Wednesday, 4 May 2011


Reckless by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House for Scholastic Aust)
HB RRP $2.99
ISBN 978105294855
Reviewed by Dawn Meredith

Cornelia Funke is fast becoming my favourite YA novelist. Writing in her native German, her use of language is poetic and her sense of the extraordinary being flawlessly woven into the ordinary is at times breathtaking.

In this novel Jacob Reckless finally decides to leave his house of dusty memories and follow where his father disappeared many years ago – through the mirror in the study and into a strange and powerfully dangerous land. For twelve years Jacob sneaks behind the mirror, sometimes for weeks at a time. Unfortunately his little brother Will finds out and follows, along with his girlfriend, Clara. With disastrous results. Will is bitten and begins the transformation to become a Goyl – a man made of stone. The green veins spread across his hands and up the side of his neck. Jacob has to use everything he has learned about this world, every trick, every contact, before he loses Will forever.

Jacob’s companion is Fox, a shape shifting red haired girl, fiercely loyal to him and jealous of Clara. As the three of them travel the land looking for a cure they are tracked by the goyl who use the sorcery of the Dark Fairy to turn every human into goyl with a mere scratch from their claws and must trust a dwarf named Valiant who has very little scruples.

This is fairy tales retold, with many disparate elements drawn together to create a fascinating whole. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dawn Meredith writes from the Blue Mountains and is a May Gibbs Fellow 2011. You can follow her exploits at  

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