Cover Image: The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, Book 1

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, Book 1

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3/5 Stars

So I've got some mixed feelings here. Overall I enjoyed the book and thought it was fun. I enjoyed the concept and had lots of action and adventure. Thought it was fun to have a sibling pair working together. I did find that there were times while reading where things felt a little disjointed. I felt like it jumped around so it just didn't completely flow together, so it brought me out of the book quite a bit.  However it was still a fun middle grade read so I would recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
What a fun and creative story! Magic from ink but different depending on who uses the ink. The villains are blotters who think the magic stinks and wants to dry up all of the ink in the world. The main characters are three young children. A fun read that any kiddo between 8-13 (or older) would like.
Was this review helpful?
The Ink of Elspet is an exciting and well written adventure fantasy for middle grade readers and the first Inkwell Chronicle by J.D. Peabody. Released 13th Sept 2022 by Hachette on their Worthy Kids imprint, it's 384 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out 2nd quarter 2023 from the same publisher. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is such a rollicking, action driven adventure for all-ages. There's a real and palpable sense of danger throughout and the main protagonists (a brother & sister pair) who are on a mission to save their missing dad, are assisted along the way by some very famous authors, The author has a lot of gently imparted wisdom about the nature of family, loyalty, bravery, honesty, and accepting (and giving) help uncritically. 

The writing is exciting and well wrought without being preachy or precious. The kids are appealingly resourceful and creative. Although the publisher's imprint is known for showcasing Christian allied writers, there's no proselytizing here, apart from a short fervent prayer on the part of Bea, the fact that their dad is a vicar, and the inclusion of some fairly famously religious authors, including Tolkien. (The book is set in post WW2 Britain, with short journeys to other locales). 

The art is well done and engaging. I loved all of the whimsical touches and creativity (it's a book about creativity). Things like a giant ridable pigeon named Ermengarde, Dorothy Sayers on a motorcycle with a sidecar, and a vicar who draws awesome comic books, added a lot to the read and balanced out some of the scary bits. 

Four stars, this would be a wonderful choice for public or school library acquisition, home use, and reading circles. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Worthy Publishing for the ARC. The Ink of Elspet is a debut novel and the first in a middle grade fantasy. This was a enjoyable read and echos similar to C.S. Lewis. Definitely recommend for children and adults.
Was this review helpful?
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. Perfect for fans of The Silver Arrow, the Bookwanderers, and Inkheart, this classic battle of good and evil pits creativity against the forces that would seek to blot it out for good.

This book was FANTASTIC!!! Peabody has created a magical and fantastical world that I genuinely wanted to be a part of. As an avid reader of middle grade fantasy books sometimes the storylines, worlds and characters can become a little repetitive and predictable but Peabody has created a unique and interesting word with admirable protagonists, nasty bad guys and a heartwarming yet exciting plot that I just couldn’t put down. I fell in love with the characters, particularly Everett and Bea and I just hope that Peabody has more books for this series in the pipeline as I want to read more and more and more.
Was this review helpful?
There should be much more hype out there for this novel! The Ink of Elspet is a debut novel and the first in a middle grade fantasy series that needs to get more publicity. It is a fantastic adventure perfect for readers who also enjoyed the Narnia, Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson, and Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

The writing is fun and charming and the plot is just perfection. There is such amazing creativity to the story and the plot is fast-paced and heavily atmospheric. The characters in the story are so well-balanced and unique. Two siblings, an additional child, some quirky adults, some seriously devious bad guys, and a great helping of magic. There is a slight religious component to the novel (the author is a pastor, as is the father of the children who is the focus of the locus for the story), but this is not a heavy-handed thread and it is very well-handled throughout the read.

I loved nearly everything about this.It will definitely be a middle grade read that you will find me recommending profusely. I will also be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series as I am ready for another fantastic adventure.
Was this review helpful?
Fun, well written, well paced, action packed, and reminded me of C.S. Lewis.  Did not talk down to age-appropriate readers and the story will keep them entertained and reading.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of this ebook from the publisher for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This middle grade book is fast paced set in London, England. I adored Marcus, Everett and Bea's characters in this story. This book keeps your attention from the first page. It is a entertaining and thrilling middle grade fantasy book. This book is in stores for $16.99 (USD).
Was this review helpful?

What’s it about? 
Set in the 1950s, when their father mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, siblings Bea and Everett embark on a journey full of faith to find him. Thrown into a world of magic, evil flying villains, and found family, they must travel through the country to find their father and discover the special power of ink! 

I thought this was a fun and cozy middle-grade read- I really loved the concept and the magic of the ink, however, I feel like there was so much magical potential to be explored and I feel like the majority of the plot/adventure was in the real world and I wanted more exploration in magic and their abilities. I do know that this is just the start of the series and hopefully, it will be more prevalent in the rest of the series. If you love a lot of characters, an adventure story, and a classic take on good vs evil, then I think you will really enjoy this. 

Thank you to Worthy Publishing and Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review!
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun book about ink coming to life, and put an interesting spin on events involving siblings that have to come to the aid of others to battle the evil inklings. There was a good deal of puns and enjoyable banter. Overall I think most kids would enjoy reading this novel.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very enjoyable book, appropriate for all ages, with a nice twist on magic. Everett and his younger sister, Beatrice, live with their father Marcus, the vicar, in the vicarage next to the church. In his off time, Marcus writes and illustrates a comic book, Max Courageous, which his children love - but unknown to them, Marcus uses Ink in his work, a special, magical Ink that imbues his work with that extra something special. But of course, where there is good, there is bad, and blotters, magical beings that can sense Ink and want to destroy it come after Marcus for the Ink he uses in his comic - and so begins the adventure, as Everett and Beatrice run for safety, and then try to find their father. I look forward to the next volume.
Was this review helpful?
What would you do if you found out you could hear ink? What if your father has gone missing and all he left you was.. a pen and a bottle of ink?? This is what happens to Everett and Bea! They are determined to go on a dangerous mission constantly dodging the Blotters in order to find their dad. In the process, they discover a whole new society and magic they never knew existed, and never knew they were a part of. 

I have always loved books about written or drawn things coming to life. This one did not disappoint. I loved the added elements about the literary Inklings as it fit so well with the story. Since I am the librarian at a Christian school, this story was also perfect for my students. 

I would recommend to any who love a good fantasy and written things having life!
Was this review helpful?
The best books for kids allow young readers to see themselves in the story’s young heroes. And in The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet the first Inkwell Chronicles book by author J. D. Peabody, a couple of very different siblings find themselves on an unexpected quest to save the world’s magic.

Full review published on and aired on Shelf Discovery
Was this review helpful?
The Inkwell Chronicles is the first story in a new series by J.D. Peabody. We meet 11 year old Everett and his 8 year old sister Bea who live a seemingly normal life growing up with their vicar father but when he goes missing secrets are revealed. They are off on a rescue mission with a great cast of characters. This middle grade book is a great adventure and I really enjoyed how new this magic concept of Ink and I will be passing this on as a recommendation to many of my friends with middle grade readers.
Was this review helpful?
This good versus evil story is about Marcus, a devoted father, vicar, and graphic novel author living in London, just after World War 2.  As he goes on a journey, he is injured in a terrible train wreck and his two children, Bea and Everett are left in the care of a heartless housekeeper.  They find help in the oddest way and as the story unfolds,, it turns out that their father has been using magical ink to write his stories, that the Ink bestows magic on people differently (and Everett is SURE he has no magic whatsoever) and that evil forces are trying to rid the world of Ink.  It's an exciting story and the ending leaves open the possibility that there were be more to follow.
Was this review helpful?
It is always fun to find a new middle grade series. The Inkwell Chronicles book 1: The Ink of Elspet, we will follow the siblings Everett and Bea on their difficult mission to rescue their father. There is nothing new from characters arc but the worldbuilding and Magic Ink grab my interest. The adventures is thrilling and enjoyable.  The story is easy to understand and give some morality.
I think kids will like it, and adore the   beautiful cover.

Thanks Netgalley and Publisher  for the copy,  really appreciate.
Was this review helpful?
Set in post-WWII England, Everett and Bea live in the vicarage with their Reverend father and stuffy housekeeper (sadly, their mother died in childbirth). From the very first chapter, J.D. Peabody captures the reader's interest by introducing a mysterious foe. When their father is declared dead, the children are lost in despair and drawn into the most exciting (and perilous) adventure of their young lives.

I loved the inclusion of members of the literary cohort "The Inklings" on a quest to save the last magical inkwell before the powers of darkness beat them to it! With hidden passages and underground tunnels, children will be on the edge of their seats cheering for the youngsters on a thrilling and daring adventure.  One that just may save the world!

Author, J. D. Peabody has crafted a highly imaginative tale with just the right amount of suspense that will engage children and adults alike. Hopefully the tale will also spark an interest in learning more about the characters that made up the original Inkling group in Englad. This would make a terrific family read aloud for ages 8 and up. I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of The Inkwell Chronicles from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and the opinions expressed are mine alone.
Was this review helpful?
The Ink of Elspet starts off a fun new middle grade fantasy series. Everett and his sister Bea have a reverend father who writes comic books. Their father, Marcus, goes missing. The kids have a startling adventure as they seek to find him.
I love the meaning of Inklings in the book. And Everett and Bea meet Jack (C.S. Lewis), Dorothy Sayers (golden age mystery author) and Ronald (J. R. R. Tolkien), some of whom were called Inklings in the world outside books.
The idea of Ink is creative. 
The blotters are scary. The courage that Everett, Bea, Marcus and the others show in standing up to them will be encouraging to kids and grownups who are facing their own demons.
I encourage you to give the Inkwell Chronicles a try.
Was this review helpful?
Rev. Markus Drake is the creator of Max Courageous comic books.  He leaves his children (Everett, 11 and Bea, 8) with his housekeeper to go to Scotland on secret business.  The children don’t want to be left with the housekeeper, Mrs. Crimp.  She isn’t nice to them.  When the train Rev. Markus Drake mysteriously crashes, a nurse  helps the father after the accident.  The housekeeper and children receive information that he died.  The children can’t believe it and the housekeeper is worried about herself.  After the funeral, the nurse gives Everett the father’s briefcase as requested.  Everett hides it til later to examine it .  Finding an inkwell and a fountain pen which has healing powers causing the children to hope their father survived.  An adventure  happens including magical ink which is used by inklings for a long time for creativity.  Inklings are involved with keeping this ink from being destroyed by blotters or their dye hounds.  Bea and Everett rescue Trey an injured boy who has lost most of his memories. Are Bea, Everett and Trey inklings?  With Rev. Markus Drake be found.  Will the last inkwell survive?

This novel has a very imaginative world-building.  It is action packed.  The story is excellently written.  I love the imagination of the magic of the special ink and the children United to find Rev. Drake.  It is a compelling story to read.  I can’t wait for the next book!
Was this review helpful?
This book is a welcome addition to middle-grade fiction! Kids and adults will enjoy it; much like the _Toy Story_ movie series, adults will enjoy the more (or less :D) obscure references that kids might not readily pick up on at first glance.

Of course, one can never go wrong with a Britain setting--especially when it involves Oxford, the Bird & Baby, and the Inklings. Peabody very cleverly expanded on my initial concept of the Inklings, and I loved seeing his take on Lewis, Tolkien, and Sayers. What I wouldn't give to have a run-in with them as a kid! (Or as an adult, for that matter. I still fangirl over enough of their works!)

I particularly enjoyed that Marcus was a vicar, as well as the inclusion of his (and the kids') faith, several instances of praying, and the overall examination of living faith out "at street level," as Paul David Tripp would say. It was present without being too subtle or too over-the-top--a good balance.

Can't wait to see where Peabody takes the series in subsequent books; this one tied up the most important loose ends, while still leaving enough open for more exploration.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?