Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: The Child Thief

The Child Thief
The Child Thief by Brom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Peter Pan like I have never imagined it. The Child Thief is one of the most disturbing, violent, and frightening fairy tale re-imaginings I've ever read. It reminds me of the more grim versions of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" That being said, I was absolutely enthralled, I couldn't put it down. There were some times when I had to walk away from it for a bit, but I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to even a hint of gore. There were also some situations that were uncomfortable to read about such as child abuse, torture, and molestation. However, these things do happen and the way they were used in the story was fitting.

Peter finds his "lost boys" among the forgotten children, the runaways, the abused and neglected. He offers them a chance at a different kind of life in a magical world where they never have to grow up and each day is a new adventure. He does warn them that there are also monsters. With his golden eyes and infectious smile, Peter finds it easy to win over these mistreated kids and he creates his own clan in mist shrouded Avalon, his refuge from the cruelties he, himself, experienced in the human world.

Brom paints a vivid world of dying beauty and frightening violence. I love the images he creates of the fairies, pixies, elves, and even the more dangerous creatures that lurk in the swamps. One thing that this author has done incredibly well is blur the line between good and evil. I found myself, several times, feeling sympathy for a character I hated just a couple pages before.

Ultimately I feel that this is a extraordinary story, one that fans of dark fantasy will certainly want on their shelves. The characters, the world, the plot were all written so flawlessly that I easily lost myself in the pages. I would highly recommend The Child Thief and want to thank the person who recommended it to me.

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