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Friday, February 1, 2008

The Stolen Child - Keith Donohue

Read for the Mythopoeic Award and 2008 TBR Challenges.

I admit to picking up this book after reading all the hype surrounding it when it first came out. I actually bought it as a gift for my boyfriend, and in the spirit of it being a gift, originally left it to him to read it first. He still hasn’t read it, but it’s been a year now, so I added it to two challenge lists to justify reading it first.

I think I’m glad I gave it some distance from the hype. While I did enjoy the story, I’m not entirely sure it’s as much of a gift to the literary world as it was painted to be when it came out. The story was ever so slightly lacking in a truly magical atmosphere I had expected, given all I had read about it.

The story is of Henry Day, abducted by changelings when he was seven. The narrative is split between Henry, now a changeling himself (rechristened Aniday), and the changeling who has assumed Henry’s identity and will now have the opportunity to grow up as Henry.

I enjoyed the portrayal of the changelings. I thought the author did a great job of capturing the changes modern society would bring to these magical creatures. I very much enjoyed the relationship between Aniday and the changeling girl Speck. I think I was most disappointed that this relationship was not satisfactorily wrapped up at the end of the book.

The false Henry’s story was a little harder for me to get into, though by the end, when he composes a symphony as the only way he can adequately share his experiences with the human world that he dare not reveal his true origins to, I found my sympathy for him.

I would definitely recommend this book to others, but I’d also recommend that they stay far, far away from any online reviews until they’ve had a chance to judge it for themselves.

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