What did I learn from my reading this week? Well I finished up Dragon Rider. And really it was a good book. Just not nearly as good as InkHeart. And at long last I started InkDeath the final book in the InkHeart Trilogy. This book is just so so good. Her writing is superb. It is so beautiful it feels and sounds like literary fiction and yet wonder of wondser (unlike literary fiction) it has a plot. A good plot. Twists and turns, murder and revenge, love and longing and heartbreak and sorrow. And heroes, true heroes that stride from the book, swords snapping, and eyes dark with rage. So so beautiful, at times I found my heart racing as I read and at others I was actually weeping. A good book indeed. Here, from p. 17.
“Of course Oprheus did none of the digging himself. He stood there in his fine clothes watching Farid sweat. He had made him dig in two places already, and the hole Farid was excavating now was alread deep enough to come up to his chest. The dirt was moist and heavy. It had rained a great deal these last few days, and the shovel was useless. In addition, there was a hanged man dangling right above Farid’s head. The cold wind swung the body back and forth on its rotting rope. Suppose it fell, and buried him under its decaying bones?
Three more somber figures swung from the gallows on Farid’s right. Milksop, the new governor, liked hanging people. Folk said that he had his wigs made from the hair of executed men and women–and the widows in Ombra whispered that this was the reason why so many women had been condemned to hang.
‘How much longer are you going to take? It’s getting light! Hurry up, dig faster!’ Orpheus snapped, kicking a skull down into the pit. Skulls lay beneath the gallows like terrible fruits.”
But why is it so much better than Dragon Rider or even The Thief Lord? She has definitely added depth to the characters, and she eases you into what you should see and feel with her skillful language and description instead of plopping you down where she wants you and hoping that you feel the right thing. But after reading the dedication of this book I think that something else besides her obvious increase in craftsmanship has helped. This is the first part of her dedication:
“To Rolf, always–it was the best of things to be married to Dustfinger.”
Dustfinger. The tragic hero of the magical book “InkHeart” who Mo reads into our world. He was destined to die. He is cheating death, but he knows that it is coming for him. She lost her husband. She is writing out of a heart full up of love and hurt, anger and joy, and most of all loss. I wonder when it happened. For Dustfinger has been avoiding his fate since the very first book.
Hmmm. So what have I learned this week… When we write out of the deep things within, the fiercest of emotions, the darkest moments and the highest joys. Others feel the truth of that within our words. So much to learn.