December 13, 2009

Book review: The Child Thief (Brom)

Let’s face it: Peter Pan is not a nice kid.  In the original story by Sir James M. Barrie (not the sanitized Disney version), Peter is a self-centered, arrogant, bloodthirsty boy who convinces children to leave home and follow him back to fight his war.  Fantasy artist and writer Brom takes this thought to its logical extreme in his newest book, The Child Thief.

In this dark interpretation of Barrie’s original, Peter has been traversing back and forth between the realm of Faerie and the realm of Man for sometime… for hundreds of years, in fact in a quest to save his land from the dreaded Captain and his band of Flesh-eaters.  Peter recruits lost children: the abused and forgotten; the children who feel there is nothing left to lose, and so they follow the strange boy with the golden eyes and find themselves unwitting foot soldiers in Peter’s army.

Drawing on a range of Scottish fairy tales, legends, and myths, Brom creates a tale that is as rich as it is dark and disturbing.  Most assuredly not a story for children, The Child Thief is an excellent re-imagining of a classic.  Published by HarperCollins, and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Remember: shop local, shop independent, and tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)

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