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Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie

Review

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie

A broken romance. Life under New York City's subway rails. Mysterious murders. A drug called Never. Glass swords. A woman with goat hooves instead of feet.

It could only be a faerie tale.

Life is fairly normal for lacrosse player and just-your-average-high-school-student (and maybe a bit of a troublemaker) Val Russell. She has a hot date at a hockey game planned with her boyfriend Tom, who turns out to be a jerk of the highest degree. Betrayed by her boyfriend as well as her mother, Val rides the train from New Jersey into Manhattan and takes up residency in a subway station. While at a coffeehouse, she meets Lolli and Sketchy Dave, who bring her to their underground home.

In her new world of toothpick Metrocards and Dumpster diving, Val becomes curious as to Dave's job. She knows he's working as a messenger, but is surprised and disbelieving when she finds out that he works for faeries (and yes, they're real). Val digs deeper into the faerie world, becomes addicted to a strange drug called Never, and finds herself caught up in a murder mystery, all against a backdrop of iron and steel.

Whether you're in it for the adventure, the love, the fantasy elements, or the mystery, you'll cheer for Val's strength and tenacity. The urban lands of Faerie are well drawn and vivid, but the characters don't get as much development as they did in Black's previous urban fantasy, TITHE. Fans will recognize some familiar characters and learn more about the complex faerie world while seeing a new realm of possibility in New York City.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on May 31, 2005

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie
by Holly Black

  • Publication Date: May 31, 2005
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • ISBN-10: 0689868227
  • ISBN-13: 9780689868221