I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation, smart reviews for modern readers on Sirius XM Book Radio. The book is Reckless written by Cornelia Funke and Lionel Wigram.
Why do so many stories lead us back to the dark woods? I think it’s because that’s where humans first learned how to be afraid, and some lessons are never forgotten. We return to those woods again and again when telling stories because they mean something. If you find yourself on a shadowed path, you know a couple of things you’re probably an orphan, your friends may be untrustworthy, and your enemies will wear beautiful masks.
Cornelia Funke found a perfect collaborative voice in movie producer Lionel Wigram you may have heard of Harry Potter and in Reckless, they create a new realm where magic is the rule, but the industrial revolution has brought iron to the fairy palace. Based firmly in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm, we follow Jacob and Will, the hero and his hapless brother, along with the brother’s resolute lover Clara, and Jacob’s shapeshifting companion, Fox. Wisely, the authors have allowed adults to take the lead, so their wandering in the dark wood of Mirrorworld has more urgency and more emotional heft than a world populated by children. As one brother slowly turns to stone, we watch the other on his Quest, but also have to wonder if being made of stone is really such a bad deal. There are lots of transformations in this story flesh to stone, to fur, even bark, and even love doesn’t come away unchanged.
Beautiful, sensual and dark, this is the first in a planned series, and it’s a good thing, based on the huge amount of worldbuilding in which the author and her collaborator have engaged.Ê Speaking of Mr. Wigram (who knows something about the viewing habits of young adults), watch for a movie adaptation coming close behind.