This article is about the book. For the series, see Mirrorworld (series).
Author(s) Cornelia Funke and Lionel Wigram
Translator Oliver Latsch
Illustrator Cornelia Funke
Country Germany
Publisher(s) The Chicken House, Scholastic Inc., Dressler
Followed by Fearless

Reckless is a 2010 young adult novel written by Cornelia Funke. It was published in Germany under the title Reckless. Steinernes Fleisch, literally Reckless. Stone Flesh, where it debuted #1 on the bestseller's list. It was published on 14th September 2010, inspired by the tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Publisher's Note

It's Jacob I can't get out of my mind. Desperate, brave, romantic and achingly flawed, he's a hero to set your heart racing. In a world where fairytales take on new meaning, Cornelia makes his fate as unpredictable as the spells that come to haunt him.

You are in for a real treat. Cornelia has a new gritty plot with a kind of grownup magic that makes her storytelling even more fabulous - and it's told with popping pace! I just want to join it!

Could I be as brave as Jacob in love and war? And could I befriend Fox? Could I deal with the truly scary bits, and the amazing underground city, and ...


For Lionel, who found the door to this story - and so often knew more about it than I did, friend and finder of ideas, indispensable on either side of the mirror.

And for Oliver, who again and again tailored English clothes for this story so that the Englishman and the German could tell it together.


Through a mirror... is a dangerous world.

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed its secrets and treasures.

Not any more.

His younger brother has followed him.

Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and cause chaos to rule forever...

Unless Jacob can find a way to save them.

You thought you knew fairy tales? Think again.


For the first time in his life, Jacob Reckless is afraid. For years he’s stolen across to another world. A dark enchanted place he’s loved for its treasure, secrets and dangers. Until now. Will, his younger brother, has followed him with terrible consequences: The boy will turn to beast; the girl he loves will break her heart and chaos will rule forever, unless Jacob can spin a fairytale to save them …

Detailed Plot Summary

The story begins with Jacob entering his absent father's study. He finds a note that says: the mirror will open only for he who cannot see himself. Jacob presses his hand against the glass to obscure his face, and finds himself in an abandoned tower, standing in front of an identical mirror. Jacob calls this world the Mirrorworld. The Mirrorworld is similar to ours, but has not progressed as far technologically, and magic is everywhere.

Twelve years later, Jacob is followed by his brother, Will, when he returns to the Mirrorworld. Soon after Will arrives, he is attacked and clawed by the Goyl, a race much like humans, but have skin of stone. As a result of the attack, Will is experiencing the painful process of his skin turning to stone, as a result of a curse created by the Dark Fairy, the mistress of the King of the Goyl, Kami'en. Jacob travels to Schwanstein to ask his old mentor, Chanute's advice, leaving Will in the care of Fox. Chanute tells Jacob to go to a child-eating witch's house and let the victim eat the black berries that grow there that can heal almost anything.

Will sneaks back through the mirror to say goodbye to his girlfriend Clara over the phone. Clara races to Will's house, only to discover the secret of the mirror herself. While they are travelling in the Hungry Forest Jacob realises that the Tailor is pursuing them, a creature that gets its name from tailoring its own clothing from the skin of its victims. Jacob and Fox fight the tailor with Will and Clara safely inside the gates of the witch's house, which the Tailor is too scared to enter. They successfully kill the Tailor. Will eats the berries, but they don't work.

In another attempt to save his brother, Jacob decides to seek out the Red Fairy, the sister to the Dark Fairy, whom he'd been enamoured with for over a year, in hopes that he can convince her to help Will. He travels to the Dwarf City, Terpevas (Dwarf language for 'Dwarf City'), the largest city of the Dwarfs, where Evenaugh Valiant, who knows how to get to the Valley of the fairies. Valiant is forced to guide them there. Meanwhile, the Dark Fairy sees Will in her dreams, realizing he is becoming the legendary Jade Goyl, who is said to be able to make the King of the Goyl, should there ever be one, invincible. Hentzau, the Goyl King's right-hand man, departs to find him.