Ha, you hear that Flatnose? this one's fiery.
~ Basta to Flatnose, talking about Elinor Loredan.

Basta is an antagonist in the Inkworld book trilogy by Cornelia Funke. He appears in the Inkheart book series, and the 2008 adventure-sci-fi film adaptation of the same name. He is Capricorn's loyal knife-wielding henchman.

He was portrayed by Jamie Foreman, who also played Derek Branning in EastEnders


Basta is a character created by Cornelia Funke for the book Inkheart. He is a member of Capricorn's team of "fire-raisers" and often is assigned Capricorn's dirty work. 

Though a villain, Basta is an enigmatic character and openly admits to not enjoying killing as much as the others. His past is a mystery, but he is said to have a fear of fire because of an accident that burned both of his arms. Incidentally, this occurred when performing an act of arson for his master, Capricorn. One of his character traits is a constant wearing of long-sleeved shirts because of his shame due to the scarring on his arms, as Fenoglio tells him. It is also mentioned that he was "quite unhappy" before he met Capricorn, and that he was still a child when he joined Capricorn's men (at one scene in Inkheart, he mentions that he was "younger than Meggie" when he joined, and Meggie is 12 years old at that time).

Famous for knives (and his love of using them) Basta is never seen without one. Occasionally when he is in an attempt to kill one of the main characters, he caresses and runs his hands over the knife, presumably addicted to the sense of power that it gives him. Though Dustfinger steals a couple of them at various points during the course of Inkheart, he always replaces them quickly. Dustfinger and Basta have a history that began when Basta slashed Dustfinger's face several times as revenge for his pursuit of Roxane, the woman that Basta loved.

Basta is very superstitious, always wearing some kind of medallion or good luck charm to protect him from a bad luck that he thinks exists everywhere. Many of the characters, Dustfinger, and Fenoglio particularly, take advantage of this to achieve their means.

Basta also has a habit of chewing peppermint leaves, when the girl he liked told him that he had bad breath.

In addition to his superstitions, Basta has several other bizarre insecurities. Some readers have gone so far as to interpret these as hints of a case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Once told by a girl that he had bad breath, he chews constantly on peppermint leaves. Also, when Dustfinger takes refuge in Basta's abandoned house on the edge of Capricorn's village, (which is strangely and intentionally isolated from all of Capricorn's other minions) he notices an uncanny cleanliness, particularly in the kitchen.

Basta appears in the movie Inkheart and still remains as a faithful henchman of the villain Capricorn. At the end of the film, Basta dies along with his master and his army including his two fellow goons Flatnose and Cockerell at the hands of the Shadow at Capricorn's Castle at an isolated village in the Italian countryside within the real world.


  • The word 'Basta' is 'Swedish' for 'Sauna'.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.