Cornelia Funke, trans. from the German by Oliver Latsch, Little, Brown, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-05609-0
Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Funke twists fairy lore into a dark incarnation. A prologue introduces Jacob Reckless, 12, heartsick over his father's disappearance. The story then jumps ahead 12 years; Jacob, having figured out how to follow his father through a mirror, has made a name as a finder of magical items—seven-league boots, locks of "Rapunzel-hair"—in war-torn Mirrorworld, ruled by fairies and "Goyl," humans whose skin has turned to stone. Jacob's brother, Will, however, is mauled by a Goyl, and his skin begins to turn to jade; the plot is a race for a cure. The rich re-imagining of familiar fairy tale details is the best part, as there is little character development. There are few child characters, and veiled sexual innuendo and violence make this edgier fare. The writing is beautiful on one page, clunky on another ("But there always comes a time when a man wants to sense the same mortality that dwells in his flesh also in the skin he caresses"). Planned sequels will give Funke a chance to fill in the missing back-story that makes this a frustrating read. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/16/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-096-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-58329-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-58328-4
Paperback - 394 pages - 978-0-316-05607-6
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-986-179-204-0
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-1-906427-65-8
Compact Disc - 6 pages - 978-0-307-58326-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-12291-7
Prebound-Glued - 394 pages - 978-0-606-23455-9
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-1-906427-74-0
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