Thursday, March 7, 2013

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie

by Holly Black
Published: Simon Pulse, 2006 (originally 2005)
Pages: 313

When Valerie runs away to New York City, she leaves behind a fractured life feeling utter betrayal. Val never expected to stay.  She meets Lolly and Dave, who introduce her to magic and a mysterious creature.  When creatures start dying, fingers start pointing and one of them lands on a friend.  Val is torn between her affection for an honorable monster and what her new friends might be causing. 

The characters in this story are very interesting.  Val is a brilliant protagonist, the best blend of strong-willed, stubborn and broken.  She is also very curious and brave.  On the other hand, Lolly and Dave are slightly more annoying, leaving me frustrated by their actions.  BUT I do know they are that way for a reason so I don't have a problem with it at all.

The descriptions in this story are elegant.  When something magical is described there is a Gothic sense about it.  I like that some people have the "sight" and most don't.  I like that Val sees things differently than most people without the "sight".  She's observant so she sees the goat feet and scales as well as the slight movement of statues.

I will say for those of you who are sensitive to swearing this is not a book to pick up lightly.  It didn't bother me and for the most part did not seem unnecessarily used.

This story could have only been written by someone with a vast imagination, Holly Black has just that.  She has crafted a beautiful modern faeire tale.  I look forward to reading the other two modern tales she has written: Tithe and  Ironside.

Stars: 4/5


"Dark, edgy, beautifully written, and compulsively readable." 

"A gripping read... The exquisite faeries haunt as well as charm." 
     --Publisher Weekly

"Debauchery, despair, deceit, and grisly death - what more could you ask for from a fairy tale? ...A luscious treat for fans of urban fantasy and romantic horror."
     --Kirkus Review

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