|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
|September 23, 2003|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 1-904442-09-9 (1st English translation)|
|Followed by||Inkspell inkdeath|
Inkheart (German title: Tintenherz) is a 2003 young adult fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, and the first book of the Inkheart trilogy. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."
Meggie, a young girl, 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 is three, Mortimer reads aloud from a book named Inkheart when an evil villain named Capricorn, his aide Basta, and a fire-breather named Dustfinger escape from the book and into their living room. At the same time, Mo's wife Resa gets trapped within the book.
Nine 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 mother and destroy Capricorn.
Meggie: A 12-year-old girl, avid reader, and the daughter of Mortimer "Silvertongue" Folchart, ambitious and troublesome. She also has the ability to read things out of books like her father. She inherits her love for books just like her father.
Mo (Mortimer): Father of Meggie, a Silvertongue who has the ability to read characters out of stories, just like his daughter. He is husband to Resa who got read into the book Inkheart when Mo accidentally read Capricorn and Basta out along with Dustfinger.
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 horned marten called Gwin as his companion. He is described as having three faint scars on his face from being cut by Basta and having 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. He is the evilness in the book Inkheart only cares about himself and doesn't want to go back to his own world and time.
Gwin: Dustfinger's horned pet marten who lives in Dustfinger'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. She has a very large house which is full 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. When he reads he stutters and the people that he reads out have half the story on their face.
Farid: A young boy read out from the book "Arabian Nights". Farid becomes a companion of Dustfinger.
Fenoglio: The 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.
Resa: Wife of Mortimer, mother of Meggie, and niece of Elinor. She disappeared into the book when Mortimer first read Dustfinger, Basta, and Capricorn out of it.
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.
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". Writing in the Guardian, Diana Wynne Jones stated "I don't think I've ever read anything that conveys so well the joys, terrors and pitfalls of reading". 
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Inkspell, back cover
- Funke, Cornelia. "INKHEART". KIRKUS. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children".
- Official Cornelia Funke website
- Scholastic site