The Ink of Elspet (The Inkwell Chronicles #1)

The Ink of Elspet (The Inkwell Chronicles #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 13, 2022
ISBN
978-1546001980
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When their father goes missing after a mysterious train crash, Everett and his little sister Bea find a curious pen in his belongings, and its magical Ink begins to rewrite their once-ordinary lives. The Ink leads them to a world they never knew existed—one teeming with impossible magic, formidable allies, and villains who are determined to destroy everything they hold dear. Together, Everett and Bea embark on an adventure through secret tunnels in England and Scotland to find and protect the last Inkwell, and ultimately to save their father. But in order to do so, Everett must find a way to tap into the most magical power of all: his courage.

Editor review

1 review
Creativity is magic.
(Updated: June 22, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
The existence of Ink is the foundation for this series. It’s a magical resource found under the earth, but its essence is creative energy. It enhances the innovative ideas of Inklings, those able to use it, so you can probably guess famous authors, artists, and inventors in history enjoyed increased levels of creativity using Ink. The main conflict pits blotters bent on eliminating Ink from existence against Inklings scrambling to protect the last Inkwell called Elspet. An additional antagonist is included, but he’s solely hoping to profit from the last remaining Ink on earth. His role forms a subplot that will probably become more prominent in the book’s sequel.
While Everett is the main character, his younger sister Bea is quite interesting. She’s daring and adventurous, and she loves to challenge herself with Houdini-like feats. Her escape talents and lock-picking skills come in handy during sticky situations. She jumps at the chance to ride on the back of a giant homing pigeon. However, the author balances that spirit with the innocence of an 8-year-old child, as her sole motivation is to find her kidnapped daddy. Bea learns she has a rare ability to hear the mysterious Ink that proves to be an asset in the quest to save her father and the last Inkwell. Bea and her brother are joined by several other Inklings with unique personalities and talents that enhance the story.
Everett questions his role in the quest to save Elspet since he’s the only one in the group unable to manipulate Ink. He’s especially upset when he discovers his little sister has a rare Inkling talent, so he tries to mask his inabilities from the others. His self-image drops even more, and his anger grows, when others receive magical pens while he’s given a pair of sticks. It’s so unfair! However, readers will easily predict the sticks are special, and Everett will have a more important role than he ever imagined. His internal conflict with self-worth rages on for most of this book.
What didn’t work as well:
The story switches settings to cover characters in different locations. It can sometimes muddle things and distract from main events, although the author’s desire to cover multiple problems and points of view is clear. The scene changes are typically a few pages long, so the majority of the plot focuses on the adventures of Everett and Bea.
The Final Verdict:
Creativity is magic. The concept of Ink is imaginative and new, so readers will appreciate novel ideas blended with entertaining characters. The line between evil and good is clear, and the end goals to save Elspet and the father are easy to follow. Overall, I recommend you give this book a shot.
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