VALIANT by Holly Black


A Modern Tale of Faerie
Age Range: 14 & up
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Murdered mermaids, runaways addicted to magical drugs and trolls inhabit a New York City that draws heavily on the conventions of urban fantasy. Valerie runs away from home when she finds her boyfriend and mother having sex. She joins punks Lolli and Dave in their squat in an abandoned subway station. Dave helps deliver a magical drug to the city’s mythical denizens, and he and Lolli steal the drug, which they call Never, to use themselves. High on Never, the mortal users can control a little bit of faerie glamour. When being caught breaking and entering binds Val into a contract with an erudite troll, Val, despairing, becomes a Never addict. Her spiral into squalor is complicated by her increasing regard for the troll and the intrigues of the faerie exile community. Though Val doesn’t grow much as a character, she does rescue her troll and return home, safe at last. Val’s story, while not the best of the genre, makes for a compelling, edgy read complete with faerie murders and shaven-headed heroines. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-86822-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2005


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