Brendan Fraser were the first to be cast, as Meggie and Mo, respectively. The rest of the cast included Paul Bettany as Dustfinger, Rafi Gavron as Farid, Jim Broadbent as Fenoglio, Helen Mirren as Elinor, Andy Serkis as Capricorn, Sienna Guillory as Teresa, and Jamie Foreman as Basta. Iain Softley directed the film.
Critical reception 
Inkheart has received praise. The New York Times Book Review described Inkheart as "sprinkled with magical fairy dust", while Kirkus Reviews declared it "a true feast for anyone who has ever been lost in a book".