Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Valiant

A Modern Faery’s Tale

When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

Valiant by Holly Black opens with an introduction to Val and the life she lives with her mother… who is sleeping with Val’s boyfriend. She runs off and finds herself surrounded by new friends who all live together within the subway system: Luis, Dave, and Lolli.

Luis has “the sight” and years prior he was blinded in one eye by a faery simply because he was given the ability to see them. That’s only the beginning of this scary world Val is brought into. Dave runs errands, delivering a substance called “Never” to strange beings. A few of them decide to try the Never themselves, and while on this mysterious drug, they find themselves in Ravus’ home, the troll who makes the Never.

Val ends up trapped delivering the Never for Ravus, in exchange for Lolli’s freedom. While on a delivery, she comes across a dead mermaid. Poisoned. By the Never… Is Ravus behind it? Or one of Val’s friends? Or someone else entirely? But it might not even matter who is to blame when caught up in such a dangerous world.

While in the same series as Tithe, this novel involves a whole new set of characters. And I loved this one even more than the first. It’s more or less a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, as Val falls for Ravus. I love both Val and Ravus, and the romance blossoming between them.


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