Fearless by Cornelia Funke. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Since this is the first review I’m posting, I figure that it should be of a book I love. So let me introduce Fearless:
I love this book – it is as enchanting and beautiful as the first (Reckless), if not more so.
Jacob Reckless was cursed by a fairy – and fairy’s curses are more powerful than any cure he’s been able to find. At last he hears of one possible hope – a crossbow that can kill or cure. He sets out on a race against death to find it, accompanied all the while by Fox, a loyal friend who could be something more. But the race turns out to not be only against death. Another treasure hunter, a Goyl by the name of Nerron, is also seeking the bow.
One of the great things about this book is that none of the characters are fully good or evil. Nerron proves to be surprisingly sympathetic; he hunts for the bow out of a desire to prove himself rather than for greed or power. The Dark Fairy acts out of love. Fox is occasionally gripped by jealousy. And Jacob’s reckless behavior lives up to his name.
But what really amazes me about this book is the world building. The world is darkly enchanting. Old magic teams within it, but the world is being changed by an industrial revolution. Bits and pieces of fairy tales are woven in, and they remain true to their original nature; there is no Disney here. The magic in Fearless is dark, but can be used for good or evil. It also has a price.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves world building, fairy tales, or just a wonderful story.
Review originally written August 14th, 2013.