It's a struggle to summarize this book because there are so many plot threads running through it. Dustfinger is still dead and Farid is determined to revive him, even if it requires working with the oily Orpheus. Mo becomes more and more like the Bluejay and not like the bookbinder he originally was. Resa becomes increasingly intent on returning to the real world. Elinor begins to hate her life among her books when she could be living in one. And Meggie? She's still in love with Farid and mainly, very confused.
Like I said, there are almost too many plot threads running through this. It had been a while since the first two for me so it took me a good few pages to recall what was actually going on, let alone figure out who everyone was again. After that, the book dragged. I dreaded Elinor's chapters in particular. The woman sat around complaining for a few pages each time until she finally got placed into the story, at which point she nearly vanished in the barrage of other characters. What was the point there? Meanwhile, Meggie, the supposed main character of this entire series, is relegated to the sidelines where her main focus is weeping about her father and worrying about who she actually loves. I read one professional review that said that while Cornelia Funke is actually a great storyteller, the books have lost their original focus. I agree with that.
That said, this book is still a great story once you get halfway into it, and it wraps up in a very satisfying way. I enjoyed the ending very much and I didn't regret reading it or anything like that. I just didn't quite get what I bargained for, and I can see the merit in wishing the story had ended with Inkheart. I think, however, that the series is still worth reading. It just has a few slow spots in the middle and I'm not sure it will keep a child's interest. It did keep mine, though.