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The Petrified Flesh (Mirrorworld #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  14,694 Ratings  ·  1,832 Reviews
Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies — most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in
Hardcover, Revised Ed., 336 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Breathing Books (first published September 14th 2010)
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Liz Purvis This is the first book in Cornelia Funke's Reckless series. It's also being reprinted as Reckless: The Petrified Flesh. Hope that helps!
Julia Book 1 was originally just called "Reckless" but it was renamed and republished as "Reckless: The Petrified Flesh."
Similarly, book 2 was first…more
Book 1 was originally just called "Reckless" but it was renamed and republished as "Reckless: The Petrified Flesh."
Similarly, book 2 was first released as "Fearless" but it has since been re-released as "Reckless 2: Living Shadows."
Book 3 was originally called "Heartless," but it's published title is "Reckless 3: The Golden Yarn."
Book 4 will be "The Islands of the Fox" (not yet released), and book 5's title has not be announced yet.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

When Jacob Reckless was a boy, he discovered another world on the other side of the mirror in his father’s abandoned study. After keeping the mirror world secret for twelve years, Jacob’s younger brother finds his way through the mirror and is terminally cursed. Now Jacob and his brother must journey to the most dangerous territories of the mirror world to bargain with untrustworthy creatures to reverse the
Charlotte May
Though not quite up there with the Inkheart trilogy, I still loved this book!

Full of magic, danger and fantastical creatures. From Lorelai - mermaid/sirens, bird trees that kidnap their victims, handkerchiefs that can create money, the imagination in this book knows no bounds!

Jacob Reckless found access to the Mirrorworld using a mirror left behind in his fathers study when he left them, or disappeared. He spends months at a time in this world, becoming entranced with all its wonders. He manag
★ Jess
Oh dear....
What a disappointing book. The very pages stunk of mediocrity.
The main issue with 'Reckless' lies solely with the characters: Cornelia Funke plunges us right into the middle of the story, with no detail on the characters what-so-ever. Jacob, Will and Clara are possibly THE WORST leads in a novel I have ever read about. There is absolutely no chemistry between them. I couldn't care less about what happens to them.
I imagine Cornelia Funke's brainstorming of these characters was a litt
C.G. Drews
I had no idea what to expect from this but I reeeeally liked it. I know I read Inkheart 52 million years ago. But I didn't like Dragon Rider much at all, so it didn't really occur to me I'd want to read more Cornelia Funke. I'M SO GLAD I DID. This was stuffed with dark vicious stabby fairy tale fantasticness. My kind of story basically.

(NOTE: apparently this is actually an edition that's been editing again and rewritten a bit by Cornelia Funke before republishing with this cover?? So I can't com
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
1/6/2017 Kindle freebie alert. Cornelia Funke is a very talented German fantasy author, and whoever is translating her books into English does a great job of it.

ETA: The Kindle version is here:
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some people call Cornelia Funke the German J.K. Rowling. She apparently hates to be called so (I like that about her). Of course she would, after all, she is her very own person with her very unique style. The only connection: they both write (or at least started with) children's books.

I always read books in their original language if I can, but although German is my mother tongue, I usually don't find German authors appealing (classics aside).
With Cornelia Funke it's totally different. Her wri
I am extremely happy to write a review of this book. It was simply excellent. If you can imagine the fantasy of Tolkien, with the emotional connectivity of modern stories, and an anti-hero Paul Newman would be proud of, you will get a little taste of this tale.

The modern idea of taking timeless fairy tales and "revealing" their true, much darker, origins is an idea Funke plays out in this novel where a young man named Jacob runs from the pain of his youth, through a looking glass, and chooses t
Reading Teen
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at ALA 10 for my ten-year-old daughter. I got it signed for her and everything. She loved the Inkheart series and was really excited to start reading it, but after about 15 pages, she brought it to me and said, "I don't understand what's happening, this book makes no sense." So, I told her that I'd read it, and try to explain it to her. I am SO glad that I started this book....for two reasons. First, my ten-year-old is not ready for it. There was way too much bone-chilling ...more
Sarah Monreau
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf
Märchenhaft, abenteuerlich, spannend, mysteriös... es ist ein wundervolles Buch! Ich werde die Trilogie definitiv weiterlesen, sobald wie möglich. Die Zeit mit den Charakteren hab ich hier sehr genossen und vor allem der Schreibstil, der mit tollen Vergleichen arbeitete, die ich sonst wo noch nie gehört habe, hat mir sehr gefallen. Tolle Metaphorik zum Teil, tolle Sprache und tolle Ausarbeitung der Handlung. Man wusste nie, wie es weitergehen sollte. Richtig atmosphärisches Buch mit genialem Gru ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Ich mag es, wie Cornelia Funke die Märchen meiner Kindheit in ein neues Gewandt kleidet. Auch beim wiederholten lesen hat die Geschichte nichts an Spannung verloren; im Gegenteil man findet immer neue Details.
Arielle Walker
It's a little heartbreaking to give a Cornelia Funke book such a low rating. Though the Mirrorworld is certainly intriguing, the characters don't feel entirely fleshed out, and the plot rushes by at such a pace that it is all to easy to lose your bearing. The writing has none of the fluidity of the Inkworld series - it's almost difficult to believe the author is the same, though the themes and characters are similar - and Jacob is no Dustfinger. Such comparisons may seem unfair, but the fact rem ...more
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, mythic
I'm not sure if it's because this book was originally written in German, and German translated into English is clunky by default (have you ever had to read Weber? remember how fun that was?) but Cornelia Funke's style really takes some getting used to. It's not for everyone--I'm not even sure if it's for me. On one hand, the Mirrorworld was intriguing, and my favourite part was learning that the there were different types of Goyl based on the types of rocks. On the other, Jacob has got to be the ...more
Andrés Velázquez
First when I read the first couple of chapters I felt a bit disapointed because I realized the style was meant like a fantasy adventure book for children. But as I keep reading the book became more and more engaging.

The dark twist in the fairy tale world may not be a new concept but is pretty well handled in this novel, sometimes when authors focus on writting this type of books they only develop certain aspects of the fantastic world delivering an uncreative, unimaginative book. On the contrary
2.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

The Petrified Flesh (or Reckless as it used to be called), is a series by Cornelia Funke that I have seen in the bookstore about a million times. Something, however, stopped me from reading it previously. I can't even begin to explain why, because her Inkworld trilogy is one of my favorite children's books and The Thief Lord I also enjoyed a lot.

Maybe it was just a warning from myself, because now that I read it, it didn't fee
Stephanie Jobe
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ll start out with an interesting cover note, the one pictured here is the paperback copy that I have. Featured on the cover is Jacob as distinguished by the fact that his eyes are green, not blue or gold. Though the green swirlies made me unsure at first. The original cover the black with the frame and the green face, that is Will. Now a making fun of myself moment: notice those names? Jacob and Will… hmm that rings a bell… Jacob and Wilhelm… okay so yes they have the Grimm brothers name. The ...more
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
What if all those fairy tale stories, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty etc., all those stories with magical creatures or witches, stories of trolls and giants, what if these stories didn't come from the minds of men. What if they were true stories from a different world. A world you could get into through a magical mirror.
This is that story. The story of Jacob Restless, a boy who's father had disappeared years earlier, a boy who one day, while in his fathers study, discovers wri
Dec 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know what to say about this book because I honestly don't have a clue what happened in it. It started off so random. We were given little to no background information on the main characters, and then were thrown into a fantasy world where nothing was explained. Funke has an amazing imagination, and I really enjoyed the Inkheart series, but this just didn't interest me. We're constantly reminded that Jacob and Will are brothers, but we never see any relationship between them, nor are ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Retold fairy tales tend to be funny retellings with spunky heroines overcoming obstacles with help from magical animals, and meeting cute with their prince in disguise, or reformed thief. Not this time. This book isn't a BIT funny.

Jacob Reckless discovered the world on the other side of the mirror in his missing father's study years ago. It's a dangerous place that seems to be the origin of all our fairy tales, such as Hansel and Gretel (there are actual gingerbread houses with child-eating wit
Lariza Agius
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd book in my 24hour readathon and holy shit was this good? Hell yes! Damn I didn't expect to enjoy this so much. High high high fantasy with incredible writing and an amazing plot twist! Now I just need to get my hands on the second book...
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya-fantasy
Back when I read Ms. Funke's Inkheart series, and liked it. I found later that it was a mixed bag as to who liked those and who didn't. The same seems to be true here.

This is the first in the Mirror World series. The series is called that get to the world by passing through a mirror.

Who'd a thought it?

See our young protagonist's father disappeared through the looking-glass when our said protagonist was a boy (much like the protagonist of Inkheart's mother fell through a book I sup
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Cornelia Strikes Again!

I have to say that Cornelia Funke is one of my all-time favorite authors. She is fantastic at creating an entire new world with inspiring 3-dimensional characters. Believable characters. This is just more proof of her wonderful story-telling.
Jacob Reckless is a character we can all understand, even if we don't want to. What happens to a child neglected? One who's father is gone? Slipping farther and farther away from the family he still has until he finally pulls his broth
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Ahh, Cornelia Funke. I was in middle school when Inkheart first appeared in the American market and quickly took my age group by storm. Inkspell followed, and I picked up The Thief Lord too - it was a great audiobook. But… somehow I never read Inkdeath, and Funke slipped off of my author radar - until Megan told me Reckless was one of her favorite series.

I don’t know it it’ll become one of mine, but it certainly was an interesting experience. At first, I thought it was a middle-grade book, becau
Christian Martinez
Reckless is a great book; though, she should have put more information between the relationships of Jacob and his friends on a personal level. I enjoyed this book immensely and I would love to give this book five stars, but i would have to give it four stars. Though the book contains mystery, drama, and action, it is missing an important aspect that makes the reader want to keep reading to see what would happen next. Romance! Romance between Jacob and Fox is hinted throughout the entirety of the ...more
~♥~ happinesslife

Adéntrate en un mundo de fantasía donde conviven enanos, hadas, humanos y cualquier otra criatura mágica que imagines; y acompaña a Jacob en la búsqueda de una cura para su hermano.
- ̗̀caro ̖́-
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction, dnf
It's probably not worth one star, because it's Cornelia Funke but I just could not deal with
her writing in this one. I absolutely adore her but this just wasn't for me...
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
We have a saying in my country-"Ni vrit ni mimo." Neither there nor here. Neither smells or stinks. And that's exactly what this book is- a face of mediocrity. If meh ever gets its own definition in a dictionary, it will have Reckless as an example.

This book can't decide what it wants to be. Story about world inspired by Wonderland? Retelling of fairytales? There is this completely new world, but there is actual Sleeping Beauty there. The main character has a lock of Rapunzel's hair. Snow White
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
Reckless dalam bahasa Indonesia berarti Sembrono. Mungkin nama belakang yang disandang Jacob itu benar-benar mewakili dirinya. Jacob Reckless. Kesembronoan Jacob membuat nyawa adiknya dalam bahaya.

Selama bertahun-tahun, Jacob memiliki dunianya sendiri di balik cermin ajaib di kamar kerja Ayahnya. Semenjak Ayahnya menghilang dan Ibunya yang selalu bermuram durja, Jacob selalu melarikan diri dari kenyataan dan ketakutan hidupnya untuk menikmati petualangan di dunia cermin tersebut. Sampai suatu h
Simona Bartolotta
Già il titolo è suggestivo, non c'è che dire. Specie per me che non cerco altro che un libro in cui perdermi. Se poi ci metti accanto il nome di una grande come la Funke, il gioco è fatto e per ore ed ore mi chiudo nella mia stanza e non mi vede più nessuno.
Ancora una volta, ho ceduto al fascino del profumo di libro nuovo.
La storia è sublime, e c'è poco altro da dire. Non fosse stato per un altro libro che mi ero ripromessa di leggere l'avrei finito in meno tempo. Ma forse è stato un bene. Tre
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 12/2017
so updating my review
I enjoyed this as much as the first time , though I read it in less time I feel like I was slowly enjoying it, cant help but Love Jacob, and all he did for his brother Will,
all the characters are equally loved, and the fairy tails are simply inspiring, still it is kinda more enjoyable cos I l know I can devour the next two books without wait, re-reading Fearless and then jumping to the Golden Yarn, I only regret not paying attention to my German lessons, I think
Bueno, que puedo decir... me esperaba algo más, no sé siento que le faltó para mi gusto pero la trama es buena un mundo mágico donde las hadas no siempre son buenas, los unicornios no son blancos, las aguas son traicioneras y los príncipes ya no son azules sino de piedra Cornelia Funke toma lo que sabemos del mundo de los cuentos y lo altera, lo muta, lo hace creíble, temible y adorable. Se lee bastante rápido, los capítulos son cortitos, no se si continuaré con la saga o no.

Libro para Tren de p
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Cornelia Funke is a multiple award-winning German illustrator and storyteller, who writes fantasy for all ages of readers. Amongst her best known books is the Inkheart trilogy. Many of Cornelia's titles are published all over the world and translated into more than 30 languages. She has two children, two birds and a very old dog and lives in Los Angeles, California.
More about Cornelia Funke

Other books in the series

Mirrorworld (5 books)
  • Fearless (Mirrorworld, #2)
  • The Golden Yarn (MirrorWorld, #3)
  • The Islands of the Fox (Mirrorworld, #4)
  • Untitled (Mirrorworld, #5)

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“The night breathed through the apartment like a dark animal. The ticking of a clock. The groan of a floorboard as he slipped out of his room. All was drowned by its silence. But Jacob loved the night. He felt it on his skin like a promise. Like a cloak woven from freedom and danger.” 41 likes
“Nobody loves only once.” 39 likes
More quotes…