It still looked as if John Reckless had last sat in his desk chair less than an hour ago, instead of more than a year…Come back! Jacob wrote it with his finger on the fogged-up window, on the dusty desk, and on the glass panels of the cabinet that still held the old pistols his father collected. But the room remained silent – and empty. He was twelve and no longer had a father.” (page 2)

The room is silent and empty except for the mirror. And it’s not even a very good mirror, it doesn’t even work. It’s surface is  so uneven a person can barely see a reflection in it. It doesn’t seem to work until the day Jacob Restless, the boy without a father, touches the mirror and the glass clings to his fingers and suddenly the room he sees reflected in the mirror, the room he is standing in, is not his father’s study anymore. Where is he exactly?

Jacob explores the world inside the mirror and what he finds is a dark, mysterious place in which he can have heroic adventures and then step safely back through the mirror and go home again. When Jacob’s little brother Will follows him through the glass and is injured by a curse that is  slowly turning him to stone, the boys find themselves stuck in Mirrorworld, racing to find the antidote to Will’s curse before it is too late and Will is lost to our world forever.

Mirrorworld is dark and sinister. It matches the mood of Jacob who is just plain angry at his father for disappearing. This world that Jacob goes to isn’t the part of fairy tales that tells of magic pumpkin coaches and pretty dresses. This the part of fairy tales where villains curse people, witches eat children and getting eaten by a wolf is a real possibility. It’s creepy and dark…edgy… but in a good way. Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series had plenty of scary characters and scenes too.  She is not afraid to explore fear, jealousy, anger, disappointment, guilt…real feelings that people have. I liked that about the Jacob character. He’s so angry the anger kind of seeps out of him. I like watching a character deal with those kinds of intense feelings.

I think there will be a second one. I hope so. I’d like to know what happens to Jacob and Will & their friends. Author: Cornelia Funke

If you like the idea of a character finding themselves in a fairy tale world, try these:
The Fairy Tale Dectectives The Enchanted Glass The Grimm Legacy  
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