Inkheart is a book within the fictional universe within a novel with the same name by German author Cornelia Funke. It was written by a fictional author going by the name of Fenoglio. It is central to the plot of "Inkheart" and the subsequent books in the trilogy -"Inkspell" and "Inkdeath".
Role in the plot of Cornelia Funke's novel of the same nameEdit
Within the fictional world of Funke's novel, Inkheart is a book that has become a mystery, because almost all of its copies have been stolen or destroyed some other way, usually by fire. In the first part of the book, when it's told mostly through Meggie's eyes, it remains a complete mystery what kind of book Inkheart is, why Capricorn is after destroying it so obsessively. She only knows, that Inkheart is somehow connected to her mother's disappearance Only when Mo is kidnapped by Capricorn and Elinor and Meggie are kidnapped after attempting to rescue him, Mo finally explains, that he has an extraordinary gift which got him into this situation: When he reads books aloud, he can make objects and people from the fictional worlds of the stories literally come alive, transporting them into his world. He always had this gift and used it all his life for fun, until one night, when he read Inkheart to his wife, Meggie's mother.
Within Funke's book trilogy it is never made clear, which language Inkheart is written in and which language the characters are speaking. The only time any country location is specified is when Mo mentions to Meggie that Elinor lives "at one of the Northern Italian lakes".
The description of the landscapes and travels and knowledge of the author's background as a German who loved to go to Italy on holiday -and other books, like "The Thief Lord" (which is set in Venice and has all the characters speak fluent Italian, even when they are Germans or Americans) strongly imply that Meggie and Mo first live in Germany, then cross the alps to go to Italy where Capricorn and his thugs live in a remote village in the Appennines, but none of this is confirmed in Funke's novel.
Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart seems to live in a coastal Italian town, but there seem to be no linguistic barriers between any of the characters from either the "real" world or the fantasy world of Inkheart. The book is consistently vague on both the language they are speaking and on the nationality of any of the characters from the "real" world in Funke's fictional universe (especially considering that Elinor lives in big mansion in Northern Italy, where she has grown up and is the aunt of Meggie, who seems to have grown up North of the Alps). The only lampshading to this circumstance is one inner monologue of dustfinger in one of the books, where he muses, that maybe he understand the languages in the "real" world, because stories are translated into every language of the world.
The fantasy world of InkheartEdit
There never are any extracts of the written content of Inkheart as it was published in the fictional world of Funke's real novels, except the added bits that weren't in the finished novel, but newly written by either Fenoglio or later, Orpheus, during the course of the plot of Funke's trilogy. Therefore, in the first book of Funke's trilogy, the only information about what the book was like is indirect and conveyed either through characters who have read it, characters who have stepped out from the pages of book and come into the "real" world in Inkheart or from Fenoglio who is the author of Inkheart. It's not possible to reconstruct the actual plot of Inkheart from any of the bits and pieces of information completely. The only central plot element of Inkheart given away in Funke's novel is that in the written pages of Inkheart, Dustfinger dies. In the later two books, the characters and plot of Funke's trilogy enter into the world of Inkheart and from then on, the fantasy world of Inkheart is described vibrantly and colourfully as based heavily on continental Europe in medieval times (especially Northern Italy)
Author of Inkheart. Throughout Funke's novel, it is never stated, whether Fenoglio is his real surname or a pen name, but all characters consistently call him "Fenoglio" and the narration does so too. In Funke's trilogy, he starts as a retired author who hasn't written since almost all copies of Inkheart mysteriously disappeared. His grandchildren frequently visit him and he tells them stories on which they base their games. Fenoglio lives a peaceful life like this, until Mo and Meggie show up looking to ask if he still has any copies of Inkheart that haven't been destroyed. At the end of the first novel in Funke's trilogy, he vanishes when the Shade
The Title "Inkheart"Edit
Within the fictional world of Funke's novel, the title Inkheart was chosen by Fenoglio because he was writing about Capricorn, a character with a heart as black as ink, however in the context of Funke's real novel, the title also adds a different layer of meaning, as all the characters who step out of their stories into the real world seem to have been created out of just paper and ink