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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reckless and The Grays

My latest book from the library is Reckless, a fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, who also wrote the Inkheart series. Here's the beginning of a review of the book in The Guardian ...

Warning! This book contains fairies. And dwarves. And elves. There's even talk of dragons. I apologise for being so blunt but there's no easy way to break this kind of news. Fantasy of this nature (with a very capital F) is Marmite stuff, and there's little that can be done to soften the impact if you're not a Fan.

Talking of capitalisation, I should really have given capitals to all the fantasy-world denizens listed above because that's what Funke has done, as if trying to ascribe nationalities to them. And it's not just the beings we're familiar with – she also does the same with her own creations, notably the Goyl, a humanoid race who provide the necessary strand of cold-blooded menace in the book. They are a species most notable for having stone for skin, which comes in many semi-precious varieties – a rather beautiful idea. Into this world step Jacob and Will, not brothers Grimm but brothers Reckless, following their father, John Reckless, who passed through a mirror in his study long ago and disappeared. As the novel gets moving, we learn that Jacob has in fact spent many years visiting the Mirrorworld, a place where he has made friends and enemies, worked, fought, killed and fallen in love. Now Will, discovering the secret of the mirror, has followed him and promptly been slashed by the claws of a Goyl, as a result of which he is slowly turning into one of the stone-skinned beasts and losing his personality in the process. Jacob, with the assistance of Will's girlfriend, Clara, and Fox, a shapeshifting girl, determines to prevent his brother's demise. What ensues is a fast-paced romp through the world of fairytales ...

I had retrieved another book from the library and tried it first - The Grays by Whitley Strieber - but it was just too creepy. I had read a book by Strieber years ago, The Wolfen (I posted about the movie made from this book here) and so I thought I might like The Grays but I guess I'm just not much of a horror fan anymore. Maybe, if I get up the courage, I'll try renting the movie starring Christopher Walken that was made from another of his books.


Anonymous Richard said...

Fairies, dwarfs, and elves... and maybe dragons!!! Maybe enough to get me through til Winds of Winter finally comes out. Hope all is well, Richard

3:28 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

George RR Martin? Maybe I should try his series. I read a few of his books in the 90s I think but then sort of forgot about him. Maybe I'll look for the series at the library.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Badly addicted to the Game of Thrones series. Hope he lives long enough to finish it:) me too for that matter

10:33 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Have you watched the tv series based on the books? I haven't seen it.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Yes, I think the're pretty good, I guess Martin is closely involved with the production. Westeros is certainly a harsher and more brutal place than Middle Earth but an intriguing world nonetheless with complex and dramatic story lines (and dragons.) Giant books so if you like them they'll keep you busy for a while :)

3:04 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I just signed up for the first one at the library - 28 sound disks! Thanks for the recommendation :)

7:08 PM  

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