Friday, January 14, 2011

The Child Thief, by Brom


A gory and fairly terrifying story, but well-written and skillfully presented. I definitely grimaced more than once reading the rather graphic descriptions of violent encounters among the characters. An intense read, for sure. A clever premise is always welcome, but those ideas are often poorly executed--yet Brom is able to avoid this pitfall. He creates complex characters with fairly unpredictable plotlines (though of course a few "reveals" are telegraphed).

My main concern with this book was the portrayal of Christianity. I have no problem with the portrayal of individual purported "Christians" being the crazed villain of the piece--after all, history provides ample evidence that this is sometimes the case. But Brom actually pits the world of faerie against Christianity (the cross itself, for example, has a hurtful effect on faerie magic), and specifically ties this supernatural world to the pagan religion in a way that many fantasy authors do not.

Nonetheless, it is definitely worth reading . . . if you have the stomach for the more gruesome scenes along the way.

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