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Biographical Information

Fire-raiser (formerly)

Physical Description

Stabbed by Mo, and turned in to a Night-Mare



Hair colour



Capricorn (formerly)
Adderhead (formerly)

Behind the Scenes
Portrayed by

Jamie Foreman



Basta was Capricorn's old knife wielder and most loyal henchmen from the Inkworld.


Basta is described as being in his late twenties or early thirties, with a rasping voice and greasy black hair. Throughout the first novel, he is shown to be wearing a black jacket like the rest of Capricorn's men, and wearing a white shirt underneath it. However, in the second book, he abandons the jacket for the Adderhead's silver cloak. He always chews peppermint leaves, after being told by a girl he fancied that he had bad breath.


Basta is known to be extremely superstitious. He is also afraid of fire, after being burned up to the shoulders when he burned down the house of a man who dared to refuse his daughter to Capricorn. He is described as ruthless and cunning, although he cannot read but only write his name. Basta is bloodthirsty and adores his knife. He is also extremely persistent. 

It is often mentioned in Inkheart that Basta was very loyal towards Capricorn and would do anything for him. An example of this is when Mortola takes away his keys, and it is said that he will do anything at that point to please Capricorn. Even though Capricorn is just using him, he can't think that. He was with Capricorn when he was younger than Meggie, and Capricorn was like a father to him. That's why he adores him so much.

After being stabbed by Mortimer Folchart, Basta returned as a Night-Mare in the third book, before finally being "named" by Dustfinger near the end of Inkdeath.


He used to be infatuated with Roxane, Dustfinger's wife, but she preferred Dustfinger to him, so he got his revenge by cutting three lines onto Dustfinger's face, which were healed by fairies but would remain for years as three pale scars.

At some point in Inkheart, it's said that his past before he met Capricorn was sad and he was an "unhappy" child; he felt useless and terrible, because other people called him so. He decides to go with Capricorn at an early age (said to be even younger than Meggie when she was told this) and looks up to him as a father-figure since then.



Basta was one of the first villians to manifest themselves in Inkheart. He is read out of the book by Mo, along with Dustfinger and his master, Capricorn. Basta serves as a supporting antagonist through much of the first book. He, along with Cockerell and Flatnose, are the ones who raid Elinor's library and burn her most prized books. He repeatedly threatens the main characters with his knife, which is stolen repeatedly by Dustfinger. Basta is revealed to be extremely supersitious, and afraid of fire, despite having been Capricorn's chief fire-raiser for many years. It is also revealed that Basta is the one who gave Dustfinger the three scars on his face, as retrobution for Dustfinger not giving Basta his wife, a woman named Roxane. Near the end of the book, Basta is imprisioned by Capricorn to be killed by the Shadow, but somehow survives and escapes to live another day.


Basta kills Cloud-Dancer and Farid. He is later killed by Mo.


Basta returns to the Inkworld as a Night-Mare, the Night-Mare from Jacopo's book which was read by Orpheus. When Dustfinger faces the Night-Mare, he notices that it retreats from his fire, just as Basta would. Dustfinger calls Basta's name and the Night-Mare is destroyed.



Basta always carries either a small knife or a dagger, which he used to cut Dustfinger's face. Though, when Basta first came into the real world, he also carried a sword.

Whenever Basta's knife/dagger is stolen, he quickly replaces it.


Whenever Basta falls in love with a woman, the woman would sooner or later make Basta mad or insult him. So, eventually Basta would be single, yet again....

Basta also loved Roxane, but Roxane preferred Dustfinger than him. In despise, he cut the 3 scars in Dustfinger's face.


  • Basta can only write his name, shown in Inkheart, on a dresser after kidnapping Meggie and Fenoglio. He wrote it like 'BASTA'.


Basta: (talking about Elinor) "Ha you hear that, Flatnose? This one's fiery."

Basta: (to Meggie) "You aren't going anywhere, Princess."


Inkheart. By Cornelia Funke

Inkspell. By Cornelia Funke

Inkdeath. By Cornelia Funke

Inkheart. (Film 2008)

Inkspell. (Film 2009)


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