I heard a lot about Cornelia Funke's Inkheart book just a few weeks ago, and quickly went to the library and got it. The book was great, though in my opinion it did not live up to the hype that people gave it. I decided to read the sequel, though. And, in my opinion, Inkspell does the job amazingly.
In this second book, Funke makes the story she began in Inkheart startlingly more complex, and gives every character so much depth and so many dimensions that it is difficult to form a firm opinion about anyone. I got this book from the "Young Adult" section of the library, but the themes that are prevalent throughout the book- life and death, fate vs. free will- and the characters that grow so significantly in its 600+ pages are ones that can keep an adult fully occupied and thinking well into the night.
In Inkspell, Funke brings the characters from Inkheart back to the Inkworld Fenoglio had created. Eventually, almost all of them end up back there, from the evil Mortola and Basta to the beloved Mo and Meggie. The character who takes the shine from everyone, though, is Dustfinger. He is far and beyond the most complex character in the story, and I loved every page he was on because so many subtle nuances were added to his personality. For him alone, Inkspell is worth reading.
But if he isn't enough for you, then perhaps a conscience-stricken Fenoglio, or a lovestruck Farid will draw you in. Or a princess nicknamed Her Ugliness who promises to be very important as the series continues. Or the new reader, with the most beautiful voice of all, Orpheus.
Whatever it is that draws you in, I think you'll be hooked very quickly. Cheesy as it sounds, Inkspell really does weave a spell around you, and I am really, really looking forward to the next books in this series.