Reckless by Cornelia Funke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Once upon a time" is a truly magical way to start a book, isn't it? Once again, Ms. Funke explores the world just beyond our own: in the Inkspell series, it was through the pages of a book into a world we'd never seen before, but here it's through a mirror into a world that we've caught glimpses of in other stories. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Hansel & Gretel and many more are suggested here, not quite named outright. Even the names of our two brothers, Jacob and Will, are familiar.
Perhaps because she's German, the book is Grimmishly dark (just think about the ending to Grimm's Cinderella story, not the lighter Perrault, or worse yet, the Disney, ending). It's not nightmare-dark, just shivvery dark and YA readers like that sort of read. There's Rapunzel hair and Lark Water and shape-shifting and the Goyl (a race of stonemen) and love and jealousy and a quest - all adding up to the nearly perfect read. If you've read a great number of fantasy books, you'll end up trying to match the various things in those books with things in this book and I'm not sure that one truly can (didn't stop me from trying, even when I knew it wasn't a match!).
So, the quibbles? It's another series starter. Enough already. Also, there are some pacing issues, with scenes sometimes rushing by. Of course, as with any book in translation, that might not be the case in the original. I wish I could give this a 4.5, because it's better than a 4 but doesn't quite reach a 5.
Copy provided by publisher.
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