“Evil, however powerful it seemed, could be undone by its own appetite.”
The Thief of Always is one of those books that really make you feel like you’ve learned a valuable life lesson after reading it. This story is packed with some heavy topics that are woven into a beautiful story. Harvey Swick is like many young boys, feeling down and bored in the midst of a gloomy February. Harvey then meets Rictus, a man-like creature with a wide grin just like the Cheshire cat. Rictus offers him the opportunity of a lifetime, to stay at the Holiday House. Harvey ends up accepting the offer and Rictus leads him to an enchanted house where four seasons come all in one day and he can have anything he wishes for! Things seem too good to be true after a while, and Harvey becomes curious. When he starts to question how the magic of the house works, things take a turn for the worse.
This is by far my favorite Clive Barker book. It’s a beautifully written fable that’s easy to read while still holding onto his style of writing. One thing I love about his writing is how beautiful his descriptions can be, very similar to Weaveworld. Hell Bound Heart was way more hardcore than either this or Weaveworld, and it’s interesting to see both styles of his writing. Even though there were monsters, evil, and terrible things happening to the kids at the Holiday House, Barker knows how to convey a beautiful message through a frightening medium. I won’t spoil the story itself but it teaches you to appreciate the time you have with your family and loved ones. After reading this I think that the most valuable thing in life may just be time itself.
This has easily become one of my favorite books of all time. It conjured up some serious emotion, and I felt for Harvey. This book is a really fun read with magic and excitement, and Barker adds in that element of horror that creates the perfect story for me. Dark fantasy is my favorite! I hope to read this to my own kids one day when they are old enough, and that it’ll be a story that makes an impact on them. If you haven’t read this yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Its rather short and the illustrations by Barker are a great treat after every chapter and add to the magic of the book!