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The Petrified Flesh

(Mirrorworld #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  17,188 ratings  ·  2,067 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
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Breathing Books (first published September 14th 2010)
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Julia Book 1 was originally just called "Reckless" but it was renamed and republished as "Reckless: The Petrified Flesh."
Similarly, book 2 was first release…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)
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!

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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  17,188 ratings  ·  2,067 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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
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:
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
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
Ashley Daviau
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some books stay timeless despite your age but I’m not sure if this is one of them. I first read it around 3-4 years ago and I remember loving it and immediately wanting to read the rest of the series. Fast forward to now when I finally decided to continue with the series but it’s been so long that a reread of this one was in order. And I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much this time around. Some parts were still quite magical and enjoyable but I kept thinking to myself how young it seemed. The charac ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read Cornelia Funke (I know I KNOW, I need to read Inkheart), but I found this one at a used bookstore, read THIS on the inner flap: "Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive," and was sold.

The book is set in Mirrorworld, a fairy-tale land that's turning increasingly Earthlike due to technological advancements and the ambitions of a royal dynasty attempting to consolidate power. Generations after the tales we know have played out--The Frog Prince, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty
rachel ☾
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread (2019): ★★★★☆

It's been four years since I first read Reckless and I'm happy to say it's still one of my all-time favourites. It will always have a place in my heart as one of the first books to introduce me to morally ambiguous stabby characters that are secretly Soft... which is possibly my favourite trope of ever.

Original Read (2015): ★★★★☆

I've typed fifteen first sentences in the last ten minutes, trying helplessly to capture my feelings towards this little gem of a book. I just don't
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
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels so good to be back! 2019 (so far) has been an amazing year for me in regards to rereading my all-time favourites. The last time I read Reckless by my literal queen Cornelia Funke (a local legend here in Germany, we all stan) was nearly 10 years ago. Ever since then, this series has held a special place in my heart. It has a similar vibe to Connie's Ink trilogy but instead of a fantasy world made of ink and words, in Reckless, we are introduced to a world made of glass and mirrors.

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
Jess Penhallow
This book was so confusing. I had to double check that it wasn't mistakenly marked as the first in a series as the reader is thrown into the story with absolutely no exposition or back story. When I did manage to get my footing this was a pretty basic fantasy tale with boring characters. The only ones I was rooting for were the jealous fox woman and the greedy dwarf. At least they had something that defined them however basic.

The one thing I did like was the fairy-tale elements. This being a Ge
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
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
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, 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...
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
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy, 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
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
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

Basic Info

Pages/Length: 6hrs and 47mins
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy

At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:
Cliff Hanger: eh
Triggers: n/a
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 9
Plot: 5
Characters: 6
World Building: 1
Flow: 5
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 5
Ending: 5

Total: 5

In Dept

Best Part:
Worst Part: Um, lost in translation?
Thoughts Had: what; i'm confused...


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: eh

Short Review: Um. I didn't know this was translated
Jan 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fantasy, 2010-2014
Nope, not for me! I liked the idea very much. I love the old fairytales and read them over and over again when I was a child (still do sometimes) and often imagined myself to be a part in them. And I absolutely LOVED John Connolly´s The Book of Lost Things (read this instedad). So I did have quite high expectations.

I never got involved in the story. The characters never came to life. I didn´t really care what would happen to them. Somehow the story lacked the fantasticness and the fairytaleness
TABI⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
I've actually read this like 20 times, but to save myself the effort I haven't marked all those times on here . . .



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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.

Other books in the series

Mirrorworld (5 books)
  • Fearless (Mirrorworld, #2)
  • The Golden Yarn (MirrorWorld, #3)
  • Auf silberner Fährte (Reckless, #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.” 43 likes
“Nobody loves only once.” 43 likes
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