The Child Thief by Brom

‘Don’t let them win. Don’t let them beat you. Don’t let them steal your magic.’

I have long been intrigued and borderline obsessed with the boy who wouldn’t grow up. I think it’s a deep seated feeling in many of us; the desire to run and play, to never have to grow up, is dangerously irresistible and I am still resisting the world of adult tedium – I won’t let anyone steal my magic. I love Peter in all the variations I have ever encountered him, whether in the original tale by J.M. Barrie or in the many films that have been made; I simply love the mischievous, impish Peterbird and I always will.

I was immediately drawn to this book – a new version of Peter Pan that I had not encountered? I knew I had to read it, in all its dark, twisted glory, and I loved and lived every moment – I wasn’t simply reading about Peter’s Devils, I was one of Peter’s devils, slashing, hacking and playing my way through the deadly world of Avalon.

Brom’s Peter is not what you might expect, he is a child thief, taking abused, broken and homeless children from the human world and bringing them back to Avalon, to join his band of Devils and fight back the Flesh-eaters, the men-kind who became trapped in Avalon centuries ago. It is a story that takes everything we know about Peter Pan and turns it on its head, making a Peter for the 21st century that too many children can relate to.

The Child Thief is dark, dreary and completely magical, and I want nothing more than to go running into a magical forest to play with Peter and never return, for Peter’s smile is a most contagious thing.

Read: December 20th-25th 2013

4/5 stars

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