Seldom do I manage to focus on reading a thick book, much less when it’s a book with a complex storyline. Oh, but not when this book is written by Cornelia Funke! Cornelia’s stories sparkled my interest in fantasy novels. Cornelia’s stories are anything but boring, and I can never say goodbye to her characters.
When the 3rd part of the Mirrorworld came out, I bought it right away. But the only version I was able to find at that moment, was the hardback one, thus I found it difficult to take it with me on my way to work. Time had passed and the mundane hardships of my daily life kept me away from diving back into the Mirrorworld… until recently. So, yes, I’ve just finished reading the 3rd book and now I’m gonna tell you a little bit of my impression on it.
This series is not for children, but it’s a wonderful dark fantasy for young adults. There is so much adventure packed into the 3rd part just as it was in the previous two books. I used to fantasize about flying carpets when I was a little, thus it was a delight to be able to read about it again. And there are plenty other adventures in this latest story, new lands to discover, new intrigues and new characters that we’re gonna find in the 4th part as well. I think the scariest thing about this new part is how the two worlds intertwine. Cornelia’s story is like a mysterious corridor having so many doors that can lead to anywhere. You never know which one might open next.
I appreciate the way Cornelia pays so much attention to her characters’ inner world of thoughts and feelings. I like this a lot, it makes them so relatable and maybe that’s why you find it so difficult to part from them at the end. You get to know each character so well, whether is “a friend or foe”, you get the chance to find out everyone’s story.
I also love Cornelia’s writing style, her amazingly wonderful descriptions of people, places & situations. Her words shape gorgeous vivid images which makes it easier for the reader to picture a whole new world that’s being brought to life page by page. The story is continuously moving in fast pace, there is no time to get bored.
I couldn’t say which part I liked the most because I enjoyed reading all of them. However… I do have my discontent regarding few things that have been happening throughout the series.
And now, brace yourself for a very throughout description of (or rather defensive pleading for) Will Reckless.
From what I noticed, no one or just a few managed to see Will for what he is. Everyone is very judgmental on him. I wonder whether the author herself feels the same for him? Or will she finally reveal Will’s pain and struggle in the 4th part of the series?
We know so much about Fox & Jacob’s pain, about the Fairy’s struggle, even Neron’s and Hentzau’s feelings are always made known to the reader. Yet, Will is still a mystery. We only know what others think of him (he’s the “canvas others painted on”). I feel as if Will himself is a mirror. No one sees him as he truly is, ’cause no one really cared enough to take him seriously.
Jacob had always perceived his little brother like a burden, yet he is not. Nerron sees him like a sort of a vulnerable useless piece of art, yet again, he is not. The Fairy herself underestimates Will. I think there’s so much injustice done to Will and I can only hope that the author shall put things right for him in the 4th book. The empathy for this character is so strong that if anything happens to him, I feel like I’m gonna end up with a broken heart. It’s not like I have a crush on a fictional character, but it’s rather the fact that I relate quite much to him, and it makes me want to shout out to the world all the things Will does not say.
We have to admit Jacob’s selfishness. He never wanted to share his adventurous life with his family whatsoever. He left everyone behind. He was never the responsible type, so here’s where he resembles his father. No one really cared how hard it was for Will to stay by the side of their dying mother, painful hours spent on the hospital corridors of the real world. Jacob was too busy with his adventurous life behind the Mirror, escaping whatever he didn’t feel like facing.
All that Will ever needed was emotional support, but each time he ends up being alone or feeling like a burden. When Clara is taken away from him, no one really seems to understand his quest, nor his pain.
Will has been dragged into a lot of drama from a young age and had no one to help him cope with it. For this alone, I think he’s even stronger than Jacob. Will’s nature seems to be that of a protector (he protects animals, he protected Kami’en, he protects Clara); he doesn’t seem to live for adventure like his brother Jacob does. They are both so different.
Jacob risked his own life to save Will, but much of this motivation came from a sense of duty rather than love. That’s why he even gets tired at some point (We tried. Chanute is right. Will’s not a child anymore. He decided to come here. Maybe he wants the jade back. Maybe he wants to take revenge on the Fairy. What do I know?). These two guys simply do not share a strong bond, and it’s quite obvious. There’s constantly this feeling of burden that governs Jacob’s relationship with his younger brother. The only “affectionate” picture we can find about them two, is when Jacob remembers Will following him everywhere “like a puppy”.
Both Jacob and Nerron calls Will a puppy. Maybe the world(s) has simply got a bit too accustomed to high levels of testosterone and everything else is considered weakness. I wish Will surprises all. Again and again. I wish Will would teach everyone a lesson of strength and dignity, against all odds. And I wish everybody sees and feels his pain.
I fail to understand why everybody is so keen on treating Will with a sort of disgust. It’s like.. everything that’s beautiful about Will is not fit for neither of the worlds. All of Will’s qualities have been mocked and laughed at: his kindness, his humbleness, his love for animals, or even his beauty have been turned into drawbacks. It’s as if he’s guilty with a sort of a ridiculous crime. But he doesn’t seem to notice. Or does he..? When all the others start to notice his strength, they always seem so surprised, and that’s because no one ever thought high of him. They all thought of him as of a stupidly naïve, weak and useless beautiful boy who constantly needs to be saved because he’s too idiot to take care of himself. Seems that his enemy, Nerron, is the only one who remembers how fierce Will had been when he defended Kami’en.
There are lots of prejudices around Will: If you’re beautiful, then you surely are either evil or stupid. If you care for animals, then you’re weak. If you’re longing for affection, then you’re a burden. If you dare to speak your mind, then you’re a traitor.
If Will’s progress shall be a stereotype, he’ll most probably either die or join the dark-side. However, what I like about Cornelia’s world, is that… there is no 100% evil side. There are all kinds of shades of good and bad to everything. The goyl are no worse and no better than humans. It’s just another species. But I’d still be sad if Will turns into a goyl forever, because he was not meant to live this kind of life.
I’m afraid of a possible downfall for Will. More and more the story-line suggests a negative turnover for him, a bad association or a sad ending. Jacob’s and Will’s paths are more and more departed, and they seem to take very opposite sides. Again.
Kami’en’s disloyalty for the Fairy saddened me. I almost felt sympathy for the Fairy, but then I completely agreed with Jacob..- to hell with fairies; all they did was causing trouble everywhere they went. I’m afraid of Kami’en’s child though. That baby scares me.
Jacob appealed to me just as Indiana Jones appealed to me when I was a child. In this 3rd part Jacob seems more responsible with his treasure hunting, more responsible with the fate of his magical artifacts. There are parts which remind me of how much I liked Jacob in the first and second part of the series. That selflessness and bravery to help and save the ones he loves. He surely is an example of toughness and stubbornness in a good way. He always manages to outsmart his enemies and doesn’t compromise himself for anything. He’s good at hiding his feelings, but not from Fox.
And yes, there’s this love triangle involving Fox… I don’t enjoy reading about love triangles, but thanks god it was a transient one. In a way, it was needed. I don’t like what Fox did, but I can’t really blame her either. She’s been through a lot herself.
Orlando looks a bit like a manga character to me. A bit too perfect and a bit to superficial, all at the same time. I can’t still fully trust him.
I don’t like Hentzau. Besides his loyalty for Kami’en, nothing else interests me about Hentzau. I find it a bit boring because he’s not even funny like Nerron is.
I know that Nerron is supposed to be so dark but it often ends up being hilarious. Nerron’s inner struggle to comprehend Will’s nature is delightfully funny. He goes back and forth from fascination to the desire to kill him (or at least hurt him really badly). There’s a weird chemistry between the two of them, a mix of hate and admiration, fear and acceptance. Almost a weird and unspoken solidarity of the outcast. (That didn’t feel nice, did it? Used like a tool, pushed like a pawn across the gameboard, not knowing for whom or what. Nerron knew the feeling.). Will & Nerron’s relationship is always on edge, but the tension grows at the end when Nerron reminds Will of the promise he has made. And we all know how dangerous a bargain can be inside the Mirrorworld.
I almost feel pity for the mirrorlings. Almost. They’re quite scary though…
Donnersmarck’s loyalty to the Fairy is heartbreaking. But I’m almost sure he’s gonna cause some problems in the future.
I hate Spieler with passion. My only hope is that Will shall take his revenge on him.
Robert Dunbar‘s got a girlfriend. 🙂
Sylvain feels like such a good add to the story! He’s like a bright color to this world’s painting. His presence is fresh and entertaining, his enthusiasm and clumsiness are very refreshing.
I wouldn’t know what to say about John Reckless without sounding misplaced. I mean, we obviously build our own perception on characters (and people) based on our own life experiences, and no one can be judged for his or her own personal truth. John hasn’t been half as bad as my father was, therefore it would have been much easier for me to forgive John than what other people (and Jacob) might have felt towards him. So I’ll just sit aside and leave the story unfold so far without making any judgments on this whole father-son situation. I’m sure it’s gonna be a lot of drama unfolding on the subject within the 4th part of the series. The Reckless family has lots of secrets hidden deep inside their family tree.
There’s so much to tell about this wonderful book and about this whole wonderful series. I cannot wait for the 4th part to come out! I warmly recommend this series, i promise you won’t have time to get bored. The gorgeous black & white drawings posted in this review are all drawings made by Cornelia Funke. She also has a super-cool website, go ahead and have a look.
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Once upon a time… There’s a reason all fairy tales begin like this. But the ”and they lived happily ever after” at the end? That has to be earned.
He avoided looking her in the eyes; he always did when he was trying to fool her. She took his face in both her hands, forcing him to look at her. “We don’t run from anyone or anything. That’s still true, isn’t it?”.
Her heart pounded as he kissed her. Or was it his heart? She hadn’t been able to tell the difference ever since he’d freed her from that trap.
If she’d known him better, she might’ve tried to explain to Will that life never lets you hide. Plant, animal, or human – life forced them all to grow and learn. The more you tried to run, the harder your path got, and you’d still have to travel it.
You mortals place such a touching importance on appearances. Time. Another thing your kind takes too seriously.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda… Always the good son, brother, friend, lover… Will Reckless, the canvas others paint on. What about you? What do you want to be, Will?
Love makes fools, even of immortals.
She was tired of their words. All the noise. Their mortal limitations. Flies dressed up in satin, dreaming of power and eternity. So tired. The Fairy felt her fury rise. Night had returned. All the pain of the past months, the jealousy, the loneliness, the betrayal… It made her fury darker than anything she’d ever felt before.