The night breathed through the apartment like a dark animal. The ticking of a clock. The groan of a floorboard as he slipped out of his room. All was drowned by silence. But Jacob loved the night. He felt it on his skin like a promise. Like a cloak woven from freedom and danger.
Cornelia Funke lures her readers into her newest creation, Reckless, that promises at the very least with this opening paragraph to be full of secrets, shadows and shifting scenes. Jacob's father has been missing for more than a year. He knows in his heart that his father's study holds the answer to his disappearance. On this night his anger reveals a clue on a scrap of paper---THE MIRROR WILL OPEN ONLY FOR HE WHO CANNOT SEE HIMSELF. Jacob is twelve.
When the next chapter begins twelve years have passed. Mounted on the wall in his father's study that mirror did offer Jacob a doorway into another reality, Mirrorworld. It is here that characters, magical objects and the places of fairy tales exist. It is here that Jacob has fashioned an alternate life for himself with his trusted partner, Fox, a shape-shifter. It is also here where his younger brother, Will, decides after years to follow Jacob as younger brothers will do. And one mistake changes everything.
There is a race of people in Mirrorworld who are made of stone, Goyl. Years of persecution have them at war with the humans in the land of fairy. Fueled by hatred, better battle strategy and the support of the Dark Fairy they are winning. Unfortunately for Will a Goyl manages to claw him. His fate is certain. Within days he too will become a Goyl with his skin slowly and painfully turning to stone.
With the help of Clara, Will's girlfriend from our world, (Yes, she came through the mirror too.), Fox and a dwarf of less than stellar character, Jacob uses all his contacts, skills and bag of magic to reverse what is happening to his brother. In desperation he finally seeks the assistance of the Red Fairy who he vowed to never see again. Readers of fantasy know that for fairies there is always a price which is sometimes hidden until it's too late.
Make no mistake Reckless will have readers staying up until the wee hours of the morning eager to discover the fate of the brothers and those characters they have come to know in the kingdom of those timeless tales. I know I did.