Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A part of me wishes that I could hold my hand over my reflection in a mirror and vanish to another world. Cornelia Funke works her magic once again with this new fairy tale series about Jacob Reckless, treasure hunter extraordinaire, who lives in our world, but vanishes for months, even years, at a time behind the mirror. The Mirrorworld's inhabitants are made up of elves, living stone men, a race of Bluebeards, child-eating witches who are despised by their healing sisters, and, of course, humans. To say nothing of unicorns, man-swans, lorelei, and other mystical and fabulous creatures of fairy tales and myth.

I won't bother to give a synopsis of the plot. I feel it might ruin some of the magic if I were to attempt an explanation. All I can say is that Jacob Reckless is one of Ms. Funke's finest literary creations. He is not Dustfinger or Mo from the Inkworld trilogy. No, he certainly is not, but he is complex in his own right. Just as Dustfinger attracted me with his cowardice, Jacob attracts me with his selfishness. Ms. Funke makes her characters so very human. They are imperfect, like antique cracked china, but that makes them real. You can see where they have been, and what created their flaws.

I'm not sure what other readers were expecting from this series. Perhaps another Inkworld. But the Mirrorworld is far darker, more brooding, and contains many more flaws than her gentler Inkworld. Jacob is a grown man with a man's desires. He has delighted in the presence of women because he has no moral code telling him otherwise. The scenes aren't witnessed, but they are alluded to, and so no, this series is not for children. I'm not sure it's for teenagers and not even for half of the population of adults who read fantasy. Only a small percentage of readers will appreciate this book and its sequel. I just happen to be fortunate enough to fall into that percentage. Now if I could only find a mirror that would accept my handprint on the glass, I would be a truly happy woman.

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