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Valiant: A Modern Faerie Tale (Modern Faerie…
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Valiant: A Modern Faerie Tale (Modern Faerie Tale) (edition 2006)

by Holly Black

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2,399762,595 (3.94)97
Member:venie24
Title:Valiant: A Modern Faerie Tale (Modern Faerie Tale)
Authors:Holly Black
Info:Margaret K. McElderry Books (2006), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Valiant by Holly Black

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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Valiant is terrific. I love it! Finally, a YA fantasy novel where the main characters aren’t beautiful - or are, as perhaps the author would say, "embracing a broader view of beauty.” Val is tough - a tomboy who plays sports and videogames is not the usual protagonist for most YA titles and is soooo refreshing! She’s “brave and stupid” (by her own admission) and I love her to bits. Ravus is a freakin’ troll - although he can glamour himself to look mostly human, he is still a troll. How different is that? No sparkly vampire pretty boys here! He has pointy teeth that stick out of his lips and green skin.

The story doesn’t follow Tithe directly (although it’s set in the same universe) but it is great. Upon finding her boyfriend making out with her mother, Val shaves her head and runs off to New York City to catch the hockey game. After the game, she doesn’t want to go home, and finds herself falling in with a group of street kids. Lolli is a shoplifter with blue hair, Sketchy Dave is a dumpster-diver who wanted to be a librarian, and Luis seems like a jerk, but he has the Sight, allowing him to see into the realm of the faerie.

When they cross paths with the troll Ravus, Val makes a dangerous pact to save her friend. She agrees to be the troll’s servant for a month, delivering his “medicine” to faerie around the city. But his faerie customers are dying and they’re starting to blame him. Also, what may be medicine to the faerie can be used as a drug by humans and Lolli and Val find themselves growing addicted to the high, the hallucinations and the strange power. But the drug is making Val sick too, and what happens when she can’t get it anymore?

A thrilling blend of fantasy/adventure and a grim look into the life of teenagers living on the street and drugs, this works far better than you’d think it would in Holly Black’s talented hands. The underground world of these exiled faeries is gritty and dark, the plot is suspenseful and twisty as we watch Val make one bad decision after another. The characters are achingly real, brave and flawed. Black has a way of making even the secondary or minor characters three-dimensional and interesting. She hits just the right amount of darkness to keep the tension taut and she avoids all the tropes and cliches.

I loved Valiant and can't wait to see what Black has in store for us in Ironside! ( )
  catfantastic | Mar 22, 2015 |
I was really hoping to like this book. I was disappointed however. The characters were not well defined or built. The relationship between Valerie and her mother isn't explored well enough to elicit the type of response that Valerie expressed. Valerie isn't well defined either to explain why she would choose to go so far off the deep end over one incident. The sudden unexplained feelings between Ravus and Valerie also seemed dis-jointed and unaccounted for within the story, a sideways glance or two doesn't constitute undying love. I feel that the author could have done so much more with this story if time was taken to fully develop the characters. The plot is interesting but moves along in fits and starts. I'll continue to read this author because I believe that there is the good beginnings of great writing; I just hope to see it. ( )
  slsmitty25 | Feb 11, 2015 |
well writen story my kids enjoyed this book as we read this book at bedtime and they liked all the ups and downs as they said about this story and I had to get more of Holly Black's book for them ( )
  weelinda | Nov 14, 2014 |
Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black. Some interesting ideas. Fairly suspenseful. However, I thought it odd that a seventeen-year-old would have unprotected sex and share a needle while taking a new drug with no mention of pregnancy, HIV, or any STDS. Addiction was very lightly mentioned. It was all too casual, I felt, for a Young Adult book. ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Apr 15, 2014 |
Lots of bad language, lots of drug use, lots of weird troll/fairy/freak oddities. I did finally sort of get into it about 2/3 the way through. Just really weird and not my genre. This teen stuff is tuff stuff!
  AbundaBookworms | Mar 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yuen, SammyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
For I shall learn from flower and leaf
That color every drop they hold,
To change the lifeless wine of grief
To living gold.

-
SARA TEASDALE, "ALCHEMY"
Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

-LEWIS CARROLL, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Trying their wings once more in hopeless flight: Blind moths against the wires of window screens. Anything. Anything for a fix of light.

-X. J. KENNEDY, "STREET MOTHS," THE LORDS OF MISRULE
I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves.


-ANNE SEXTON, "HER KIND"
We must not look at goblin men.
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?


-CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, "GOBLIN MARKET"
Dedication
For my husband, Theo, because he likes angsty, angry girls
First words
The tree woman choked on poison, the slow sap of her blood burning.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689868235, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Val runs away to New York City, where she falls in with a gang of squatters who live in the city's subway system and consort with faeries, trolls, and other strange creatures.

(summary from another edition)

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