April 3, 2013

Review: Fearless

Fearless Book two of the Mirrorworld series
By Cornelia Funke
Story found and told by Cornelia Funke and Lionel Wigram
Translated by Oliver Latsch
Available now from Little, Brown
Review copy

Jacob Reckless found a mirror in his missing father's study that allows him to travel to another world, a world full of magic.  In the first Mirrorworld novel, RECKLESS, Jacob's brother followed him and was nearly turned into a Goyl - a creature of stone.  Jacob saved him but is now under a curse himself, one that will kill him within the year.  There is one last artifact that could save his life, but it will be a struggle to find it in time - especially since there is another searching for it.

FEARLESS is a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to fantasy lovers of all ages.  Cornelia Funke has developed a world that runs on objects of fairytale legend, a world in crisis because the Goyl are conquering all the human kingdoms and humans are used to being the dominant species.  It's a world were a person can make a career of hunting for objects of legend and lore, like Jacob, his companion Fox, and their competitor the Bastard.   (Er, there is that drawback if you're going to pass FEARLESS on to a younger reader.  At least, I remember my mom disliking the world "bastard" being at the beginning of Diablo when my sister and I played it way back when.)

There is a romantic storyline is FEARLESS and it is very important to the novel.  Fox's feelings for Jacob are part of what make her so loyal to him, even when he's a jerk or acting stupid, and it isn't easy for her to know his death is imminent.  But the romance rarely takes priority because it would slow the novel down and above all else FEARLESS is a race against time.

I liked that the Bastard, Nerron, wasn't as evil as the epithet he's known by might suggest.  It's a very literal name, and while he makes many threats, he tends not to follow through.  (Even the bad bad guys notice he's not as bloodthirsty as he wants to be.)  It is one of the aspects of the Mirrorworld series that I really like, that the Goyl aren't plain evil.  They're often less treacherous than their human counterparts and they're given individual motivations and goals.  I would've liked to have learned more about Nerron, but FEARLESS is Jacob's story in the end.

There is a massive hook at the end of FEARLESS for the next book in the series.  I'm excited to see what adventure Jacob and Fox will embark upon next.  The Mirrorworld is a very interesting place and I love learning more about it as Jacob and Fox quest.  These books aren't complex, but they are wonderful stories.


  1. Oh whoa, that's a strong word to add in a book, though I suppose if considered acceptable it would be a bit rebellious and a way to keep the reader interested. I like the way Fox's love is what makes her loyal, even if she probably shouldn't put up with him, it gives a good enough reason for it. This series sounds pretty different, for all the similarities it might share with others.

    1. It's a strong word, but not too uncommon in medieval-ish fantasy settings. The book is otherwise absolutely acceptable for younger readers, but parents might have to explain that word and why they shouldn't use it.

  2. I don't mind the word bastard, but I guess it would be a bit odd to see in a book that younger readers might possibly see. Oh well, I'm glad you liked it! I haven't read anything by this author yet.

    1. Oh man, you have to read the Inkheart trilogy!


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