Review: Valiant by Holly Black

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Genre: Young-Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 314
Audiobook Duration: 7 Hours and 4 Minutes
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Series: Modern Faerie Tales #2
Release Date: May 31, 2005

No spoilers for this book or the previous one.

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3.5 Stars

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Valiant is a spin-off/sequel to Tithe. It takes place after the events of Tithe but follows a different set of characters. If you want to know what happened to the characters in Tithe, that’s in Itonside, the third book.

This book is about a human girl Val, who gets screwed over in a bad way. She runs away from home because she needs some time away. On the streets she meets a group of homeless teenager who kinda take her in. She soon finds out that they have dealing with a troll and other fae folk, who she never even knew existed.

And there the story gets divided into two parts and Val becomes two different Vals.

The first story is the one with stupid Val and her even stupider two homeless friends who like to shoot themselves up with a faerie potion they don’t know the repercussions of. All they care about is that it feels epic and that it gives them some fae abilities, like creating illusions and enchanting people to do whatever they ask.

I wasn’t very fond of this story because I’m not very fond of idiocy. And what Val and her “friends” were doing, even though they could see how it was affecting their physical and mental health, that was idiocy of epic proportions. But I didn’t miss the obvious parallels to drug addiction and how hard it is to stop taking drugs once you’ve started. And while it was a bold choice on the author’s part to explore this side and while she did it well, it didn’t makes Val any less of a dumbass. The only positive about this story was the rare moments of seeing Val dealing with how hurt she was by what happened in the beginning.

The second story was much better. It had smart Val in it. Who was falling for a troll.

I know falling for a troll may not seem smart, but it was actually good because said troll was a good guy. And he brought out the inquisitive side of Val. With him, she was kind, she was brave, she was interesting to read about, and she even made smart choices. Like choosing to learn sword fighting so that she could defend herself against the non-friends fae. Which is basically almost all fae.

This was also the story that had a mystery in it and the one that lead to Val the Valiant. And this was the retelling part, since this a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Now, if I had to rate the two parts separately, the first would get a 2-2.5 while the second would get a 4.5. Taking an average of these and adding the fact that Holly Black is awesome and I love her, we get to the current rating. Also, I really liked the narrator of the audiobook. She did a great job.

Overall, I liked this book more than I expected to but less than I wanted to. It’s not a must read and you could probably skip to Ironside like many other readers if you want, but it’s a good read/listen.

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