Review: Reckless

Cover of "Reckless," featuring an ornate silver mirror with a creature with green skin, snake-like hair, and yellow eyes staring out
Image from The Bookish Libraria

Title: Reckless

Series: Mirrorworld #1

Author: Cornelia Funke

Genre: Fantasy

Back Cover:

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures. Not anymore. His younger brother has followed him. Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear. Unless he can find a way to stop it. If you’re looking for happily ever after, you’ve come to the wrong place.


After I read Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, I read all of her books I could get my hands on, including Reckless. But I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I found the sequel. And then I had to reread Reckless to refresh my memory.

Jacob’s last name fit him. He was impulsive, didn’t think things through, careless, just looking for the next adventure…basically, well, reckless. He could have been unlikeable, but his deep love for his little brother just made him a fascinating character to follow around.

I was kind of sad there wasn’t more of Fox in the book. The little bit mentioned about her past made me curious to know more. And she cares so much about Jacob, there’s a possibility of a romance somewhere (maybe?). If nothing else, there’s dramatic moments when Jacob lives up to his last name and Fox wants him to be more careful.

I’m going to discuss the plot and the world together, because they’re so intertwined. The Mirrorworld’s Goyl problem is the reason Will is turning to stone, and because the world is so magical, Jacob is trying to find the right magic to help. The whole story had the familiar feel of a often-told fairytale, but mixed with something stranger and darker. A fairytale at war, maybe. A fairytale battling stone itself. And in the middle of it all, one boy trying to save his brother.

That’s another thing I loved about this book. The story didn’t center on Jacob’s quest to save Will. It was more of Jacob trying to save Will while navigating the Mirrorworld’s magic and the destruction of the war. The world went on outside their problem.

Something else unique about Reckless compared to other stories like this is this was not Jacob’s first adventure. Before the book started, he’d already become a famous treasure hunter in his own right. He had a history of stuff like that. He was not a stranger to hunting down magic like he needed to save Will, and that’s something you don’t find much in these kinds of books.

Like with all of Cornelia Funke’s books, the writing drew me in. She has a unique way of playing with words. It’s like the word she used normally wouldn’t go in that sentence, but she makes it work. Or the way she phrased that sentence isn’t quite normal, but it says exactly what she meant. It was part of what gave this book it’s brilliant magical feel.

Even as a reread, Reckless still had that same magical vibe. I loved this book. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Fearless.

The Mirrorworld series:

  1. Reckless
  2. Fearless
  3. The Golden Yarn

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