Wednesday, January 26, 2011


RecklessReckless Cornelia Funke

Jacob and Will grew up with an absent father and a mother who slipped into deep depression after her husband disappeared. Shortly after his father's disappearance, Jacob found the mirror that led him into another world. However, this world is changing from one populated by fox spirits, gingerbread houses, and other fairy tale tropes. Our world is coming in with trains and machinery. To top it off, the Goyl have come from the underground and are fighting a war with the Empresses--a war she can never win.

As the years have passed, Jacob has spent more and more time in the mirror world, leaving the pain and misery of his life in our world behind. Until, one day, Will follows him. Before Jacob can get him back, they're attacked by Goyl and now Will is turning into one of them. Jacob, Will, Will's girlfriend Clara, and a fox spirit called Fox are now on a mission that will take them to witche's houses, faerie islands, dwarf cities and the heart of the Goyl kingdom itself, all in an attempt to save Will before it is too late.

It's an exciting adventure with many recognizable characters and settings, but Funke manages to make them different than what we'd expect. There is a princess asleep in a tower, but she's covered in dust, her dress is faded and old-fashioned, and her skin has gone dry and papery over the centuries.

But, what I really appreciated about this book was the structure. We get to Will in the mirror-world very quickly (page 8). The back story of how the boys grew up, of how mirror world is changing, of the Goyl and their war, of Jacob's exploits, they're all told in bits and pieces strung through the adventure. It's a life we get to piece together with deeper meanings as we follow Jacob's quest to save his brother-- the only thing tying him to our world.

It was dark and wonderful.

Book Provided by... my local library

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