Living Shadows by Cornelia Funke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacob Reckless has been keeping secrets - but how long can he keep his coming death from Fox, who knows him better than he knows himself?
Living Shadows (also called Fearless) is a race against time and death. Jacob has tried every magical object and legend he can think of, but the Fairy curse is proving unbreakable. The only thing left to try may not even prove reliable (or exist at all)--and is also being actively pursued by the Goyl. Funke pits two treasure hunters against each other: Jacob in a bid to save his own life; Nerron the Bastard who wants both fame and the Goyl's triumph over humans.
I rather enjoyed this one, despite wanting to yell at Jacob to just tell her already, tell Fox the truth like every single chapter. Despite the dark theme, it becomes a rather sweet slow burn romance, where they realise that they can't keep ignoring their feelings for each other - especially when death is just so close for both of them. Because as the chase goes on, it's not just Jacob's life at stake anymore.
I still don't like the shifting POVs very much, but it's not super jarring. I guess like with The Petrified Flesh, familiarity with the story helps smoothen the flow. Otherwise, expect to flip back and forth a little at times to keep track of what's happening. Because it is a complex story - it's not just two people looking for one crossbow. It's a chase across Austry, Albion and Lotharaine, it is politics and double-crossing and backstabbing, it is varied myths and legends being weaved into one larger whole. There's a lot to keep track of.
But if there's one thing to take away from this one, it's the fact that keeping secrets can be very, very harmful. And that Reckless is always reckless with his own life because he values Will and Fox above himself. And also very secretive. And both these traits just lead him into more trouble (which leads into The Golden Yarn).
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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