Shiku's Reviews > Lebendige Schatten

Lebendige Schatten by Cornelia Funke
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Oct 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 09 to 12, 2012

Die deutsche Rezension findet ihr hier.

The review contains spoilers about the first book.
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The Mirrorworld’s best treasure hunter’s career seems to come to an end – not because he wants it to, but because he said the Dark Fairy’s name, cursing himself with it. The moth on his breast will bite him six times, and then it’ll fly away, taking Jacob’s life with it.
Every artefact he has tried was useless, but there is a last chance: the legend says a magical crossbow can save him if someone loving him shoots him with it. It’s a vague hope but all he has. The search for this crossbow isn’t easy, though. Another hunter, a Goyl named Nerron, is determined to find it first. His wish is supposed to come true: he’s going to be the new best treasure hunter!


Just one thing before we start: I still don’t want to read Mrs Funke’s Inkheart trilogy. As to Reckless, well, I’ve fallen a little bit in love with this series. I didn’t like “Fearless” as much as the first book, but I still had lots of fun.
Back then I was very much fascinated by the world of fairy tales the author presented. That’s not different here, but the world isn’t the same any longer. Even though the inhabitants are from stories, they’re not as different from us as you’d think – it’s a mirrored world and no entirely new one. That’s how fairies, humans, Goyls and all the others see themselves confronted with what our ancestors experienced in the 18th and 19th century: the Industrial revolution.
Next to technology and tools, weapons are highly improved (or worsened); treasure hunters like Jacob do not yet belong to the past, but it won’t be long until canons are more important than magic. However, regents of this world still have need of bewitched death bearers, just as the crossbow Jacobs desperately needs can be one.
I am really looking forward to see how well the Mirrorworld can deal with this time and what will become of it. Will it lose its magic or will it become something new, but not less magical? Both is possible, and I do not doubt that Cornelia Funke has plans of her own.

In “Reckless” I didn’t like the sometimes abrupt change of the POV. It could be hard to follow. One moment, Jacob’s the narrator, then it’s suddenly Will. This time nothing of this sort occurred, but I missed some quicker pace in the narration. You barely had the chance to catch your breath in the first book; book two lacks some of the confrontations, the breathlessness. Fortunately, it’s different with the second half of the book when there are severe difficulties that left me worrying about my favourite characters in the one hand, and chuckling on the other hand. If there is something that I love, it’s the hard pounding of my heart that has nothing to do with anything romantic. Cornelia Funke gave me that.

There are some surprises concerning the story and the characters.
Clara and Will are of no importance here; both live in the human world, not knowing which sacrifice Jacob made for his brother. The space they left is taken by Fox and Jacob. It has been rather obvious before, but now there’s no question about it: both love each other and both can’t tell the other right now. Jacob’s possible death is too big a burden to carry; nevertheless, is doesn’t keep them from getting closer which made my secretly slightly romantic heart happy.
Besides, they’re both admirable characters. Jacob’s still searching for his long lost father and can’t get away from this world of magic that promises so much more than the one he’s been born in. Still he knows what’s right and wrong, that it’s worth to fight for those you love. He’s a stubborn, cunning young man, who earned his reputation and whom I totally took a shine to.
I can say the same about Fox, who once loved so much to take shelter in her fox fur, but realizes now that this might not be what she really wants. The girl has become a young woman who can take care of herself. It is not a rare thing that she’s Jacob’s last hope. Together they’re a perfect team that sometimes fails but knows how to stand up again.
I would have liked more insight into other characters, though. On the other hand, they’re minor characters and that for a reason. Still, especially at the beginning it looked like the Goyl might not all be bad, but not good either. Actually, one can understand their resentment towards humans, but the novel never really deals with that. It’s too bad, especially since their influence in the Mirrorworld is growing and they’re more and more a part of the everyday life.

In the end it’s been a great book that absolutely thrilled me with what happened on the last pages. I can’t wait to read the third book and see where it’s going to take us. Even if the ending wouldn’t have been like it has been: more of Fox and Jacob? I’m in!

In conclusion, just a little remark about the design of the books: Where there have been big drawings at the beginning of each chapter, there’re only small drawings left now. Those always look a little lonely, though at least they’re still there. The little sketches that have been at the end of a chapter completely vanished. I wonder whether there will be no pictures in the third book? It’s not as if they’re necessary, but I always liked them and they added to the book’s atmosphere.


“Fearless” is a little bit calmer than “Reckless”, but it’s still a thrilling read. Thanks to Fox and Jacob, even those longing for romance will be satisfied. The story is a closed one, but I can’t wait for the third book to be published anyway. I really want to see what Cornelia Funke has prepared for us!

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