Reckless III: The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke (Murdoch Books)
PB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781782691266
Reviewed by Daniela Andrews
Fairytales have long told of magic mirrors and Cornelia Funke’s Reckless series – a story inspired by the Grimm brothers – features one that is a portal to an alternate fantasy world (‘Mirrorworld’).
In The Golden Yarn, Jacob discovers a Rumpelstiltskin-like character (Spieler) in the human world, while trying to hide the legendary crossbow he found in Living Shadows. It seems the Reckless brothers are not the only ones who can cross between worlds … and theirs is not the only mirror.
Funke slowly weaves us through the plots and subplots of this third story in the series, as we absorb the details of the world she has built. First, Kami’en and Amelie’s baby goes missing. Then, the Dark Fairy disappears. Clara is in a Sleeping Beauty slumber so Will is seeking the Dark Fairy. Jacob is looking for Will … with several distractions along the way. He meets elf siblings, ‘Sixteen’ and ‘Seventeen’, who steal faces from mirrors to disguise themselves. He also meets … his long-lost father! Having struck a painful deal with Spieler, Jacob keeps his distance from his true love (Fox), who then falls in love with someone else. We also learn more about Will’s cursed skin from the first book, The Petrified Flesh.
This series will appeal to young adult readers of fantasy, particularly fans of Funke’s prior works (such as the Inkheart trilogy). Reading the first two novels in the series is a must as Funke releases crucial details at different points across the series. There is always a sense that she knows much more than she has revealed! Admittedly, this can either hook her readers or frustrate them.
Funke has revised and re-released The Petrified Flesh, retaining the original story but adding more depth to her characters. (The portrayal of darkness and light in her characters is definitely her forte, with her writing beautifully depicting the hesitation in their actions.) The second novel, Living Shadows, has also been re-jacketed. She is currently working on a fourth book in the series.