Little, Brown & Co., 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n Cornelia Funke's
(translated from the German by Oliver Latsch), Jacob Reckless has long been in the habit of fleeing his mother's misery over his father's disappearance, and his younger brother's need of him, through a magic mirror into a world of dark fairytales. In the Mirrorworld, Jacob has made a career of tracking down magical objects like a glass slipper, golden ball and wishing table.
ut now, after Jacob's brother Will followed him into this dark world of war (between stone-bodied Goyl and humans) and magic, Will has been wounded in a Goyl attack. He is steadily being changed (body and mind) to jade, through an enchantment of the Dark Fairy who loves Goyl King Kami'en. Jacob desperately seeks a cure, along with Fox, a young female shapechanger who has long sought refuge in a fox skin and who loves him. Will's beloved Clara, a medical student, followed them into the Mirrorworld and joins them.
eanwhile the Dark Fairy has sent Goyl soldiers after Will, her dreams having told her that a jade-skinned Man-Goyl will make her lover invincible. Pursued closely by Goyl, Jacob and friends journey to the Hungry Forest, Sleeping Beauty's castle (where the prince never showed up), to a city of the dwarves, and to the island of the Red Fairy (Miranda). There Jacob is given a means to put his brother to sleep while he seeks to destroy Miranda's sister, the Dark Fairy.
fter Will's sleeping self is taken, the others follow him to the Goyl's mountain home. There's a capture and escape, and news of Jacob and Will's father, before they follow the Goyls and the Dark Fairy to Vena. There the Empress Therese of Austry will give her daughter Amalie in marriage to assure peace with Kami'en. After Jacob is betrayed in Vena, he does what he must to save his brother's life, risking his own once more.
ornelia Funke writes an engrossing, action-packed story set in a dark world of fairytale, that's as capricious and cruel as the original 1800s stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Though Jacob has managed to save his brother by the end of
, he now must race against time (with Fox's help) to save himself. I can't wait for more.
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