Book Review: ‘Reckless’ by Cornelia Funke

Posted in Book Reviews
on July 27, 2019

Dear Reader,

A very good friend of mine suggest I read this book and I have been promising for a while now. BOY! I have been missing out. Cornelia Funke was one of my favourite authors when I was younger. I absolutely adored the Inkheart Trilogy  and somehow never read the Mirrorworld series. To me, Cornelia writes with such fluidity that the characters, world and story all just knit together and this was clearly seen within this novel. I have just ordered the second book as we speak because I am so ready to get immersed within the rest of the story. I love a good trilogy, who doesn’t?

  • Reckless- The Petrified Flesh by Cornelia Funke
  • Paperback Edition – 346 pages 
  • Release Date: 29th September 2016
  • Published by: Pushkin Children’s Books
  • ISBN: 0989165647
  •  Goodreads page for the novel here


“Jacob has uncovered the doorway to another world, hidden behind a mirror. It is a place of dark magic and enchanted objects, scheming dwarves and fearsome ogres, fairies born from water and men born from stone. 

Here, he hunts for treasure and seeks adventure in the company of Fox- a beautiful, shapeshifting girl who guides and guards him. 

But now Jacob’s younger brother has followed him into the mirrored world, and all that was freedom has turned to fear. Because a deadly curse has been spoken; and Jacob must risk his life to reverse it, before his brother is turned to stone forever…”-[blurb from my copy of the novel]

My Review:

Before I would like to start my review I would like to say that the copy of Reckless that I have is the edition that has been re-published, revised and updated by Cornelia Funke herself only last year. After being told to buy this ferociously (I quickly bought) I didn’t know what to expect at all. The blurb suggests so much fanatical happening so I really hoped it lived up to it. And… IT DID.

Anyone who knows my taste in books knows how much I love dark fantasy and fairytales. This was everything and more. Firstly, I completely and utterly fell in love with Funke’s idea of the Mirrorworld itself. The idea of stepping through a mirror into a fairytale world is beautiful and an idea I’ve not read before. The world itself is very dark, the creatures aren’t from your Disney standard tale, these are dark characters who are bound to try and kill you. I was surprised to see that it is published under Children’s. I get the young adult/adult feel. Even though directly there’s no gore, there is still a suggestion of it. For example, the character of the Tailor ( I honestly had a nightmare after reading this chapter before bed) but GAH! He is incredibly creepy and if you’ve read the book y’know what I’m talking about.

Another HUGE plus for this book is the fact that Funke brings other classic fairytales into it. You can see she has been totally inspired by The Black Forest in Germany and I get a very huge Grimm brothers vibe from the whole book. Who doesn’t like intertextuality? And especially of twisting fairytales into dark tales filled with oozily juicy descriptions. The whole book is in fact one big fairytale and what excites me so much is…IT IS NOT OVER. THERE ARE TWO MORE BOOKS. I feel like I am going to drag this series out just so I can savour it some more.

Okay. Back to the book. Right. The premise of the whole novel is obviously between the daring Jacob and the pursuit to save his slightly coddled brother, Will. Therefore, YAY FOR SIBLINGS FIGHTING FOR ONE ANOTHER. I loved how the brothers were quite opposite in character too. As Jacob is the more daring, being a treasure hunter in the Mirrorworld, but he also has his flaws. Like a lot. He is a bit of a man whore and did leave his dying mother. OUCH.  There was a massive lack of feeling in Jacob which I would say is something that was a let down for me. FUNKE GIVE THE BOY SOME MORE HEART. However, this was refreshing to see of a protagonist. Whilst, even though his brother had flaws he seemed more of the pure of the two. After all he did have a straightforward love interest in Clara and appeared innocently naive. But as a typical person and reader who loves a bad boy…of course I preferred Jacob. It was his need to save his brother that got me and the connection he had a certain fox-girl.

NOW. This certain fox shape-shifter, conveniently named Fox, really stole my heart. For one her backstory had me gushing. I won’t ruin anything. Then she has this way of observing the world around her and just knowing things. I would love to see her character developed a lot deeper and I really hope she as, as she soon became my favourite character. She wasn’t good or bad, but something in between.

This novel has left me inspired and intrigued. Funke had me at the first page and I wish I was able to write something as utterly gorgeous. As stated I have ordered the next one and cannot wait to read the others. If you’ve not read this book I highly suggest you do (and you can chat books with me).  The cover’s are to die for, the illustrations are luscious and the story inside is beautifully crafted. Come join the Mirrorworld series and be enchanted.

If you have any questions or would like to contact me please email me at or leave a comment below.



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