Thursday 30 December 2021

#bookreview: The Golden Yarn (MirrorWorld 3) & The Silver Tracks (MirrorWorld 4) | Cornelia Funke

The Golden Yarn (MirrorWorld, #3)The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so I was hoping to like this better after another read, since The Petrified Flesh and Reckless II: Living Shadows were much better the second time round. (Idk how that works; a state of mind, maybe?) But while I liked it well enough, it just still remained a little meh. Not enough to push it up to a 4-star at any rate.

Plotwise, The Golden Yarn is getting more complex. Spieler, the Alderelf, is taking centre stage - he seems to be the main mover of events now, with Jacob mostly just reacting to his threats and to the bargain that he doesn't want to fulfil: that Spieler gets his firstborn. Will is back in the MirrorWorld in an attempt to save his girlfriend Clara. And Fox? Fox is dealing with Jacob's mess, as usual.

And maybe that's part of the reason why this feels flat to me. Jacob is just reacting (badly), and it feels like he hasn't really learnt anything or grown from the last book, because he's making the same mistakes again. Namely, keeping things from Fox, especially things that will affect Fox. And then telling her she's free to go, but then acting all jealous when she takes him at his word. Mebbe I'm really just meh about this book because I'm getting annoyed by Jacob and am generally frustrated at all the unnecessary secrets, no matter who is hiding it.

I mean, fairy tale wise, this should be entrancing. We're heading into Eastern territory, with Baba Yaga narratives and flying carpets and lesser-known, less-white-centred tales. But maybe it's also because we don't see enough of it; we get glimpses obscured by love triangles and love denials. At this point, the Dark Fairy is the most interesting character. Because she knows what she wants and won't be swayed.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from Pushkin Children's Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Silver Tracks (Mirrorworld, #4)The Silver Tracks by Cornelia Funke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacob and Fox finally catch up to Will and, despite their better judgement, join Will's journey to Nihon (mirror-Japan) to find a cure for Sixteen. There's a weird sort of temporary ceasefire between Jacob and Nerron the Bastard, while they deal with a bigger threat - because in the mountains of Nihon, they find that Spieler, and the rest of the Alderelves, have returned.

The Silver Tracks is a story of betrayal, ever-shifting loyalties, and plot oddities. How long will this alliance between Jacob and Nerron last? Why has Clara allied herself with the Alderelves, and who does Will actually love: Clara or Sixteen? How human is a creature of glass that's turning into wood? And whose side is Yanagita Hideo on? Alderelves can be killed if you fell their Silver-Alders, but trees you think are dead can come back to life. And proximity to the one to whom you owe a child can create life (this was one of the weirdest plot points in the book).

It's interesting to see elves cast in a bad light for once - where they're often the "good, beautiful race", though these Alderelves live deep underground, and in even hotter territory than the Goyl dare go. Only Toshiro seems to be a "good" kind of alderelf, but even then still felt rather self-serving.

There are, again, too many POVs in this one, shifting across the ever-increasing cast. Which is a weird thing for me to say because I love Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives. I think The Silver Tracks expanded a bit too far, and too fast, and the narrative and plot loses a bit of coherence especially with the shifting POVs. Jacob is perpetually in prison or being tortured and after too many betrayals and shifting allegiances, I think I gave up figuring out who was on whose side anymore.

I decided not to re-read this one, despite rereading the others, mostly because I'm not in the mood to. Besides, there seems to be a book 5 coming, so maybe I'll reread this then, instead of now.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from Pushkin Children's Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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