Monday, September 20, 2010

A Great Tween Read: Reckless by Cornelia Funke

I read reviews about this book and it seems a lot of people are confused as to what age this book was meant for:  is it for Cornelia Funke's previous fans, who are middle schoolers, or for teens?  Well, I say it's appropriate for any kid or adult!  Cornelia Funke has turned to an older audience with her latest, Reckless.  I loved it.  It's a little dark, but nothing horrible.  The fairy tales we know don't always turn out the way we've been told.  The humans and the Goyls, which are people made of semi-precious stones from deep within the earth, are at war.  The humans are losing.  In steps a young man, Jacob, who has accessed this other world through a mirror in his father's study.  His father disappeared years ago, presumably through the mirror, leaving Jacob, his younger brother Will, and  his mother alone and with no answers.

Jacob has been going through the mirror for years, and is now a man in his twenties.  I think this is where people get confused as to the target audience; as though kids can't read about a twenty-something going on a quest.  Anyway, Will follows Jacob through the mirror, is attacked by the Goyl, and thanks to a curse of the Dark Fairy (mistress of the king of the Goyls),  is slowly turning into a Jade Goyl. Humans are becoming Goyls and joining the dark forces.   There are legends in the Goyl world about the jade bodyguard, who will keep the King from ever being killed.  Jacob is racing against time and the Goyl Army to save his brother before all of his humanity is gone, and he becomes a Goyl.

This book was really great.  There are sketches throughout the novel, which adds to the fairy tale aspect of the story.  It really is a fairy tale within a fairy tale; Jacob makes a living in this other world by finding and selling magical artifacts:  a piece of Rapunzel's hair, a rose that puts you to sleep and keeps you from aging, and fairies galore.  Cornelia Funke has created an amazing world--I think she's a fabulous writer.

So don't hesitate to read this novel.  Who cares what age it's meant for?  It's a well written, imaginative fairy tale that keeps you turning the pages, until the last sentence.  Can't wait for the next one!

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