Review: The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

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Title: The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

Author: J. D. Peabody 

Published by: Hodder Faith

Price: RRP £11.99

Good for: Children age 6-12 years old, especially those who love adventures

Best bit: Wonderful relationship between the children and their Dad, plus brilliant idea of ‘ink’ being the most precious thing in the world.

Worst bit: Although there’s an ending, the story definitely feels like the beginning of a series, and Book 2 is not out yet!


This book is a brilliant adventure, with very relatable heroes, but also fun super-natural powers inserted into a world which looks and feels a lot like ours. I loved how the book is based in the UK, with lots of lovely references to Oxford and the Eagle and Child pub where The Inklings met (Tolkien, Lewis and co).

The adventure allows two ordinary siblings to be meet people from a secret society who are keeping the world safe from a motley collection of ‘baddies’, as my children call them, including some humans and some invented creatures (don’t want to give too much away!).

We found the pace perfect for a regular read aloud, although the chapters were quite long so we sometimes had to split them between settings.

What is clever is how the children’s Father is a vicar and also a comic writer, and the battle between good and evil is cleverly written as one between those using the power of creativity for life-giving or destructive purposes. There is a bit of praying and references to the vicar’s job, but I didn’t feel this would put me off children with no Christian background. It certainly wasn’t preachy or moralistic.

On this link you can read the first chapter and see what you think! And it’s also available as an audio book with an audio sample.