The Child Thief: A Novel

The Child Thief - Brom Oh, hey, another dark retelling... you know how obsessed with those I am. :) So, I had actually never heard of Brom or his artwork until i was at the bookstore with two of my friends and the one pointed out a book of his artwork and commented that he had a Peter Pan retelling as well. As I was the one at the store attempting to find a book to buy (just one. it's torture. pure torture.) I was instantly intrigued and fell in love with it on sight. What I didn't know was that it would give me an inferiority complex. Haha. As an aspiring dark fantasy writer/artist, this is kind of my dream (to illustrate the books I write... I dream big and stuff) So, to see it done so masterfully and wonderfully kind of set me off on my 'oh i suck at all arts' tirade. (I got over it by finishing a piece inspired by the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice... anyway... I digress). Basically, this book was dark, poetic, bloody, violent, full of angry things, and magic. It's basically most everything I love bound into a nice 400 page package. (Have I mentioned the illustrations are some of the most gorgeous pieces in existence?) It's gritty and grungy, following Nick, a boy running from drug dealers who are living in his house. Nick runs into Peter and you can imagine what happens from there when Peter offers Nick a way out of his situation. This is no children's fairy tale. The Peter in this story is dark, unstable, wildly violent, and just a bit cruel. (Yeah. Okej. It hit my 'unstable characters' kink. What can I do?)The 'Neverland' in this story is actually Avalon, albeit a dying Avalon that is slowly being sucked of its magic and hacked and burned by the 'Flesh-eaters.' It's all Peter and his band of children, aptly named the 'Devils' can do to keep Avalon alive. (And by that I mean a lot of violence. I have no complaints.) When Nick is taken into the Devil's hideout, he meets Sekeu - an Indian girl who had been in Avalon since the Settlers time, Abraham - an escaped slave from the Civil War era, Leroy, Cricket, and Danny - three New Bloods like him. It doesn't take long for Nick to realise that this place isn't quite as Peter described to him, and things really aren't as good as he made them out to be. Along with the flesh eaters, the Devils have to contend with the Witch Ginny Greenteeth and her three demonic daughters, a variety of dangerous and bloodthirsty creatures, and the fey of the forest who aren't very friendly towards the Devils due to the bad blood between their Lord Ulfger and Peter.As their situation becomes more and more dire, Nick comes to realise that maybe the magic of Avalon isn't as accepting to him as it is to the other children. Things begin to spiral into chaos into what is a bloody and graphic climax as Peter and his Devils try to save the Lady Modron (the lady of the lake) and all of Avalon from the Flesh Eaters scourge.I loved everything about this book. It was horrific and unsettling and absolutely beautiful. The artwork is as gorgeous as the writing, which makes it even better. I am very glad to have it added to my collection and look foreword to reading it over and over as it has become one of my favourite retellings ever.