A 2010 young adult novel by Cornelia Funke.Reckless is essentially about twobrothers, a shape-changing fox, and one brother's nurse fiancee. The older brother, JacobReckless dropped off the face of the earth after his father died and his mom went.... Well. Anyway, turns out he's been off in a magical world behind a mirror in his father's old study. His younger brother, Will, winds up following him through, and Will's fiancee Clara winds up following him through. Will gets bitten by a Goyl, a living stone race that have only recently begun to spread through bite, (thanks to some Dark Magic from their leader's mistress). Now Jacob, Clara, Will, and Jacob's best friend Fox must find a cure before Will becomes a Brainwashed and Crazy statue with Super Strength and a heart of stone. (Both metaphorical and literal.) And then shit happens, like how once Will starts growing Goyl skin, the other Goyl declare him basically their Messiah, and how the humans of the Mirror World have signed a truce with the Goyl, including a wedding between the human princess and the Goyl leader, which his mistress, the Dark fairy, (who is onescarybitch) isn't very happy with. They also run into Jacob's ex-girlfriend, a fairy with a thing for mothsnote Whose name is ''Miranda the Red Fairy'' of all things., and Evanaugh Valiant, a Jerkass dwarf who knows more about the mirrorworld than he is entitled to. There is also unlimited Ship Tease, Purple Prose of the best and first order, and enough Darker and Edgier, written Costume Porn, Scenery Porn and Mythology Gags to drown in. They do find a cure, but Jacob is now cursed himself, and they (He and Fox) must find a cure for him. Within a year.A sequel, Fearless, was released on September 16, 2012, and Reckless (UK) or Mirrorworld (US) will be a five-part series.
Provides Examples Of:
Action Girl: Fox, who holds her own on more than one occasion.
After-Action Patch-Up: Jacob re-bandages Fox's arm in Fearless, and we find out they've often patched each other up over the years.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Jacob. Oh, Jacob. Kami'en also counts. (He plans on bringing his mistress to his wedding.) The usual unfortunate implications of this trope are lampshaded when Kami'en points out that his cultural custom of taking multiple wives gives his mistress the right to take other husbands. (She doesn't take to the idea.)
Another Dimension: The Mirror World is an alternate version of Europe with 1700's politics...cameras, railroads, and airplanes. The primary mode of travel still appears to be horseback, though, and characters don't recognize modern guns or flashlights. Oh, and there's a whole range of supernatural races...
Anti-Hero: Jacob Reckless, a questionably sympathetic professional treasure hunter satisfied with his grand total of one friend...who gets dragged into the middle of a war because he just wants his brother back.
Back from the Dead: Jacob is shot in the chest, actually dies, and is brought back to life by Miranda two pages later.
Bad Dreams: Jacob, throughout both Reckless and Fearless, mostly about his father, and later about dying by the Dark Fairy's curse.
Big Brother Instinct: Jacob with Fox, at least until the second book. And she increasingly doesn't seem to see him that way. Later, neither does he with her.
Femme Fatale: The Dark Fairy, and every other member of her race.
Green-Eyed Epiphany: Fox prefers her human skin to her fox fur only after she sees Jacob kissing Clara. 'She wanted skin, and lips, so he could kiss them as he had kissed Clara's lips.' Proof of her jealousy in that she imagines Clara meeting a variety of terrible fates.
Grey and Gray Morality: Kami'en and the Goyl versus Empress Therese and the Imperials. The Goyl seem like the logical villains until you find out more about Therese's ruthless tactics. Not to mention, their hatred of humans is a natural response to years of human aggression. Then again, Therese and Austrya aren't entirely unsympathetic either...
Heroes Want Redheads: Played with with Jacob and Fox. Even though she's obviously in love with him, he doesn't seem to display much more than a platonic attachment to her. Yet.
Humans Are Ugly: Most Goyl are repulsed by the softness of human flesh, even Will, who gradually becomes disgusted by Clara. Kami'en is a rare subversion, the first Goyl to take a human wife. Other inter-breeding is mentioned in passing, though, suggesting that he's not the only one with an attraction to humans.
Living Aphrodisiac: Played straight with every single one of the Fairies. Jacob ends up "spending the night" with his ex-lover Miranda, even though he's rapidly running out of time to save his brother.
Promoted To Parent: Jacob, in that he brings treasures from Mirrorworld back to his own world to pay for his brother's school fees and his mother's doctor's fees. Arguable since Jacob was very much absent from Will's life.
Pyrrhic Victory: Sure, Jacob ultimately accomplishes what he set out to do, but then there are all those people who end up dead...
Real Men Get Shot: Jacob. He can't seem to go more than a few pages without getting sliced open. It never stops him from kicking ass, though.
Secretly Dying: Jacob in Fearless. Eventually tells Fox, but only when he's got mere months left on the clock.