Through a mirror...
is a dangerous world.
For years, Jacob Reckless has
enjoyed its secrets and treasures.
Not any more.
His younger brother has
Now dark magic will turn the boy
to beast, break the heart of the girl
he loves, and cause chaos to rule
Unless Jacob can find a way to
You thought you knew
fairy tales? Think again.
(Cover and description taken from Goodreads)
It’s taken me a while to get round to reading Cornelia Funke’s latest novel, but being an avid fan of the Inkheart trilogy, I hoped that this wouldn’t disappoint. The blurb pulled me in instantly (as did the rather scary-looking eye on the cover!). I love fantasy stories involving magical portals to other worlds (having written several myself…like my newly finished novel!), and with Cornelia Funke’s brilliant imagination behind it, I knew that Reckless would be something special.
Cornelia Funke’s writing is stunning. The sentences leap off the page into the imagination, painting a world vivid in its inventiveness. The magical atmosphere and fast pace are set from the start: within the first few pages, Jacob Reckless discovers the magical mirror in his missing father’s study, and finds himself elsewhere. As the novel fast-forwards twelve years, we see that Jacob’s glimpse of the other world has come to rule his life; he spends longer there than he does in his own world. But now his younger brother, who followed him, has been attacked by a Goyl (a creature of stone) and is slowly turning into one of them, forgetting who he is. Jacob has to find a way to free his brother from the curse- even if it means facing up to savage Unicorns, treacherous Dwarfs, and the sinister Dark Fairy.
Due to the time skip, we don’t discover the world along with Jacob. This works in the book’s favour, as there is little exposition to slow down the pace. Instead, we’re completely immersed in Cornelia Funke’s wonderful fantasy world, travelling to fantastic places, and meeting on all manner of dangerous magical creatures. Whilst I admit I found the characters to be a bit flat, the compelling plot more than made up for it. With a world painted in beautiful detail, this tale of adventure and magic held me spellbound to the end.