Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Valiant by Holly Black - Review
We have all been betrayed at some point, but when Val is betrayed so totally by her mother and her boyfriend at the beginning of this book she feels she has no choice but to run away. She meets three runaways who live in the subway, one of whom has only one eye, can see Faeries, and runs errands for Ravus, a troll. An exile from the Seelie Court, Ravus makes a drug that helps the Fae live in a city so full of iron -- but affects human users very differently.
But some of the Fae have been found dead and many of them blame Ravus. Val is drawn to the troll and can't believe he is to blame so sets out to prove his innocence, while he teaches her to fight.
I read both Tithe and Ironside first because I needed to continue Kaye's story then turned to Valiant (written second in the series), which if anything is a stronger -- if darker -- tale. Chock full of goth-like Faeries and mysterious creatures, this is a tale of runaways and life on the streets, addiction, love, double crossings, and revenge. It is beautifully written and harks back to the Beauty and the Beast myth. It is about living with what is thrown at us and finding our inner courage, finding the best in us from the worst of situations. It's very powerful and hard to forget and can certainly stand alone if you haven't read the rest of the series. And I really hope Holly Black plans to continue with this storyline.