The Child Thief

Gerald Brom

I enjoy dark retellings of popularised sanguine Disney characters. These “dark fairy tales” seem to rekindle the spirit of the original fables, lore, and tales shared for generations before Disney’s adaptations. For these reasons, I picked up Brom’s story.

I received a suitably grim novel for those sharing my slightly twisted streak, Brom retells Peter Pan for the modern listener filled with wondrous depictions and incredible world building.

The three-dimensional characters are some of the most astounding characters written in fantasy today (rivalling Abercrombie and Martin). The depth of the characters ensures there are no good and no bad roles. No black and white. Merely people.

Once I finished the novel, I was delighted by the tale. I read it late into the night and dreamt of Avalon and Peter until society sucked me back into its tight grasp. When work threatened to overwhelm, the actual meaning of this story surfaced.

I stood up, walked out of the office, and went for a walk in the beautiful park downtown that I often comment on but rarely enjoy. I watched children play in the river next to the sign stating the rocks and water is NOT for swimming, I saw a dog running with an adolescent near a sign mounted demanding the reader to stay off the grass, and I felt the sun kiss my skin and release the need to play. The magical innocence of childhood rekindled, I returned to work, finished my working day, went home and romped with the two puppies waiting impatiently on my return. The world is filled with rules which take from the magic; we should fight to keep the magic alive.

-A Bookish Girl


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