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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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2,597842,301 (3.91)99
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 83 (next | show all)
Valerie is a runaway who meets up with all sorts of adventures - like falling in love with an ogre. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Val Russel lives a normal life with an annoying mother, a loving boyfriend, and lacrosse. A bit hot tempered, she clashes with teammates one too many times and finds herself kicked off the team. Then she goes home unexpectedly only to find her boyfriend and her mother kissing. Distraught and betrayed, Val decides to escape for a while and goes to New York after impulsively shaving her head and going to the hockey game she and her now ex were going to attend. Two homeless teens happen upon her sleeping and take her under their wing, teaching her how to survive and their own tips and tricks. They also introduce her to the world of faeries much darker than expected, but with addictive faerie medicine that gives humans faerie powers for a short time. Val spirals out of control more and more until she's caught stealing some it by Ravus, an exiled troll, and he binds her as a servant until she has repaid her debt. As both her feelings for Ravus and her addiction deepen, Val finds herself the only one willing to save him and has to fight literal and metaphorical demons to do so.

I expected Valiant to be a direct sequel to Tithe with Roiben and Kaye, but it only exists in the same world. I would have been disappointed if Val and her story hadn't completely won me over within the first few pages. She feels like a real person with numerous flaws who just experienced her first real betrayal by those closest to her in addition to being soundly rejected by the only thing tying her to her school. Her escape to New York is far from idyllic, but it introduces her to a completely different world with ultimate freedom and very little repercussions. At first, the world is fun even with the seedier parts like digging through dumpsters and sleeping outside. Then, things improve even more with the discovery of the faerie world and "Never," a faerie medicine to help them cope with living so closely with huge amounts of iron.

The effects are much different for humans and allow them to have faerie powers of glamour and compulsion along with feelings of euphoria and dreamlike disorientation. She and her friends start by taking it sparingly to get what they need to survive and then progress to taking it at least daily and stealing from people off the street and upscale shops. The first half of the story moves rather slowly, focusing on Val and her descent. Despite poor decision making, I was on her side the whole time. I felt for her, especially when the more monstrous sides of her friends were revealed. The need to escape and avoid negative feelings is completely understandable. When she realizes how far into the drugs and horrible lifestyle she is, it's so much harder to go through the withdrawal and get out of that situation.

Val's relationship with Ravus bloomed organically and unexpectedly. It has a Beauty and the Beast dynamic that is much more complex. Ravus won't become a handsome prince with true loves kiss; he will always be a hideous troll, but Val loves him anyway. Val steals from him and lies to him before her feelings developed, complicating things and making it seem like she was just using him. Their sword sparring is one of my favorite parts of the story because it's where they get to know each other the most. With some subjects, they don't mind sharing, but others are avoided. From the time Ravus is introduced in the story, a murder mystery is revealed with Ravus as its prime suspect. This series of murders has ties to the Seelie court where he is from and exposes even more corruption of the supposed good side of the faerie world. Val is alone in fighting for Ravus' innocence. She's a drug addict, a thief, a vagrant, and casual with sex, all of which are seen in society as immoral. However, she's the hero of this story and fights with all her might to free the one she loves, showing that mistakes and others' perception doesn't define her. At her core, she's a hero through and through.

Valiant is a very different story than Tithe and one that I enjoy just a little bit more. The hero has so many things going against her that she actually has to deal with when her adventure is over unlike Kaye who then lived in the faerie world. Val's object of affection isn't a handsome prince (although Roiben is much darker than the usual), but someone she connects with completely. So much of the story portrays reversals of tropes that ring much more true to me. I read this installment in only a couple of days and I will devour the last of the series as soon as I can. ( )
1 vote titania86 | May 19, 2017 |
Not really a sequel to Tithe, and absolutely nothing like it. The only likable character in the whole book is a troll. Could not relate and didn't want to. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
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.
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I loved her first novel, [b:Tithe|46777|Tithe A Modern Faerie Tale (Book 1)|Holly Black|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51+RcA-59LL._SL75_.jpg|1460966], so very, very much. Valiant is a good follow-up, though it begins a little Poppy Z Brite-ish (descriptions of how cool and freakish everyone looks, with their newfangled dyed hair and piercings, ooh la la, etc.). The love story is fine, but Val’s transformation from bookwormish lacrosse player to courageous, drug-addled warrior is fun to watch.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:04 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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