Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black

First sentence:

"The tree woman choked on poison, the slow sap of her blood burning."


When seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has totally 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. Impulsive Lolli talks of monsters in the subway tunnels they call home and shoots up a shimmery amber-colored powder that makes the shadows around her dance. Severe Luis claims he can make deals with creatures that no one else can see. And then there's Luis's brother, timid and sensitive Dave, who makes the mistake of having Val tag along as he makes a delivery to a woman who turns out to have goat hooves instead of feet.

When a bewildered Val allows Lolli to talk her into tracking down the hidden lair of the creature for whom Luis and Dave have been dealing, Val finds himself bound into service by a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honorable. And as Val grows to know him, she finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

This was a good mix of the real and fantastical. I liked the way Val finds the strength in herself to help her new friends, both human and other. I also liked how Black interspersed faery folk among the buildings and parks of Manhattan and New Jersey. I look forward to reading the first book in the series, Tithe.

Date read: 6/26/2008
Book #: 38
Series: Modern Tale of Faerie #2
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0689868227
ISBN-13: 9780689868221
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2005
# of Pages: 313
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing Page

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