Inkdeath

by Cornelia Funke

Hardcover, 2008

Call number

JF FUN

Collection

Genres

Publication

Chicken House (2008), 656 pages

Description

As Bluejay--Mo's fictitious double--tries to keep the Book of Immortality from unraveling, Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, asking for Bluejay's surrender or the children will be doomed to slavery in the silver mines.

User reviews

LibraryThing member agrover
Inkdeath Book Review
Azure Grover
Per. 4 English
August 31st, 2010

Cornelia Funke demonstrates her mastery of fiction in the final Inkworld installment, Inkdeath. The authors descriptive powers are very convincing. A complex non-linear plot makes the length of the book irrelevant and in the end everything is perfectly tied up. Although the book has some dark themes, you're left with more hope than sadness, and the voice is a perfect tool for this. Inkdeath is a stunning conclusion to the series, and really demonstrates how the author's writing has grown and the characters within the story have come alive.

The characters within Inkdeath are fantastic. Every character, regardless of how many times they show up in the story, is unique and complex. All the characters feel real and express relatable emotions, even when their story is far from familiar. My personal favorite, Dustfinger, is partially modeled after Cornelia Funke's own husband, which explains how real he seems. The struggles that Mo faces when he has to act as the heroic Bluejay and as a father and husband are very touching. As a reader you can feel the emotions of the characters as clearly as if they were your own.

The plot of Inkdeath makes it difficult to set the book down. Each character has a unique plot line and the fact that the book shifts points of view allows you to experience the path of more than one character in the story. While the major climaxes in the book occur at similar times, they are happening in different areas of the Inkworld. When one tantalizing chapter about Meggie and the Robbers fending off the Milksop ends, you switch over to the story of Violante and the Bluejay facing the Adderhead and his terrifying retinue. Finally, the end of the book arises and everything is perfectly tied up, even Meggie's love triangle is sorted out.

Funke's descriptive powers are similar to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, you feel totally immersed in the Inkworld. Everything from the busy city of Ombra to the dark castle where Violante's mother grew up, is described with a million adjectives. You really do feel as though you might have slipped into the pages of Inkdeath from the vivid imagery.
Inkdeath presents some familiar themes. Of course, there is the battle of good versus evil, which is very present in the book. Inkdeath examines both the internal struggle of good and evil in a person and the outward fight between good guys and bad guys. Also, there are the themes of love and family connection, which tie all the characters together. Death is a theme in the book as well, one character suffers from immortality, while the threat of death constantly looms over the rest of the characters.

The voice of the book is a big part of the the tales' success. Inkdeath is narrated in third person, which allows the reader to get a feel for all of the characters. You witness the thoughts of a lot of the main characters up front, which is a great way to explore the story. Sometimes the voice is hopeful, sometimes it's pessimistic. The voice all depends on what's happening in the story, which is a good thing.

I would definitely recommend Inkdeath to any fantasy lovers. The Inkworld is a complex and evolved place, with relatable characters. The themes in the book are darker than the previous books, which proves how the authors' writing has grown. The narration guides you through the story. Inkworld is the perfect conclusion to the Inkworld Trilogy.
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LibraryThing member woodshopcowboy
Some time has past since the covers of Inkspell closed. Mortimer Flochart has taken to the role of a Bluejay quite well. Meggie slowly realizes Farid doesn't love her, at least, not the way she has loved him. Dustfinger rests, body untouched and unvisited except by Roxanne, peacefully in the woods. Farid serves Orpheus, who serves those more powerful than he. Fenoglio, the author, drinks away his sorrows instead of writing. The Adderhead still walks immortal but the White Book slowly crumbles from the trick the Bluejay played on him. As Inkdeath opens, the Adderhead has put a large bounty for the Bluejay - the lives of Ombra's children in exchange for his own. Can Mortimer find a way to save Ombra's children and his own skin?

Cornelia Funke has upended several conventions of young adult fiction with the Inkheart trilogy. Young adult fiction, not children's stories, but the fiction - such as Rowling's Harry Potter series, or Rick Riordan's Olympus series, Peter Pan or Wizard of Oz, hell even that godawful Twilight - all of these stories have missing or marginal parental figures. Look around to all stories involving young heroes - no parents, no adult guidance. I'm no psychology buff, nor a firm believer in Freud, but someone needs to do an analysis of Western literature. Instead of missing parental figures, Funke creates a kind, generous, humble parent in Mortimer, pairing him with the feisty, fiery Meggie. In Inkheart, Meggie controls the story, she pushes the action, and Funke's authorial lens never loses sight of the heroine. As the story ages, as Inkheart slips into Inkspell and falls into Inkdeath, Meggie grows up and learns she can't control this story - Funke moves her authorial eye away from Meggie and towards the adults: Fenoglio, Dustfinger and Mortimer. By this book, Inkdeath, Meggie can't save her father - in fact, except for one small instance, she doesn't even play a major role. She becomes the minor character as the role and importance of the parent, Mortimer, begins to grow. I commend Funke for reinvigorating the parent-child relationship in Inkdeath. I find the pervasiveness of worlds where parents are missing, neglectful or outright abusive disturbing.

Funke also lays little thought-provoking philosophical eggs into Inkdeath. As Fenoglio finds his words and pen, he realizes he no longer controls the story. His words still create - giants, healing herbs - but he no longer knows what the consequences of his quill will be. Furtively, he begins to think as himself as only one of many characters, a character with power over words, but something has power over him. Using Fenoglio as a springboard, Funke introduces the reader to Plato's cave: who, exactly, is the author of the author?

Orpheus, the hack-singer and speaker, can control the story, but only with Fenoglio's words. Orpheus relies on the last remaining copy of Inkheart to perverse into his dirty work, creating bastard creations and riches, much like the act of translation can sully a well-written story.

Funke's tale of books for booklovers can be read as a fabulous fairy-tale of Dickenson proportion, but, dear reader, Funke has done slightly more.
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LibraryThing member andreablythe
It's hard to talk about plot points in the the third book in the Inkheart trilogy without spoilers. The basic premise of the series is that Mortimer, a book binder, has the ability to read object and people out of books. By the third book many horrible and wonderful things have happened, and characters have traveled in to books as well as out of them.

In Inkdeath, events are darker than ever, the book is intricate and complex with the plot driven by the network of desires and fears and actions taken by all the characters, from Mortimer to his daughter Meggie to Orpheus the con man to the Adderhead in the castle of night. Everyone is plotting and planning: the good to stop the villains, and the villains to destroy the good. And by jumping between various character points of view, Funke allows the reader to know all the interconnections that the characters themselves can't possibly see.

Every one of the characters are complex and fascinating, including the villains who are delightfully villainous -- dark, evil, and bluntly terrifying. Each character feels like they could walk right off the page and into real life, which the nature of this tale almost makes you believe that it could actually happen.

The Inkheart trilogy, and Inkdeath in particular, questions the nature of reality. If you can travel to a world made of words, what then are we made of. Perhaps all reality is made of words and written down in a book somewhere. Or perhaps writers are not really the creators of such worlds, but merely the recorders of it.

I don't remember the last trilogy I read that worked so well as a whole. Each book weaves into the next and the last book cycles back to the first with connected characters and themes. I read all these books through the library, but I'm definitely going to have to add the entire set to my collection. They are fantastic, and at the top of my favorites list.
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LibraryThing member Cecrow
Definitely the best of the trilogy, this book provides an exciting and satisfying conclusion. The most interesting conflict for me was not between the Bluejay and the Adderhead, but between Fenoglio and Orpheus - two authors dabbling with the power to manipulate the story through writing their own endings. The extent of that power still remains vague by the end, as does the question of how 'real' the Inkworld is, but in a way that leaves a sense of enduring mystery rather than frustration. I recommend this book with caution however, since this is certainly the most adult of the three. Scenes include a man "fondling" a housemaid on his lap, another submerging himself in a bathtub of fairy blood, and a once-pacific hero who now kills almost casually, among other things. I was chalking it up to the author's German origin possibly suggesting different mores for children's literature - although upon reflection, this isn't much worse than what's encountered in similar books for this age group (e.g. Brian Jacques' Redwall).… (more)
LibraryThing member bookworm12
** There are no spoilers of Inkdeath, but I’m assuming you’ve read the first 2 books in the series.

This is the final book in the Inkheart trilogy. This book’s title was particularly fitting because this installments deals with the thin line between life and death within the fictional Inkworld. In the first two novels Meggie and her parents, Resa and Mo (Bluejay) are introduced to and then transported into a book, Inkheart, and must live in the land of Umbra, created by the author, Fenoglio, who is also stranded within the book.

The world their trapped in is a mess. The evil Adderhead and his brother-in-law, the Milksop, are still terrorizing all of Umbra. The local children are in danger and all Resa wants is to return to the “real” world with Mo and Meggie.

Fenoglio has grown leery of his power as an author and refuses to write anything else. Orpheus, on the other hand, is exploiting his writing ability. He is adding to and changing Fenoglio’s world for his own gain.

I really missed Dustfinger in this story. He’s taken away by the white women at the end of Book 2 and his faithful friend Farid is still trying to find a way to bring him back from the dead. I wish we’d had more from the fire eater in this final book.

I loved this trilogy as a whole. It’s not really for kids, but I think it’s appropriate for young adult and older. Funke does a wonderful job exploring the question of fate vs. predestination and reality vs. fiction. Imagine being able to live within the worlds of your favorite books, what an amazing premise! Then imagine the problems that you could cause by disturbing those worlds and how your presence might alter the story lines. There are elements that reminded me of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series.

I would highly recommend Inkheart and then, if you really love that one, read the rest of the trilogy. The final book isn’t the best of the lot, but it gives a satisfying conclusion to the series and gives readers closure for their favorite characters.
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LibraryThing member savageknight
What an absolute pleasure it was reading this book! After the very disappointing book 2, Corneila Funke pulled it all out in Ink Death! All our heroes get plenty of screen time and plenty of room to grow. Adapt, change, and grow plus a very healthy dose of optimism meant that even when things were looking bleak, there was always hope.

As for villains... well! Capricorn and Basta may have been really nasty and easy to hate ones... but with the Adderhead and Orpheus the level of nastiness expanded! How many times did you just want to wring Orpheus' neck? How often did your own nose wrinkle up at the prospect of the Adderhead?

A wonderful, wonderful book!
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LibraryThing member ClicksClan
I completed my read of the series of Inkworld books with Inkdeath, the third in the trilogy. This follows on from Inkspell and follows Meggie, Mo, Fenoglio and crew as they try to solve the troubles caused in the previous.

Resa is pregnant, difficult decisions must be made about whether they stay in this other world or go back, Elinor is pining for her family and longs to visit the Inkworld. Mo takes on the persona of the Bluejay and Dustfinger is brought back from the dead, Farid and Meggie have relationship issues and a new character is introduced.

I realise I'm skimming somewhat on the story, but I honestly can't remember that much of the details, it just wasn't that memorable a book. It was very much along the same lines of Inkspell which just seemed to go on and on without actually advancing the plot particularly. Considering the fact that it was only about three weeks ago when I read it (from the time when I actually wrote this review), I don't really remember that much of it.

I spent a good chunk of the story just feeling really annoyed with Fenoglio and Meggie for meddling so much. I think that was the main thing I took issue with, both with Inkdeath and Inkspell, the characters started interfering with something they should have left well enough alone. Unfortunately it made me kind of feel that way towards the books themselves; Inkheart was a wonderful, magical book, it was certainly open for sequels, but it didn't really need to be fiddled with, it was perfect without them.

Another aspect that I didn't like was the introduction of the shape-changing. If it had been mentioned in the past two books I might have felt a little happier about it being brought in, but because it suddenly appeared in this book, it just felt contrived. It was a very convenient way to get the characters where they needed to be, to keep them hidden, to keep other characters from realising who they were.

That said, I don't think I've mentioned one of my favourite things in the series before; the illustrations. Cornelia Funke did the illustrations in the book herself, which is pretty impressive. They are truly beautiful and fit in with the tone of the story perfectly. I think I was aware that she had done the chapter heading illustrations in The Thief Lord so I'm not sure why it surprised me that she had drawn these ones. I like it because you know you're seeing pictures which detail things in exactly the same way that the author herself pictured them.

This book began with a note explaining that Funke's husband had become seriously ill and died during the writing of Inkdeath which may have influenced it's darker tone. The darker tone might have worked well, but the characters annoyed me so much during this one that I don't think I paid it much attention. As much as I loved the whole series, the books themselves are wonderful, the chapter quotes are great and the idea is totally magical, I really don't think the sequels are as good as the original. Despite that, it's not put me off Funke as a writer, I've still picked up a copy of Dragon Rider which is happily housed on my bookshelf waiting for me to get around to reading it.
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LibraryThing member jenreidreads
*Sigh* I love these books so much, and nothing will stop me from recommending them to everyone, but this book, the third in the trilogy, dragged quite a bit. All of the main characters are in the Inkworld in this one, including the writer, Fenoglio. And how handy to have him there—whenever something goes wrong, he can write their way out of it, and Meggie can make it come real by reading it out loud! This installment is darker than the others, but of course, everything still turns out alright. Dustfinger remains the most interesting character (and my favorite) through the trilogy. Overall, I liked this book, just as I've liked everything I've read by Cornelia Funke. I just found this ending to be mildly disappointing after how much I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole.… (more)
LibraryThing member willowcove
An excellent series. Though I liked volumes 1 & 3 better than volume 2.
LibraryThing member lefty33
I love this book for all the same reasons I love the first two. The Inkworld is wonderful to read about with equally enjoyable characters.

At times I found myself thinking that there were too many minor characters trying to turn major, which gave the story too many plots to keep track of. This book was primarily the story of Mo/Bluejay, Dustfinger, and Death. The other characters seemed almost in the way or forced into parts of the story just so the reader would remember they existed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It fits with the rest of the series and draws satisfying conclusions to the loose ends left in Inkspell. The series is a must-read for any lover of books.
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LibraryThing member BookListener
I bought the first book for my 10-year old daughter. After all, the story is about a father reading to his daughter. She found the first book to be too dark. I kept reading and found each one to be darker--I'm glad that she dropped out! I found the whole series to be well done and I like how it ended.

Although I read the first two books, I listened to the third and found the narrator (Allan Corduner) to be excellent… (more)
LibraryThing member mashadutoit
Background: Inkdeath is the final book in the trilogy which began with “Inkheart”. It follows the story of the book restorer Mo and his young daughter Meggie. Early in Inkheart we learn that Mo has a very special talent: when he reads out loud, his voice beguiles the characters to step right out of the story into our world. And sometimes, people are swept from our world and into the book…

This series got darker with each successive book. The first book, “Inkheart”, was an adventure story, with a couple of comfortably scary characters as the best children’s literature must. Then followed “Inkspell” and things got serious. The characters were faced with some very grown-up choices. While I loved it myself, Inkspell is not a book I would recommend for a young reader.

Inkdeath continues further along the dark path where “Inkspell” left us. Meggie, Mo and Resa have entered into the story world of the book Inkheart, having read themselves into its pages. Happily, this book is set entirely in this fantasy world, the “Inkworld”. There are few authors who have succeeded in creating that sense of awe that I crave from a fantasy book. JRR Tolkien, Phillip Pullman, Ursula Le Guin and a couple of others. Inkdeath is another such a book. This is a description of the landscape surrounding the robber’s camp:

One could still find giant’s footsteps in the ravine where the camp lay. The rain of the last few weeks had turned them into ponds where gold-spotted frogs swam. The trees on the slopes of the ravine rose to the sky, almost as tall as the trees in the Wayless Wood. Their withering leaves covered the ground, which was cool now in autumn, with gold and flaming red, and faries’ nests hung among the branches like over ripe fruit.

If you looked south you could see a village in the distance, its walls showing pale as mushrooms between the trees, but it was such a poor village that even the Milksop’s greedy tax-gatherers didn’t bother to come this way. Wolves howled by night in the surrounding wood, pale grey owls like little ghosts flew over the shabby tents, and horned squirrels stole what food there was to steal among the camp fires.

But while there is beauty, the characters are seldom left in peace. Meggie and her family are faced with some hard choices. Is it all just a story, and what responsibilities do they have to the other characters? Mo in particular gets “sucked deeper into the story” as he fights against injustice. He does not want to leave, because if he did, who would fight in his place? Here is Resa, Mo’s wife, longing to come home to her own world again:

Resa watched the strange creature go, and abruptly straightened up. “it’s all lies”, she said. Her voice shook on every word. “This beauty is only a lie. It’s just meant to take our minds off the darkness, all the misfortune, and all the death”

Darkness, misfortune and death are strong in this story. Unlike much fantasy, Cornelia Funke does not spare her characters the complexity of adult life. They have to make some hard choices. Guilt, jealousy, spite, selfishness – these are not just felt by the villains.

I was reminded again and again of “The Neverending Story” ( the book, not the movie). As in that book, we have the characters living in a story inside a story, and the exploration of the importance of fantasy, truth and morality. But this is a much more complex take on that issue. Lies and stories are twisted up together with no way of untangling them, and at times it seems that Cornelia Funke herself questions the act of creating and manipulating character’s lives through stories.

The story is complex, and I wished that I had taken the time to re-read “Inkspell” again before diving into “Inkdeath”. At times, the book feels very long. There are relentless passages where the sadness threatenes to overwhelm the plot. This is a bleak, dark jewel of fantasy for grownups.
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LibraryThing member Junep
This concluding volume in Funke's bestselling trilogy picks up where Inkspell left off, but sputters for a hundred pages filling in backstory. (Even then, an addendum is needed to identify a cast of 114 characters.) The Inkworld, full of dark magic, is under siege; the savagery of the Adderhead and his minions now extends to taking all the peasants' children until somebody delivers, as ransom, the Bluejay, a Robin Hood–style character whose identity has been assumed by Mo, Meggie's father (it was Mo who started all the trouble by reading several villains right out of the book-within-a-book, Inkheart—don't even consider reading this series out of order). The Inkheart author, Fenoglio, now living in Inkworld himself, has turned to drink; the odious Orpheus, when he's not under a maid's skirt, rewrites Fenoglio's work (editors!) to benefit himself. The interesting metafictional questions—can we alter destiny? shape our own fate?—are overwhelmed by the breakneck action, yet the villains aren't fully realized. More disappointingly, the formerly feisty Meggie, barely into her teens, has little to do but choose between two suitors. Funke seems to have forgotten her original installment was published for children. Ages 9–up… (more)
LibraryThing member bsturdevant06
Middle School
This is a very good example of fantasy. The author creates a world where there words read out loud by the write person really can make thing happen. A place were the world of the book really is a different world that one can be pulled into or out of.
LibraryThing member ksmyth
I loved Inkheart. I loved Inkspell a little more. Cornelia Funke had a tough act to follow. Inkdeath is a good book, but not as great as its predecessors.

We get clued in a bit more about the Inkworld. The possibilities always seem endless. However, plot twists become a bit more formulaic with Fenoglio and Orpheus able to write in new plot twists with the stroke of a pen.

The book has such great characters-Mo, Resa, Meggie, Dustfinger. There are some nasty villains too-Adderhead, Piper, Mortola. It is for them that I wanted to keep reading. There are some plot twists as Mo/the Bluejay tries to avoid capture.

Funke deftly writes an ending that should avoid additional sequels, and brings to a close one of the most unique of all kidlit series.
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LibraryThing member Jennyonfire
It took my a little while to remember all of the characters from the last book. Once I did I greatly enjoyed it. All loose ends are tied up very neatly. The characters are written with such depth and emotion, it's hard not to feel for them. This book seemed to be written more for adults than children with it's complex plot and numerous characters.… (more)
LibraryThing member riverwillow
This is the final book, and the darkest, of the Inkworld Trilogy. The main characters are still in the Inkworld and dealing with the consequences of their actions in the previous books. As in 'Inkspell' Funke plays around with the author's relationship with their characters and story and the power of books. A good read, if slightly too long.… (more)
LibraryThing member ashooles
Definitely my least favourite of the series. I loved Inkheart and Inkspell and was so excited when i could finally read the final book. I hate to say it, but I was a little let down by the final. I think it could have been written better. It took me a long time to finish as I was not that interested reading it.… (more)
LibraryThing member bell7
This is the continuation and end of the adventures of Mo and Meggie Folchart, the father-daughter pair who can read characters right out of their stories -- and are now inside the Inkworld itself! Fenoglio, the writer of Inkheart, still can't find his words and has been drinking instead of writing. Mo has embraced his role as the Bluejay, a robber who upholds justice in a world where the evil Adderhead is immortal because of a book that Mo bound himself in return for his wife and daughter's lives. How to make it all right again when the story seems to have taken a life of its own?

I was very excited to read the continuing story, as I loved Inkheart with its varied characters and layering of "story" as a theme. Inkdeath was similar in its continual reminder that this is a story...and who knows where it's going? There are a lot of characters that were a little hard to keep track of, having not reread the first two books in the trilogy recently. I did start to get a little frustrated with the postmodernist elements (this is a story - just a story - where is it going? Who is writing it now? What kind of power do words have?) and the sheer length of the book, but in the end I was sucked in and rooting for Mo, Resa, Meggie, and the rest. I would definitely consider rereading the series.
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LibraryThing member knielsen83
I had a harder time getting through this book than the previous two, but that was probably because I listened to the first two. I really enjoyed how this book pulled together the trilogy.
LibraryThing member Bonzer
I did enjoy this, but thought that the very nature of the Inkheart story should have made it have a sadder ending. It takes some time for things to actually start happening in the story, but once they do it's hard to stop reading. Also, I think that the author needed to stop continually killing people and then bringing them back to life again.… (more)
LibraryThing member MrsBond
It is finished. I managed to read the entire trilogy, all 50 pounds of it. I am convinced the author needs a lesson in word economy. As wonderful as the story is, there are times where the words just keep going and going and going. It is as though she was under the same delusion of grandeur that Fenoglio and Orpheus suffered. Despite my complaints, I still enjoyed this book. The last 100 pages are fantastic - all story lines collided and came to a satisfactory end.… (more)
LibraryThing member mlarge
Inkdeath is the final volume in the trilogy that takes place in Inkworld. There is a sense of gloominess and fear since the evil ruler Adderhead became immortal thanks to a book that Mo bound in exchange for his freedom, prisoners, his wife’s and daughter’s life. Mo has embraced his persona as the Bluejay, a Robin-hood type of character, and does not seem interested in returning to his world. Dustfinger has returned from the dead, and along with Mo, they must bring the Adderhead to the White Women, or they will take Maggie and Mo. Although the scenes constantly change from on set of characters to another, there is a constant sense of danger throughout the book. Although this novel is lengthy, I had a hard time putting it down. The intended audience has shifted from young readers (Inkheart) to a more mature audience, as each book in the trilogy grew a little darker with this final installment appealing to young adults and adults more than to children.… (more)
LibraryThing member hilarymclean6
Cornelia Funke is a master Inkweaver whose love of the written word drips from every precious page of this terrific trilogy. To read it aloud is to step into the magic and I'm certain I'm not the only one who was disappointed they could not read Mortimer Folchart into life.
LibraryThing member Jitsusama
An amazing book. Cornelia Funke is the Victor Hugo of the Fantasy World. Fearless, imaginative, and able to touch your heart of hearts in a paragraph or two (give or take.)

Inkdeath is by far the darkest book in the trilogy. Angst and fear for one's beloved characters weaves throughout it's pages. Yet, at the same time, subtle beauty is snuck in during the darkest of times.

With this trilogy finally closed, I have to say that Cornelia Funke has renewed my hope for modern literature. Perhaps humanity's literary future is not as bleak as I have feared for so long.
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Pages

656

ISBN

0439866286 / 9780439866286
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