Wiki-wordmark.png "Do you know the end of your story, Meggie?"
The following page contains spoilers for the upcoming instalment, The Color of Revenge. Proceed at your own risk.

Dustfinger is a famed fire-eater, widely praised and known as the Fire-Dancer, of the Inkworld. He has the constant companion of Gwin, his marten with horns, who is usually found perched on his shoulder.


Early life

Dustfinger was born in the kingdom of Argenta, where he grew up along with The Black Prince, with whom he apparently got into great mischief from the fact that the two were pilloried together at age 11.[2]

Marriage and having a family

He has a wife named Roxane, and two daughters, Brianna and Rosanna. Rosanna fell ill and later died after Dustfinger had been in the real world for two years.[3]

Falling into the real world

Dustfinger was plucked from the Inkworld along with Capricorn and Basta through a fantasy novel read aloud by Mortimer Folchart. In his native world, Dustfinger had the rare ability to control fire by speaking to it, and, when he found himself thrust into Mo's universe, he continued to make his living by busking, though he expressed the fire there were different from where he came from.

Dustfinger was never seen without his pet horned marten, Gwin. His apprentice, Farid, who was also read out of his world by Mo, was pleased to be freed from constant work and possible beatings. Dustfinger, on the other hand, longed to return to the world he had known, and sought out people with the same gift as Mo to read him back, despite knowing that a death from one of Capricorn's men awaited him at the end of the novel, out of which he was read from, caused by none other than that book's author, Fenoglio, who stated that he killed Dustfinger off because he wanted to "make the story more exciting".[4]

Going back home

When Dustfinger was brought back into the Inkworld by Orpheus, he learned that Roxane, assuming that Dustfinger was dead, had remarried a poor farmer and together had a son, Jehan; he had also learned the death of Rosanna and was greatly sadden by the news. When Farid later showed up at Roxane's place, Roxane suspected that Farid, who had followed Dustfinger, were her first husband's son with another woman.[5]

Following an old tale of a fire-eater who lost his son, Dustfinger gave his own life to the White Women — spirits who came to gather the souls of the dead — in exchange for that of Farid, whom he considered the son he never had.[6]


Mortimer Folchart brought Dustfinger back to life when he himself was taken by the White Women, in order for Dustfinger to aide him destroying the Adderhead's book of immortality, giving the Adderhead's soul to Death. Dustfinger gaind new talents for his fire after the resurrection.[7][8]



Dustfinger is generally seen as a coward, and even admitting as one. He mostly sees self-preservation as top priority. He however became braver and less fearful than in the time before his death after coming back to life.[9]

Physical attributes

Dustfinger had three scars. Two on his left cheek, and one on his right cheek running from ear to nostril. These were inflicted by Basta when he realized the fire-eater was Roxane's lover. However, with the help of fairies that Dustfinger had befriended,[3] the scars were little more than thin lines by the time he appeared in front of the Folcharts.[4] He has sandy blonde hair that reaches just above his shoulders.[4] It has also been stated that he has stubble on his cheeks in Inkheart.

In his brief dead state, his physical appearance was more or less the same, until Death allowed Mortimer Folchart to bring him back to life; he was brought back looking years younger, and without his notable scars.[9]

Behind the scenes

  • After Cornelia Funke's visit to her British publisher, Barry Cunningham, to talk about Inkspell, which was at that time still being written, she received an inner picture: Dustfinger, dead. Coincidentally, just hours before this idea came to her, Cornelia and Barry had been discussing about the way J. K. Rowling "killed" Sirius Black, and how she wasn't happy about it at all.
"Maybe", she later admitted, "that conversation planted a seed in my head out of which then grew the idea for Dustfinger's death."
Cornelia Funke on how J. K. Rowling has sort of been the inspiration of Dustfinger's "death."[10]
  • Cornelia Funke drew inspiration from fire eaters on a German medieval market for Dustfinger's character.[11]
  • In the 2008 film Inkheart, Dustfinger is read back into the book by Mortimer Folchart at the end of the movie.
    • In the original book series, Mo refuses to read Dustfinger back in because he doesn't want to lose someone and doesn't want anyone to come out of the book, either. Dustfinger then takes Mo's copy of Inkheart and sets out with Farid.
    • Dustfinger is only read back into the Inkworld when a man named Orpheus helped, setting the story for Inkspell.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.